Monday, April 27, 2009


Growl. Tail wags for five seconds. Tail stops wagging. Growl. Back hair stands up on end a little. Tail wags reluctantly. Sniffs other doggy butt. Tail wags. Looks hopeful that other doggy might play. Tail stops wagging. Facial expression looks concerned. Runs into the kitchen behind the other doggy with similar hopes to fetch a bone...

When Ruggles met his cousin, Chauncey for the first time, the second time, the third time, the fourth time, and the fifth time, this is what his reaction looked like. Chauncey is my parents' rescue dog who they rescued about three years ago.

So, first, the brief story about Chauncey... when my mom met Chauncey, a sheep-dog/black lab/unknown mix, she knew he was the one. He sported a scarred patch on his shoulder and she found out that not only had he first been abused by his owner, his wound had then been re-opened by the dogs he was being fostered with.

On their long car ride home, Chauncey was very well behaved. He sat still and looked lovingly over at my mom.

However, when he got home, he started to cause a few more problems. At first, my parents would leave him in the house when they went out. They'd close the doors and the windows and leave Chauncey in their comfy kitchen. And then, they'd come home and find Chauncey. He'd be sitting on the front lawn. He was officially an escape artist. Somehow, he'd pry a window open and climb out but would decide to not go far after his escape. I think he knew to appreciate his new home.

As most dogs are, Chauncey was also a "counter-surfer." He ate a whole lot of food off of the counter. Somehow, he'd propel himself into the air and land "surfing" on the counter.

Somehow, my parents decided to call a dog psychologist to make sure that Chauncey was a happy dog. First, over the phone, the dog psychologist told them that "dogs are just suck ups." She said that dogs don't actually love you but that they just pretend to care about you to get what they want. I think we all know that is just NOT true as dogs are loyal, sweet, and even a little needy sometimes... Next, she offered to come and pick up Chauncey and take him to her house a couple hours away for a couple days for "therapy sessions." For the "reasonable" price of about $40 per hour (including for her driving time and the dog's sleeping time), she would make sure he was a happy rescue dog. In the end, they decided not to go this route...

And Chauncey became a perfectly adjusted, albeit shy-towards-other-dogs dog. He'd follow my mom everywhere and our whole family loved him.
You may have already read a bit about Ruggles, my recent (as of last November) rescue boy. So...

Ruggles and Chauncey at first mostly sniffed at each other, growled a little, and seemed fairly uninterested. While Chauncey is about twice as big as Ruggles, Ruggles always seemed to have more confidence.

Their main other interaction was lying on each other's pillows. With their very visible size differences, it was funny to see Chauncey fall off of Ruggles' tiny pillow and Ruggles disappear into Chauncey's much-too-big pillow. And then sometimes they'd trade back to their own pillows. And sometimes they would both run into the kitchen with hopes of a bone. Other times, they'd go on a walk together - separate leashes but the same destination.

And then, all of a sudden, they started to become friends. Where they had sniffed unenthusiastically before, they now seemed more interested in the other's doggy smells. Their tails wagged for longer and faster. They still are not yet the best of friends, but now they'll share a pillow. I think they are making great progress towards becoming happy relatives!


  1. I'm amazed at how much that sounds like my son meeting a new friend! Uh, except for the butt-sniffing. LOL! This blog is going to make getting a puppy a much higher priority, isn't it? :)

  2. You'll have to get a puppy! Dogs are so incredible and your son will love him/her :)