|"How you doin'?"|
You see, the girls are getting older, and while neither of them is ready for retirement yet, between Rubi's back and Piper's knees, we're getting closer. Originally, I had thought to wait until Piper passed away before adding another potential therapy dog candidate to the herd. The longer I thought about this, though, the less I liked it. While pit bulls typically age better than boxers, at their current rate of decline, I suspect the will be retiring from dog safety programs around the same time - and, god willing, this will be a long while before they pass away. Waiting to add another dog would mean several years away from programming, and folks, I like doing that stuff.
Whenever people think about adding another dog, I always encourage them to have fun fantasizing. What would that ideal dog look like if you designed him or her from scratch? Long hair or short? Senior, puppy, or adult? High drive or low key? For me, obviously I was looking for a dog with therapy potential. But there is a wide range in personality type for therapy-type dogs. I mean, just look at Piper and Rubi - both get the job done, but they're entirely different to work with. Personally, I like high drive, high energy, high maintenance dogs. Middle of the line for brains. Little grooming requirements. Thirty to sixty pounds. More than a few screws loose. And of course, pit bull, although I do have a short list of breeds I would like to own some day. That list looks something like: more pit bulls, greyhound, Dutch Shepard, Saffy Bull, Boston Terrier, French Bulldog, even more pit bulls.
Once you have your list of ideal qualities, it's time to match that list to realities. So although I know I like high energy bitches, I also know that between me and Rubi, this house has all the bitch it can handle. I also don't have the time to work with another serious behavioral issue. So while I knew that I wanted another screwy sport dog, I needed a low-key, easy-going dog that was going to fit in with the rest of the herd.
In addition to my own limitations, I needed to consider the limitations of my home and family. For example, I have cats, so any dogs that come into my house have to be safe with those small, furry, somewhat suicidal monsters. And while I can maintain the training, exercise, and management of seven dogs, I'm not the only person in the house. Since a good chunk of my time is spent away from the house, dogs need to be manageable for my husband and roommate as well. Not to mention the fact that any dog I bring into the house needs to be at least tolerant of the other dogs, not all of whom are, ahem, socially eloquent.
Once I'd defined what I wanted and what I needed, I settled in to wait. I wasn't in any hurry to add another dog. I mean, I'm not that crazy. And the fun part about rescue is that you never know what's going to show up next.
For example, a one year old, neutered male French Bulldog with no significant behavior issues. Score!
|Just hangin' out, bein' awesome.|
So without further needless rambling, I introduce Cannon McMeatball. Cannon came from a hoarder up near Leech Lake - and if you're about to make the joke that not much has changed for him, rest assured that everyone ever already has, thanks just the same. So far, Cannon has been a lovely dog. He's mildly intimidated by the cats, pleased as punch to see the other dogs (no playdates yet - Two Week Staycation first!), and he's an absolute touch junkie. Which works out well because everyone wants to touch him.
I mean, really, why wouldn't you?
|Chillin' with Friend Crystal.|