Jay-Z is back again

Well… Jay-Z was gone for a little over a week, but he is back. No-one wants this little dog. And, unfortunately, he seems to really like it here. I can’t seem to break him of his bad habits and I swear that he is the dumbest dog I have ever worked with. He has grown enough that he can now jump any gate we have and can hop on any bed without missing a step. So every morning I wake up with Goofy laying on my pillow and Jay-Z somewhere else on the bed. The moment I start petting Goofy before I get up I get a 4 toed splayed paw right in the face as Jay-Z leaps over Goofy to start playing.

He is an energetic little thing but he has no clue that his claws scratch pretty bad. He has raked my arms, right cheek, and across my mouth on a number of occasions. I go to work looking like someone tried to cut me after he has gotten too excited.

Hopefully someone will take him in that can keep him and put up with him.

Maggie and Max come out for a visit

Hans brought Maggie and Max out for a doggy visit. Maggie just had surgery on her rear right foot to remove a cyst. It had been growing quickly and so it appeared to be cancer. They removed one toe so now the foot looks like a chicken foot. So, I called her “Chicken Foot” when playing with her.

Goofy and Clifford like Maggie and Max. But Satan’s Little Helper (aka Jay-Z) has a problem with Maggie so he had to be locked up separately. Maggie, Max, Goofy, and Clifford played outside for a while and then came inside and played more. Satan’s Little Helper couldn’t stand it and barked his head off from upstairs where he was sequestered with Mike in Mike’s room.

When Maggie and Max left after dinner we let Satan’s Little Helper out and he just went crazy dancing around and playing. He was so cute I almost thought that he was a good dog. Then he got into something just to remind me that he was not learning anything. At least he didn’t have any accidents.

Jay-Z is Satan’s Little Helper

I was working on doing a test installation in a VM for my new employer and I was letting the Simpsons play in the background. I got to the episode where Bart’s dog (Santa’s Little Helper) gets sick and we start seeing the world from the dog’s point of view. I had to stop and watch that episode because I think Jay-Z must think like that little dog.

So I am now calling Jay-Z “Satan’s Little Helper”.

Yesterday when I was leaving he got all excited and wanted to play. I don’t know what came over him. He started running around doing play bows to me and then followed me to the door. He then got up and watched through the window as I drove away. This is something that Goofy use to do when he was with me for about a year. Goofy has since stopped watching me leave as I think he has gotten accustomed to me always coming home to him.

Last night while I was working on the test installation Jay-Z appeared, slobbered on my keyboard and then disappeared. A bit later I realized that packaging from my trash can was all over the floor in the hall outside my office. That little monster is so destructive. Then I heard Mike bellow from upstairs that Jay-Z had pooped in his office while Mike was in his office. Just rolled my eyes.

I have never had a dog more than a week that couldn’t be house trained and this one has been here for 6. Most dogs at least try to let you know they need to go out before they have and accident and none do it right in front of you. But Jay-Z doesn’t seem to communicate.

I was up late last night trying to figure out why the application installed but wouldn’t start so I went right to sleep when I hit the bed. Goofy silently hopped in bed and laid beside me with his head on my pillow. I only know this because when I woke at 4am he was sleeping soundly against me with his back to me and his head on my pillow. (Here is Goofy McGoofface… aka Goofy… aka Goofball).

The thought in my head was “Goofball is a God send”. He was crazy at first and no-one wanted him but he snapped in shape with just a bit of work and he is the greatest dog I have had. But Jay-Z… not so much. The moment I started petting on Goofy Jay-Z came down from Mike’s room and jumped on the bed and put a paw right in my face. He then started biting on Goofy and trying to wrestle. Goofy would push him away and then come lay beside me for his morning pet-pet. But Jay-Z wouldn’t have that and started jumping on me. So, I got up and fed them. Jay-Z started trying to play bow to me and so I played back.

I think Jay-Z is just dumb but he isn’t mean. We have had mean ones and they can be tamed. Jay-Z just seems like he is stuck in eternal puppy mode even though he is over a year old. Maybe he will come around.

Goofy learns what a skunk is

Right near midnight I was laying in bed nursing a cold when Goofy come tearing through the house and jumps on the bed. He starts flopping around like crazy and then jumps up and starts running through the house. I thought it was Oakley and then I smelled it. Even with a severely stopped up nose I could smell skunk.

Turns out Mike was out in the back yard taking Oakley and Venus for a walk when Goofy started stalking a skunk in the upper area of the back yard. He followed it into the bushes where he got sprayed in the face. Apparently that stuff burns and makes him foam at the mouth. He was violently trying to rub his face on the rugs and bed comforter.

Mike took him in the bathroom and washed him off. He calmed down after that. This morning he wouldn’t set foot near that area of the yard.

Bull in a china shop

Mike got home from the Wine social at the winery next door at about 4:30pm. He had Venus and Bull with him when he got home and I was in the basement working on the quilt. I had mowed the front field and outside of the fence (about half the property) when the belt on the tractor broke so I stopped. He mows with the zero-turn mower so I didn’t mow the rest of the property… he had already started earlier and stopped for the Wine social.

So he came down to the basement and told me that Duane would be home at around 10pm and he was going to go out and mow and to listen for Venus in case she got into anything. He wasn’t outside for more than 15 minutes when I heard this huge crash. I ran upstairs to find Bull in the corner where all of Mike’s plants are. He had tried to get to Mike through the windows and had knocked over all of the plant stands and managed to break a number of pots. I fussed at them and then got them all into the basement where I could keep an eye on them.

When Mike got in he came down to the basement and said “why are they all down here” and I said “you will see”. He said “I didn’t see anything. Did they knock anything over?” and I said “go upstairs… you will see”. He did see and he just started cleaning up without saying a word. I came up and started dinner and was somewhat surprised that he was diligently repotting plants and cleaning up without fussing at the dogs at all. He is quick to fuss at Goofy and call him a bad dog, yet he won’t fuss at the fosters at all.

Venus and Bull spent the evening humping each other an playing. They were playing so rough that even Goofy backed out of the fray and came and sat beside me watching. Venus would hump Bull and then they would tumble around and Bull would hump Venus. By the way… Venus is a female.

When they were done playing (after about 2 hours) Venus was exhausted and went over to the water bowl and drank half the 2 gallon bucket. She then laid down beside the bowl and just put her face in the bowl. Every once in a while she would drink more water. She has an incredibly thick coat and she gets really hot.

Maggie gone, Mak arrives

Gary came and picked up Maggie after his vacation. She settled in pretty well and seemed really attached to me.  She pretty much stayed glued to me whenever I was home and if she could, she would get in bed and try to sleep next to me. Goofy didn’t seem to care and would just let her push him out of the way.

As Maggie left, a new dog came to stay for a bit. Mak is being fostered by someone in HART but they needed to go away for a week so we took in for a week. He looks like a mini version of Sparky but his tail has been docked. He is mostly brown with a white face.

Mak has had trouble getting adopted because he doesn’t get along with other dogs well. He always wants to dominate dogs at the events. We politely introduced him to Goofy, Clifford and Bull and he did just fine. He doesn’t play with them at all and hides under the piano. So we draped a cloth over the piano so that he could have a little cave to be comfortable in.

Makhas another issue. He guards the house… from everyone. When I come home he follows me around the house doing these low “woof” sounds. Woof… pause 10 seconds… woof… pause… and he darts from wall to wall or column to column an peeks around to woof at me. This is a guarding behavior. He eventually will come down and try to nip at my heels. If I turn around he doesn’t run away and he continues to puff his cheeks and woof at me even with me petting him.

He is just displaced and has an anxiety that he won’t get over till he has a permanent home. But with his personality he will guard his home a little more than most people are comfortable. He will do this stalking woofing thing when they have guests which will be disturbing to guests.

Bull, I’m just stupid happy

We have had Bull for little more than a week. At first I didn’t like him at all. His fur is not soft and he looks kinda dumb with his big head and long legs. But he loves playing with Goofy and is just stupid happy. I mean when you get up in the morning he wags so much that his back feet step right and left from the wag of his tail. He is smart enough that if you raise your voice to him he just stops whatever he is doing and drops whatever is in his mouth.

But last night was rough on my back. Goofy always sleeps with me. But this morning I woke up with Goofy laying next to me with his head on my pillow and Bull laying against my side with his head on top of Goofy. They were just happy as can be sleeping. The surprising part is that Bull got on the bed without waking me and I sleep really light.

The funniest thing of all is to watch him with the doggy door. Goofy has figured out that Bull can’t figure out the doggy door. So they will be playing and Goofy will tease Bull with a toy and when Bull starts to chase him, he will run out the doggy door and then run to the glass doors where Bull can see him. Bull will chase him to the doggy door and then stop as Goofy disappears. He will cock his head sideways and look at the door, then run over to the glass doors and dance around as Goofy shakes the toy just on the other side of the glass. At first Bull would head but the glass but now he just stops and dances. It drives Bull crazy. It is like a magic portal that lets Goofy have a magic force field.

Bull – Do not expose any skin

Well, Bull has settled in. He is a very happy dog. He plays with Goofy till Goofy is exhausted and he is jealous such that Goofy can’t get attention without Bull getting into the mix. He sleeps in the hallway behind a gate just fine but when I get up to feed the other dogs he just bounds over the gate and then takes whatever you have in your hand.

You have to be careful because he is a food hound and will take anything from your hand. He grabbed a plastic glass from my hand when I was walking to the kitchen. If he does get something from you, he stops when you raise your voice and he will let you take it away.

One thing about this dog is he is a licker. If you are sitting at your desk, he will walk by, then lick you from your wrist to your elbow in one fly by. Worse, if you get out of the shower and he can get into the bathroom you are guaranteed a lick on your leg, arm, or whatever is closest to him. So the bathroom is off limits.

I think that Bull probably was someone’s dog and got away. Probably jumped a fence. He is house trained and has enough manners that he knows to sleep in a dog bed in the hall and he doesn’t beg at the dinner table. If he sticks his head in the trash and you fuss at him he immediately sulks and leaves the room. So he has some training.

But he is just crazy rambunxious. He wears Goofy out every night. I didn’t think it would be possible to wear Goofy out. I think I have gained a half inch on my bicepts playing tug with Goofy. It is like doing 45 pound curls for an hour at a time. But Bull is easily 60 pounds and that 15 pounds makes a big difference. Goofy can’t drag Bull around so Goofy stands on his back legs and punches Bull like a kangaroo. Then Bull stands up and does the same and it is like watching a dog boxing match.

Bull will get some needed training and will get adopted quickly. He isn’t toy aggressive and isn’t food aggressive. He plays well with other dogs and he hasn’t growled at any humans. He just can’t be allowed in a yard unsupervised.

Bull can jump

Well, Sunday was the day to mow the yard. It has been raining so much that we haven’t been able to mow the field or the lawn. But today was dryer. I got out the tractor and Mike got out the Zero-turn mower. I mowed outside the fence and the front field while Mike mowed the back yard and the orchard. He was just finishing up the orchard when I finished the front field and so we both started working on the front yard. The zero-turn mower does a beautiful job of cutting evenly whereas the tractor’s 3 blades cut the grass but doesn’t pulverize it. The tractor blades turn at about 1/4 the speed of the zero-turn. So I mowed the part of the yard that is furthest from the house where it won’t matter if it looks rough.

After we mowed the property and were inside Mike opened the doggy door and Goofy and Clifford went out to see what damage we had done to their yard. Bull isn’t trusted out by himself so Mike took him out on a leash to walk do his stuff in the back yard. The back yard is fully fenced and electrified so we aren’t worried about the dogs that live here but we are careful with the fosters because the dumber ones will get shocked and still keep pushing through the fence.

I got my shower and then started fixing dinner. Mike brought the dogs in and said he was going out to the garden to pick vegetables and said to watch Bull. I figured he was in the house so he was being watched.

About 15 minutes later Mike comes in the front door with Bull by the collar. He said “You were supposed to be watching Bull” and I said “I was here, what was there to watch”.

Apparently Bull had figured out the doggy door in one day (about as quickly as Goofy had figured it out) and had gone to the back yard. Mike was in the garden where Bull could see him and Bull just leaped right over the fence. Those big back legs apparently work like a kangaroo’s legs.

We locked him in the bedroom while Mike was in the kitchen and he bounded right over the gate. The problem now is that he knows he can hop gates and just about anything that doesn’t have a ceiling so he now has to be locked in a crate whenever we aren’t able to watch him.

Venus (aka clown dog)

We took in the latest foster. It is a very large dog (larger than Clifford) but doesn’t weigh that much. She is a Great Pyrenees. She looks fairly young and is very shy. She plays well with Goofy. In looking at the markings on her face and how big her head is compared to her body, she looks like a clown.

She was in the kennel but went home with a foster over the weekend. Unfortunately the fosters tried to cut the mats of hair from under her chin and ended up slicing her open with the scissors from her neck down about 5 inches. The fosters took her to the vet but didn’t want to continue fostering her. She has stiches down her neck and seems to be OK. We don’t have any other history.

She has a good disposition. She is very skittish. But she is interested in investigating things and will let us pet her. She got one look at Duane’s tiny dog Sonny and largely just walked over the little thing as if it didn’t exist. Goofy had his bone and she came over and just took it from him. He didn’t do anything other than look at her like he was happy she took it. Then she started playing keep-away with him.

Goofy: Apparently he knows when to be smart

I picked up dinner on the way home yesterday.  Goofy planted himself near my chair and sat there staring at me.  Mike made a comment that I had taught the little guy to beg from the table.  I promptly took some food from my plate and gave it to him but didn’t give any to Mike’s dog Clifford.  Mike fussed that Clifford didn’t get anything and then gave Clifford something.  I chuckled that Mike was teaching Clifford to beg from the table.

I said that Goofy was smart and told him of Goofy waiting with is paw in the air in the morning when I was feeding him.  Mike exclaimed that the Goofball tries to get his head in the bowl as you pour the food into it.  I chuckled that Mike wasn’t doing it right.

Apparently Goofy changes his behavior depending on who he is dealing with.  This isn’t the case for Clifford.  Clifford does exactly the same for Mike as for me… which is to dance around and knock stuff over and then dive into the bowl unless you fuss and say “sit”.  Clifford doesn’t change for either of us but Goofy does.

This is what he looks like when begging.

Goofy: Smart little monkey

This morning was the breakthrough morning for teaching Goof to wait for his food.  When I got the food from the pantry I had Clifford sit as usual, put the food in his bowl, and then asked for “Paw”.  He drooled and wagged his tail while sitting and gave me the paw while staring into my eyes.  I said “Go!” and he dove in.  When I turned around to feed Goof, he was sitting by his bowl.  I came over and he looked straight into my eyes, and raised his right paw.  I put the food in and then shook his paw.  He didn’t move.  Then I said “Go!” and he dove in.

That is a smart little monkey!

Goofy: The food hound learns “stay”

Goofy is more of a food hound than I have ever seen.  The slightest sound of plastic will have him sitting in front of you in less than 10 seconds.  He seems to hear it even when he is out in the back yard chasing bunnies.

But, it turns out that it is easier to train such a dog.  Clifford is also a food hound but not nearly as obsessed with it as Goofy.  But until Goofy, Clifford was the only dog that I ever got to successfully do “stay” when playing with toys or food.  Kira did “stay” without really any training so she doesn’t count.

I have been working with Goofy to teach him to hold back while I fill his bowl for breakfast and dinner.  I take the scoop and fill it with food for Clifford and Goofy.  Then I feed Clifford first while Goofy is watching and tell him to sit, then stay, then give paw and Clifford does each as I request them.  I then pour his food in his bowl and he stares at me waiting for me to say “Go!” and when I do he digs in.

I then go to Goofy’s bowl and repeat the same thing.  In less than a week (2 meals a day) Goofy has gotten to the point where he does the sit, paw, and stay part but he doesn’t wait for the “Go!”.  He is getting better though.  Previously he would knock the scoop out of your hand.  Now he doesn’t dive in until the food has been poured into his bowl.

Baby steps…

Goofy: I am so tired

Today was Independence day.  I bought enough fixings for 4 people figuring that Mike would invite someone over at the last minute.  In the past I have gotten just enough for the people that live in the house only to find myself scrambling because Mike invites other people over at the last minute.

So, not surprisingly, Mike invited a couple from HART.  They were planning on attending the Middleburg fireworks and were going to drop their dogs off before going to the event.  But all of that changed a bit.

When they arrived with their foster dog named Bordeaux, chaos ensued and they never made it to the fireworks.  It started with Goofy and Bordeaux fighting on the first meeting.  Goofy hasn’t shown any aggression to any dogs but Bordeaux just jumped on him and Goofy fought back.

Bordeaux looks like a hound mixed with a lab or something large.  He is high energy and doesn’t have any doggy manners.  So both Bordeaux and Goofy spent the first hour on leashes so that they couldn’t get to each other.  After a while they were let go and they started playing.  Then… they didn’t stop playing.  So from about 6pm till well past 8pm they tumbled and played continuously until they were both laying on the floor as if exhausted pawing into the air and showing their teeth but never even getting close to each other.

When the couple left, Goofy laid down and didn’t move until the next morning.  And, in the morning he appeared to be tender or sore and didn’t want to be pet much.

Goof: Not a Pitt Bull

Goof has changed over the past year.  When we got him in January 2016 we thought he was a little over a year old.  But now that we have had him for a year I don’t think he was a year old when we got him.  Mike and I both agree that he was between 8 months and 10 months old.

When we got him, he had a little body, short legs, and a big head.  His fur was almost orange and his eyes were orange.  He had been dropped off because he was a terror in the people’s house and he couldn’t be put in a cage without him going crazy and hurting his paws trying to get out.

When we took him in we tried to have him sleep in a section of the hall to the bathroom with a gate so that he couldn’t get out.  He cried and clawed at the gate but eventually went to sleep and then got up whenever there was a noise and he would start crying like a baby.  He was a very vocal dog.

So we moved the gate to the door of the bedroom and he was content.  It was impossible to keep him off the bed so he became a permanent fixture sleeping at the bottom of the bed.  Kira slept at the top of the bed beside me and usually with her head on my pillow.

Fast forward to June 2017 and that little body has grown significantly.  He has long legs, a very thin and trim body, and his head is perfectly proportional.  That Pitt look that he had has gone away and he looks more like a Boxer.  He is still full of energy and gets into everything.  He is smart and can understand more words than even Kira understood.  He adores me and walks around like Darby use to do where he just stares up at me as he is following me around.

His fur has turned to a light brown but he still has those pretty orange eyes.  He still eats poop but now that we have just 2 dogs he doesn’t get as much as he previously did.

The people that gave him away really missed out on a wonderful dog.  Short of Kira, he is one of the best dogs I have ever had.

Tina: Aka Troll Dog

This is Tina on the left.  She is a full Pitt Bull but is tiny.  She is about half the size of a normal Pitt.  She is just barely over 1 year old and was brought to HART full of puppies.  She birthed them in the kennel and just weaned them off her milk.  All but one of the puppies has already been adopted.

We took her in as a foster because the woman that classifies dogs tagged her as aggressive toward children and other dogs and as toy aggressive.  So she to our home.

On the first introduction to the house she just started wagging her tail like crazy and ran over to me wanting some attention.  All of the dogs did their usually sniffs and there was no aggression at all.  We had already picked up all of the toys so that there wouldn’t be any fights.  She appears to be very sweet and affectionate.  She can jump on the bed (which is 3x her height) without missing a stride.  She has powerful back legs and ears that are very expressive.  Unlike Goof, her ears can stand up and rotate like radar.

Goof: My new best friend

Prior to Kira leaving Goof was a great little dog and was incredibly affectionate and fun to play with.  But after Kira was gone he started staying with me in my office and started sleeping against me every night.  As time has gone on he has turned into my shadow.

When I got Goof I was concerned that he would turn into Mike’s dog because Mike works from home every day and I figured that Goof would decide Mike was his best friend.  But it appears that Goof has decided that he likes me over Mike.

Kira and Goof got cold

Just as I was recovering from being sick and not able to eat, I woke up at 2am with both Kira and Goof laying tightly against me.  While it is normal for Goof to sleep near me, Kira doesn’t like to be within 2 feet of anyone and never against them.  Both were shivering.

We normally keep the house on a schedule to save energy and let it drop down to 60 at night.  But when I checked the thermostat it was down to 53.  I pushed the temperature up to 68 but nothing happened.  It was 19 degrees F outside.

I put a small blanket over Goof and one on Kira.  Goof stayed curled up and slowly stopped shivering.  Kira kicked her blanket off and kept pressed against me shivering.

First thing in the morning I called the AC repair company that installed the unit 2 years ago and they said they were booked but would try to find a way to fit us in for an emergency visit.  We pay $400 a year for a maintenance contract that includes the cost of any emergencies and adds a bit of priority to us.

During the day we tried various things and found that it we flipped the emergency switch by the unit that it could be brought back to life for about 15 minutes.  I didn’t think it was particularly good for the unit to keep flipping that switch.  So we found that going to the thermostat and turning it to off for a minute and then back to heat that it would run the same 15 minute cycle.  So, all day long the dogs huddled together and shivered while wore long coats and kept cycling the unit.  We got the house up to about 63 by 5pm.

At about 6pm the repair person arrived and after about 30 minutes of testing he found that a protective switch was failing and told us that we could keep cycling it without damaging it.  We got the house up to 66 but it will drop again.  We got out a little oil space heater and have put it in the room with Kira so that she won’t shiver so bad.

I am getting better

I haven’t eaten anything in 4 days but today I finally made some eggs and was able to keep them down.  It always messes me up when a dog goes down.  Somehow these critters just get to me and I cannot handle their exit.  I know what we did for Remy was right.  He would have slowly died from not being able to eat.  I just hate doing it.  I think I get more upset as I get older.

Life is getting a little back to normal for me.  For the first time in a week I didn’t accidentally put Remy’s bowl out. Every day this week I have fixed 4 breakfast for the dogs and then fussed at myself for putting a bowl down for Remy. I made some eggs and kept them down. This has been the worst birthday that I can remember.

But life goes on.  Goofy McGoofface is curled up under my office chair and Kira is sleeping soundly.  It is 26 outside and the house is below 60. It is going to be a bad winter.

I do miss Remy terribly.

Goofy: He makes me smile

The past year has been one of the most difficult that I can remember. The job is at the edge of success and failure and I have gone without salary through out it, not just one but two small tornados hit our house in the summer tearing up the porch and roof, and recently failures of hardware in our production system at work that have kept me working 24hours a day for a couple of weeks have just worn me down. I drive to work knowing that I have no choice but to stay and I drive home wishing that I didn’t have to make the drive.  My staff happily takes vacation and leaves me without coverage for customer support so I am working 13 hour days to cover for them.  And recently, my phone battery ruptured and melted down losing everything that I had in it.  I have backups, but my replacement phone won’t accept the backup.

Tonight I was sitting in my office thinking about what to do about my failed phone and just making myself more depressed when the little orange goofball came running in the room, looked at me, and then jumped on me pushing me and my chair into the wall and knocking over my laptop and a few other things. In the mood that I was in, I would think that I would have just yelled at him, but instead I surprised myself that I just laughed, hugged him, and then wrestled with him.

In all of the problems I have had, this little reincarnation of Darby that I call Goof just seems to be able to break the mood and make me smile when I least expect it. Every night I go to bed and he is somewhere else. Every morning I wake up and he is laying with his back against me and his head on my pillow. He doesn’t move a bit no matter if I toss and turn (which is pretty common) and will lay there silently till I reach over and touch his nose. During the work week I touch his nose at 6am, but on weekends I touch it at 8am. He sits there so silently waiting for his breakfast but won’t bother me till I touch his nose.

When I touch his nose, he stands up, stretches, and then lays on me and chews on my hand until I wrestle with him. Then I give him breakfast. He is the most energetic, affectionate, and patient dog I have seen. Every dog is different, but this one can do bad things and I just fuss, fix, and move on. I don’t do that with the other dogs. Something about this little thing is unique.

Goof: Just a wonderful companion

I still cannot imagine how someone could throw this little dog away.  Yes he is energetic and wants a lot of attention, but he gives back more than any dog we have had.  Every morning I find him laying on the bed with his head on the pillow next to me and when I move, he adjusts.  When I wake, he is watching me and slaps me in the face with a paw to start the morning.  We wrestle and play for a while and then I get up and for my shower and shave and he waits by the door.

I really am happy that this little dog likes me.  I feared that I would never have a dog like Kira that liked me and stuck with me, but I was wrong.  Goof seems to really like me.

He is just so much a Darby reincarnation that I have to think that this kind of dog personality must exist all over the place.  When I walk through the house, he walks with me watching me… literally looking at my face… for direction.  When I sit down or lay down, he lays on my foot or finds a way to be touching me.

I am really glad we adopted this little guy.  He does get into trouble and he cannot be trusted alone in the yard, but in time I think he will figure out the boundaries.  He is only 1.5 years old right now.

Goof: Emotionally intelligent

I was quite upset this morning when I went out to feed the chickens and found a henhouse filled with feathers and one chicken.  All of the other chickens were killed and taken.  Mike thinks it was a raccoon.  I don’t know how it got in the henhouse.

I was all teary eyed and a bit of a surprise happened.  Goofy McGoofface became really affectionate and wanted to sit on me.  He pawed on me and tried to lick my face.  That is pretty unusual for him.  I am thinking that this little dog is emotionally intelligent and knows when I am upset.

Sure there are all kinds of videos of really smart and exceptional dogs, but I never thought I would have one.  Kira is emotionally intelligent but she is not a particularly affectionate dog so it balances out.  But Goofy is an affectionate dog and he is showing that he is more than a furry meat bag.

Goof: What a great dog

So, we have had Goofy McGoofface for about 8 months now and he is turning out to be a wonderful dog.  He definitely isn’t a Labrador and you cannot trust him off the leash.  But he is the most affectionate little animal we have had since Grindel.

Every night I go to sleep in the bed with just Kira and every morning I wake up with Goof laying on his back with his head on the pillow right beside me.  I barely sleep through the night and most everything wakes me up, but he is able to jump on the bed (it is a 3 foot jump) and then snuggle down beside me without waking me.

I don’t know why anyone would give up this dog.  He is a handful when it comes to training him, but he is so food driven that training has been fairly easy.  We have had much worse dogs that took a lot of work to train but this little pooch is smart (he gets into everything), loyal (he will come to me but not to Mike or Duane… <big grin>), and he is simple (yell Squirrel and he forgets anything he is thinking about).

Goofy McGoofface is just a great dog.

Goof: What fun it is

GoofAfterABathI haven’t written in a while as I shut down my server due to security problems with WordPress.  Those have been patched so I made the server available again.

Goof is just an incredibly sweet and frustrating dog.  He has lots of the personality of Darby but he isn’t nearly as mischievous.  He does tear up the plants and he likes to sleep in a little ball under my left arm every night.

During the last week he discovered that there is something under the deck in the back yard.  He crawled under and when he came out, his chest and feet were covered with dirt and rock that was used to fill in under the deck.

He did this on Monday and Mike didn’t clean him up.  Today was a unique day in which Mike is out recuing a dog and he called to ask me to fill the dog tub with stuff to treat the pooch for fleas and ticks.  While I had the hose out to fill the pool, I grabbed Goof and washed him.

I don’t think he has ever been washed. He does have short hair so it is understandable that he doesn’t need to be washed as the fur comes out every season.  But in this case he needed to be washed.

He was curiously watching the tub fill and I grabbed him by the collar and then turned the hose on him.  He went ballistic and started screaming and wiggling to get away.  I held him tight and eventually pinched his back end between my legs as I hosed him down.  I got just as wet as he did but he got his first bath.

When I let him go, it was like letting a Tasmanian devil out of a cage.  He just started running through the house, around the deck, and just went crazy.  He is like a cat in a lot of ways in his reaction to excitement.

Goofy McGooface is a keeper

Well… Goofy is an appropriate name for this little dog. I suppose he isn’t little my most measures but after considering Clifford a normal dog and the Great Dane horse dog that w fostered, Goof is a bit small.

Indeed, he only weighs about 45 pounds and I can pick him up.  But he is as tall as Remy or Kira.

Anyhow… he gets into everything.  His sniffer is excellent and his eyes can see in the dark.  So he sees everything and gets into everything.  If you change the simplest object in the room, he will notice, investigate, and if it is small… he will take it

Goof: The monkey boy

Well.. Goof is a perfect fit for me.  I have come to hate people due to the stupid drive I do every morning and evening which is 20 miles but takes 1.5 hours.  The absurdity of the drive just makes me want to disconnect.

On the other hand, our normal dogs are just “dogs”.  They don’t do much.  But this new Goofy McGooface dog is intrusive.  He is disruptive.  He won’t let me just sit and play a game or watch TV.  He jumps on me when he is bored and he disrupts everything.  Even in the morning when I get up for work at 5:30am, he is sitting there staring at me and the moment I move he throws a paw on my face and then chews on my hand.  I have learned that if I am to sleep in on the weekends that I need to be silent and still so as not to attract his attention.

He is still learning.  He stole Kira’s food and I smacked him on the butt and he ran out the dog door.  He wouldn’t come back inside till I went out on the deck and welcomed him.  This dog is smart.

This dog is good for me.  He challenges my patience.  He is just so happy about everything that I wish I were a dog. He is so emotionally reactive that I want to apply human thoughts to him.  He isn’t that complex though.  He is driven by food and attention.  He is into everything.

Goofy: House privileges

Goofy McGoofface has graduated to getting house privileges when we are away.  We started by giving him a short time free in the house when we went to the store or mowed the field (2 to 3 hours) and he didn’t destroy anything and didn’t have any accidents.  We transitioned to locking the doggy door and leaving him for 6 hours and he didn’t destroy anything.  The only thing that has gone bad in this process is that Kira is accustomed to going out whenever she wants and so she has had accidents with the doggy door shut.

Goof seems to be treating this as his home and he doesn’t challenge the fence at all.  We haven’t had the electric fence on for a long while and grass has grown near the wires.  So I need to clear the fence of grass and test out the electric wire and then we can transition to letting him stay home with the doggy door open.

By the way, he prefers staying at home.  He gets terribly car sick whenever he has to ride to work.  He is the first dog that we have had that just hates riding in the car.

Goofy: A good match

You know, I have often wondered why we have all these dogs and if it enhances our lives beyond feeling like we are doing something good for the community.  To put it into perspective, I have always had dogs, and they have always been functional on the farm.  Shepherds to help with the cows or other livestock were the most common.

As an anecdote, as a child, I had always had Shepherds and when my neighbor got a Golden Retriever, I watched him throw the ball with the dog and I was just amazed.  My father never would throw a baseball with me so I desperately wanted to throw the ball with my dog.  I tried over and over to throw the ball with my dog “Frisky” but I could hit her between the eyes with the ball and she would just look at me.  Like Shepherds, she was very protective of me and if anything entered the yard, she would get between me and the person (or cow in some cases) and defend me fiercely.  I could pull her hair or do just about anything and she would protect me.  But she didn’t have any interest in chasing a ball or anything else.  She died protecting me on the 4th of July when my siblings set off fireworks that spun on the porch and she tried to lay on them to stop them.

I never loved a dog since and then when I got my first house I got a little puppy from a puppy mill that had been raided and that little dog adored me.  There is nothing like having a dog that you love and that just seems to adore you back.  She died when I bought this house.

Then many years later I got Darby that just adored me, and he was abruptly taken away by an accident.

The point is, you can have dogs and they are wonderful companions, but they do not make me feel like I have something I would walk into a burning house to save except for a very few.  We have rescued over 100 dogs and I train all of them but I still see them as dogs and I often find them to have annoying habits.  But when there is a rare occasion that you have a dog that you overlook all of the things that you would find annoying, you know you have a dog that has really fit with you.

Goofy McGoofface is that dog for me.  Kira is a great dog, but she has no affection other than she sees me as her protector.  But Goof just seems to respond to me.  When he came to us as a foster, the HART organization were sure that I would dislike the dog and so he was safe.  But I think my reaction surprised everyone.  I tried to dislike him.  I called him ugly and tried to ignore him.  But I really adore him.  With all of the problems I am having with work and my own health, Goof gives me a reason to deal with the drudgery of the terrible drive home.  I have something to look forward to and something to care for.

Goofy: Goofy McGoofface

I have been told that Goofy isn’t a good name for a dog.  Mom says “it isn’t regal enough”, Mike says I can’t name a dog something stupid, and people at work roll their eyes.  When we foster dogs, within a couple of weeks of having them I get to know their personality and a name just comes to me.  It isn’t always regal, and it isn’t always flattering.  But from that point on I hear that name in my head when I see the dog.

Goof is really a very goofy dog.  He runs around the house in fits like a cat, pounces on me whenever I am at his level, and brings me gifts like small dead animals or disgusting maggot infested things he has dug up.  When he decides it is dinner time, it doesn’t matter what I am doing, he comes to me and then slaps my hand away from whatever I am doing.  If I don’t respond in a few slaps, he jumps on me and puts his chest in my lap and then stares at me.  If I still ignore, he gets down, and then jumps in the air and punches me in the nose with his nose.  It is almost humorous.

In the morning or at night, he will be outside and I will hear the dog door open and then it sounds like a heard of animals running through the house.  He runs like a puppy, and leaps in the air about 5 feet from the bet and lands on the bed without even shaking it and then gently walks across the bed as if he is stalking me, and then leaps into the air and body slams me on the bed.  He rolls onto his back throws his head back and wants a belly rub.

I know this is the dog for me because with most dogs I would get really upset with this kind of misbehavior.  But I just find it adorable.  Mike calls him “bad dog” all the time, but he is not a bad dog.  He is an energetic young dog.

Well, anyhow, when I watch him, he is acting just like a goofy little puppy.  I just look at him and I think he is the goofiest thing I have ever seen.  You just have to watch him chase a fly or a shadow to see.  He acts so stupid, but he is really very smart.  He is gets into everything.  If you put a ball in the room, he will notice it on walking in.  And he is quick to learn right and wrong.  It just takes two scolding’s before he stops being bad.  He still tests the boundaries.  For instance, he is a food hound but after being fussed at a couple of times for stealing Kira’s food, he now sits in the laundry room while Kira is eating and silently sits.  When she is done, she goes out the doggy door.  If I am still standing by her bowl (I stand by her bowl when feeding her to keep the other dogs from taking her food.  She is 14 and they will take advantage of her weakness if I am not there.) he will sit in the laundry room where he was fed and stare at the bowl.  If I walk away, but go around the corner, he will look right and left, then stalk forward very slowly toward her bowl.  He takes a few steps, looks around, then a few more, looks around, and then when he gets to the bowl, he stops and looks around to see if anyone is going to fuss.  If no fuss is made, he eats whatever is left in her bow.  If I step out from hiding, he stops, sits, and then won’t touch her bowl.

He is a smart little dog.  He is an adorable little dog.  And I was recently reading about the British exploration ship that is being built and the idea that they had to have the Internet name the ship only to find the largest result was “Boaty McBoatface”.  The ship didn’t take on that name, but they named one of the submersibles after the internet name.

So, with everyone saying that Goof isn’t royal enough, I say, what could be more royal than to name a dog after the name of a part of the British Royal Navy.  His new full name is….

da ta da da daaaa da…. Goofy McGoofface.

Now that is regal!

Goofy: Home

I have not written in a while as “I” adopted goof.  I write that specifically because I adopted him and Mike declared that he was my responsibility.  Despite his declaration. he has taken Goof to work on the days that he has to work from MD and has taken care of the dog.

But, he has treated the dog as a distant relative. And this is good.  Mike works from home so any dog it likely to bond to Mike rather than me.  It was rare when I got Kira that I was home for 8 months between jobs where I took care of her and she bonded to me.  She has always been my dog simply because she bonded to me in her youth.  So, Mike has been exceptional in not letting Goof bond to him and pushing him to me.

In any case, we adopted Goof.  Not a single person likes his name of “Goof” so I named him officially “Goofy”.  My mom disliked the name because it wasn’t “regal” enough for a dog.  Well… that tells me that “Goof” is the right name.  He isn’t regal in any way.  He is the most stupid thing I have ever seen and yet the most loveable thing.  He is truly goofy in every way.

Well.. I ended up making him two tags at Pet Smart.  One says “Apollo” and the other says “Goofy”.  The Apollo tag has Mike’s name and phone and the one that says “Goofy” has my name and phone.  I satisfied the political problem with his name, and now it is just a matter of habit.

Goofy: The monkey

Well, now that the house is back to normal and I am not mad at Mike for bringing home the horse, I have gone back to calling the little brown dog “Goofy”.  He truly is Goofy.  I also call him “monkey” as he just crawls on everything and gets into everything.

He is a really convenient dog.  He has no sign of aggression and seems to be put together with rubber bands.  He flexes in every direction on his own.  His most goofy trait is that every morning at 6:30, he wakes up, gets on the bed, and then lays on me and paws at my face until I either grab his nose and play with him or crawl out of the bed and feed all the dogs.  Yes, just another case of the dogs being spoiled little things.

He only weighs 50 pounds even though he is the same size of Kira.  Kira is 85 pounds and hard to pick up.  But Goofy is so light that it is easy to pick him up and put him where you want him.  When I do “pick up”, he just lays there happy as can be.  “pick up” is where I grab the dog and turn it upside down and hold in my lap.  It is basically dominating them and reminding them that I am boss.  I do it to all of the dogs.  When I say “pick up”, Kira turns around ready for it, Remy turns around ready, Clifford runs away, and Goofy turns his head as if he doesn’t understand.  Clifford is the only one that hates “pick up”.  But occasionally I snag him too.


Back to normal

Oh, it has been a wonderful weekend.  To a normal person this would be considered a hectic weekend, but when you put everything into perspective, going from 6 dogs to 4 is a very welcome thing.  I was able to open the windows and doors to the deck so that the dogs had free roam while I cleaned the pond.  I vacuumed without any growls, and was able to clean the bathrooms without worrying about JB sticking his nose in the Clorox.

Thank goodness… we are back to a sane balance of humans and animals.

Piss and fostering

I sometimes question why I foster dogs when they piss all over my house, poop in every room, and ruin every rug.  But when we get a dog adopted that we took in, fostered, and changed to a good pet, the feelings come though so strongly that I know why I foster.

It is still very frustrating to walk through your home at 1am and step in a puddle where a dog has pissed in the night.

We are taking care of a dog that is not a foster.  JB is the dog of a friend that is taking a Cruise.  We knew of this in January before Atlas was our foster.  Mike forgot about that or thought that Atlas would be here only 2 weeks.

Either way, we have 6 dogs in the house.  Apollo (aka Goof), Kira. Clifford, and Remy are permanent.  Atlas is the foster and JB is the dog we are taking care of.

That is a lot of dogs.

JB is back

Well, JB is back.  I call him “Santa’s little helper”.  I had agreed months ago to dog sit JB for a friend when they were on vacation.  Mike seemed to have forgotten about that when he took in Atlas so now we will have 6 dogs in the house.

I do find it interesting that Mike is willing to take Atlas and Goof to work at the same time but has no problem locking JB in a cage.  I haven’t figured out his mental processes, but I am thinking that if he is the one that takes on a responsibility, he will adapt his life to the responsibility.  Whereas, if I take on a responsibility, he sees it as a secondary thing.

Originally I thought that all dogs were the same.  But I am beginning to realize that dogs that he chooses are better than a dog that I might choose.

Goof may be a loss… yet

Well.. tonight Apollo seems to have turned back to being my pup.  He is back to normal and is not pestering the gigantic dog (Atlas) .  He has returned to his pattern of checking in on me every hour to just get a scratch on the neck and then he runs off.

Apollo is back to acting like Darby.


Atlas at work

Well… Mike took both Atlas and Goof to work.  Apparently everyone loved both of them and asked if he would bring them back on  Thursday.

So much for the theory that they would disrupt the workspace.  I cannot possibly take dogs to work because two of my staff are scared to death of dogs.  Goof might be OK.  But Atlas would probably cause an HR event.

Atlas day two

Well, Goof (aka Apollo) is in love with Atlas and has decided that humans don’t exist.  He walks around looking at Atlas like he is better than a bowl of food.  So, I have lost the little dog I adopted.  He seemed to adore me so much.  I thought I had another Darby, but clearly I just have a puppy that loves anything that seems bigger than him.

Atlas is persona non grata with me.  I am still thinking through why I am so mad.  I have narrowed it down to not even being asked if he could be our foster.  I have thought about it and if Mike had asked if the animal could be brought home, I would have capitulated.  But I think I am angry because I wasn’t even asked.



Apollo is now officially Goofy

I stopped on the way home and got the new dog a handsome collar and a tag.  The collar is grey and black with a reflective tape on parts of it.  I almost got Blue, but decided that he is a manly dog and needed the grey kind of colors.

I bought a dog tag and put his name of “Goofy” in comic font.  I call him “Goof” but everyone says that is a bad name for a dog.  So, I named him “Goofy” after the Disney character and people seem to be OK with that.

I got home and put the tag on his collar and Mike just rolled his eyes at me.  But the little guy seems to adore me.

Goof is from an alien nation

Yea, after trying to capture him from the back yard where he couldn’t escape an electric fence, I have determined that this creature is from an alien nation trying to test us on how we would react to a loveable little fluffy creature that is trying to do everything possible to escape.

Goof is like a roller coaster of emotion

Sometimes he is incredibly sweet.  Sometimes he is infuriating.

If he is in the yard and you want him in and you try to approach him he darts around you and you cannot catch him.  If you ignore him and walk away, he runs to your side.  And yet, if you lay on the bed he will appear every 20 minutes to lick you in the face and then take off on his own.

When the Eherlic guy was here and pet on him, the comment was “he is sweet and soft” and then he said he could easily find a home for him.

Indeed he is a gorgeous pup and he has some good traits.  But I am so accustomed to the Labrador personality that I am struggling to learn to deal with something like this.

Goof is going to be king of the castle

I never thought I would see it, but Kira just gave in to Goof.  Kira ia 15 and can barely stand up.  But when Goof challenged her, she growled and snapped and then laid down.

Goof has already put Remy in his place so all that is left is Clifford.  Putting a young 100 pound lab against a 50 pound Pit/Lab mix probably won’t result in anything good.  I can already see Goof challenging Clifford.

It is not horrible if Goof becomes dominant in the dogs, but it will be bad if he tries to do the same with Mike or me.  This is something we need to watch for.  In the dogs, there is a social order.  Goof just rearranged it.  But he cannot be allowed to think he is anything other than a dog to humans.  We need to work carefully with this pup to keep him in place.

Kira and my back, and Goof learning the electric fence

Well… first off… I am walking with crutches right now because Kira is having problems and I had to pick her up to help her out.  In the process of picking her up I didn’t do it right and pinched a nerve in my back.  My legs went numb and I haven’t slept in 2 nights because of the shooting pain down both legs.  I am wearing my brace and went to the doctor who gave me something to stop the muscle spasms but not make me go deaf.

On the other hand, I had to take half a day of vacation on Monday because Goof kept trying to get out of the fence.  I have a couple of electric generators that will kill chickens and rabbits but won’t kill a dog of his size so I wired them up and fixed up the wire at Goof’s nose height.  There are 2 wires but I only needed to electrify one.

Well… within an hour of electrifying the fence I heard Goof yelp and come running to the house.  It wasn’t an hour later before he touched his pink nose to the wire again.  This is why the wire is there.  It will keep him in the yard unsupervised.

But he is a stubborn little beast and he won’t accept that he can’t do whatever he wants.  He is going to be a handful.  But at least he doesn’t have the problems of Darby destroying everything in his path.  Maybe I have a moderate challenge instead of an extreme challenge.

I worked from home today so he wouldn’t live his life in a cage but so that he wouldn’t get into trouble.

Goof: Wake up!

Oh my stars.  I was on the phone with my mother from 8pm till 1am and I stayed up till 5am thinking through everything that we talked about.  I am not the best of children and rarely go home but occasionally mom and I talk and it is a marathon.

Well… Goof got tired and went to bed long before I did.  I went to bed at 2am and all 4 dogs were on the bed.  There was no room for me.  So, I got my favorite yellow blankey and I went to the basement and slept on the old couch that I have had for 30 years.  That thing just puts you to sleep when you lay in it.  It is the exact opposite of that great German couch in the living room.

Well…. I didn’t go to bed till 5am so I didn’t wake up at 6am which is when I normally get up and feed the dogs and chickens.  They all waited… except Goof.  Kira, Clifford, and Remy camped out staring at me but they never made a noise.  Goof… on the other hand, jumped on me, grabbed my right hand and started chewing on me.

Goof is a pup.  And a really interesting pup.

The little pisser

Goof had no house training when he arrived.  He routinely would poop in the room with all of Mike’s plants.  That was easy to clean up, but he poops a lot.

What is worse though is that he hasn’t mastered the idea that he should stand still when he pees.  If you can get him outside when he seems to stop everything he is doing, you can keep him from having an accident.  But if you don’t catch him, he just starts leaking and trots through the house as if he is trying to make one stream through every hall and into every room.  He doesn’t appear to be running to the dog door or anything.

He has learned the dog door and runs outside when he has to poop now.  And he usually runs outside to pee.  But, like tonight, sometimes he just starts leaking and wanders around peeing.  He was over visiting someone from HART and just started peeing on the woman and then walked around peeing as if nothing was happening.

What is odd is that when I see him take himself outside, he hasn’t learned to lift a leg and most of the time he pees on his front legs or on whatever happens to be in the way.  But there is hope.  Yesterday he went outside and tried to lift a leg while leaking but didn’t seem to get that he needed to stop the other 3 feet and so he had one leg in the air while hobbling forward on the other feet and then fell over on his face.

But it is clear that he is a puppy and the instincts to care for himself are beginning to develop.  If you read way back to when I first got Kira I found it incredibly interesting that she didn’t know how to feed herself, how to stand to pee, or what to do when she had a bone.  She would fall face forward into her food or water, would pee and sniff herself as if she didn’t know where the liquid was coming from, and when she had a bone she would walk around the basement putting it in a corner, under a couch cushion, or under a table, then paw at the air as if digging in dirt and flipping her nose like she was pushing the dirt.

I missed those months of Goof, but some of his instincts are still developing and I am getting to see that again.  Last night he got on the bed, tried to dig, pushed the covers with his nose, but had no idea what to do next.  I suspect that in the coming week or so he will dig, turn, nose the covers, dig, and then lay down in the little bed he just made for himself.

It is really interesting watching their natural instincts turn on.

How could you hate this creature?

How can you not adore that thing

How can you not adore that thing

So, I ask.  How in the world could you take something that is this cute, bring it into your home and then discard it.  Yes, he is a bundle of energy and is just crazy.  But he is adorable, sleeps on the bed and lays a paw on your chest in the morning till you wake up.  He doesn’t tear up the house, doesn’t destroy furniture, and doesn’t wake you up early.

He does investigate everything, does steal from the counter, and cannot be trusted on his own unless the electric fence is working.

But he is an adorable addition to my home.

Why does everyone hate “Goof”

OK.. this is not negotiable.  I have named this dog “Goof”.  Everyone hates the name.  Is it because it is not regal enough for a dog in my home?  Is it because no dog has had such a name.

This dog isn’t regal.  This dog is not traditional.  This dog is literally “goofy”. His head is too big, his feet are too big, his privates are too big, his tail is too small, his ears are too big.  He looks just stupidly goofy.  So every time I give him food and try to teach him a trick, I say “pay attention goofy” or I say “sit goofy”.  When I want him to come around, I say “come goofy”.

Sure, I could name him “Aristotle” or some other great Greek name that shows my grand admiration for how good this dog will become.  But, lets face it.  That is a facade.  The dog is goofy.  He falls down when running, when laying by me in the bed he is half upside down and half right side up.  When he is excited he stands perfectly upright on his back legs and balances himself with his tail but otherwise prefers to lay on me like I am his pillow.  This dog is, by every thought… goofy.  and every time I look at him I address him as “goof”.

Oh wait. I could name him “de loi était“.  Would that make everyone happy? Or how about “doof”?  Maybe “mentecato“?

So, why can’t I call him “Goof”.   It is just too darn hard to say “de Loi Etait”.  So, let’s keep it simple and say “Goof”.

Hmmm… seems like that is a good name for the pooch.  By the way.. the alternative is “Caramel” which seems to be hated more than “De Loi Etait”.

Apollo is now named Goof

I paid the fees to adopt him and he is only 9 months old so I can name him anything I want.  Whenever I look at him, I cannot help but call him “goof”.  He is just stupid wrinkly, stupid happy, and just stupid, but if you get to know him, he is anything but stupid.   This is the most goofy creature I have seen but has the intelligence to actually be an incredible companion.

Goof has short hair, a wrinkly forehead that expresses emotion as well as Kira.  He won’t shed a lot, and his nose is the color of his fur so I think he will be consistent in his fur as he ages.  He has the most incredible yellow eyes like a bull terrier.  He snuggles up in the bed and turns into a little ball of warmth. In the morning, he lays in the bed without moving until you look at him and then he licks you.  He is completely beholden to humans.

But all is not good.  He leaks when excited, he poops in the house if he cannot get out the dog door, and he makes the most awful sound if you have him locked in a cage.  It isn’t even a cry.  It is something between whimpering and yodeling that is absolutely painful to hear.  It makes you cry just hearing the sound he makes when he is unhappy.

It will take a lot of work, a lot of patience, and a lot of doggie crackers.  But I think this little beast can become a very good companion.


Goof (aka Apollo) isn’t going anywhere

We call this a “foster failure”.  It is where the foster home loves a dog so much that they adopt the dog.

We have fostered “Apollo” for 6 weeks now and well…. I just adopted him.

I have been the CEO of a company, COO, and various other officer like things.  I know when something is right and when something is wrong.  And when this dog got here, I knew it was right.  There isn’t a magic pill or a specific thing that I can identify.  But from the start, I knew this little dog would be part of our home.  I have spend 6 weeks hoping he would get adopted, hoping I would not like him, and trying my best to kick him to the curb.

But that just isn’t possible.  He is ugly, he is difficult, he is intelligent, he gets into everything, and I adore him.

I gave in today… and I adopted him.  A foster failure.  Mike should never have brought him home.  He is Darby’s soul in a different body and I won’t fail this time.

Apollo == Goof

Apollo is a stupid name and reminds me of lots of government failures.  I look at this little friend and I cannot call him Apollo.

I look at him and call him Goof.  I paid the fee to adopt him, and so I have the privilege of naming him.  He doesn’t answer to “Apollo” and he is only 9 months old… so he will be forever called “Goof”.

Apollo adoption

I have not written much about Apollo.  He has been a really interesting foster.  He is an intelligent, inquisitive, and free spirit.  He gets into everything but he is not destructive.  Compare him to Kira (my girl).  Kira is the most well behaved dog I have ever seen but as a 9 month old puppy she chewed up the legs to an antique sewing table and I struggled to keep her in control just walking the property.

Kira is 100% Labrador and so her personality evolved exactly as expected.  And she is the perfect companion for me.  But she is near the end of her life and I will be devastated when she dies.

As I did with Bones (Mike’s beloved dog) I arranged to adopt Remy before Bones died. But Bones lived a lot longer than I expected so I ended up arranging to adopt Clifford to help in the transition.  The strategy worked and the move from a lifelong companion was eased by moving to another companion that was similar in color and size.

Well… Kira is a dog that shares my soul.  She is moody, grumpy, happy, affectionate, and determined.  She is a mirror image of me.  But she doesn’t have long left.  I truly thought that she would die last year, but she pulled through.

I need a companion.  I really need something that really adores me so that I have something to care for.  Not just a random creature that I adopt but that doesn’t care in the least about me.  I really need a creature that looks to me as the most important thing to their life and I look to them as the most important thing I must care for.

That relationship is really difficult to find.  I have it with Kira to a limited degree.  Kira appears to exist with no dependency on any other creature in life but she dislikes Mike significantly more than me so she stays with me.  She doesn’t adore me or see me as anything more than the alpha that doesn’t hurt her.  Mike gives her shots, gives her meds, and does the difficult things.  I pet and love on her and so I am the most desirable protector.  But she doesn’t adore me.

I never knew what it was like to have an animal that absolutely adored me until I had Darby.  If you look back in my posts, Darby was one of the most difficult dogs we ever fostered.  But he showed me something that I have never seen or felt before.  Darby absolutely adored me and was so attached that his life revolved around me.  I liked him a lot, but he created terrible problem in that he was so destructive.  I hated caging him but he could not be let loose on his own.

Let’s not get me wrong here.  I absolutely adored Darby.  But he absolutely destroyed our home.  You can read about what he did to the house.  But no matter what he did, I loved him and loved his soul.

I have a chance with Apollo to fix the mistakes I made.  This dog appears to be the exact incarnation of Darby in a different body.  I mean, this personality is precisely Darby.  He is ugly and cute at the same time.  He is 9 months old, he adores me, he is uncontrollable, and in every way he is Darby except that he is not destructive.

It would be a very bad thing to adopt a dog because he reminded me of a dog that I let die in bad circumstances.  But I do not think I am trying to recreate Darby in another dog. Apollo is unique.  He is interesting, he is a free spirit (like Darby) and he seems to have a soul like Darby.  But he is not Darby.  He is a wrinkly terrier mix that walks upright and he doesn’t have the least desire for birds, squirrels, or groundhogs.  He doesn’t care in the least of the chickens.  He isn’t Darby.

But he has everything I loved in Darby and he seems to adore me.  This will take a lot of work and a lot of patience, but this dog could something really great.

I love most all dogs.  But it is rare that one really touches me so deeply as Darby or Apollo.

We call this a “foster failure” and well.. I am pleased with this failure.