Friday, June 28, 2013

New pack member

Back in February a friend of ours put a message on Facebook asking for help. She had three dogs, and her fiance has two (?) and they were moving into a smaller place and just couldn't keep all the dogs. Her black lab, Jack, she claimed was extremely laid back and they decided he would be the one who could cope best with getting a new home.

It's been an interesting couple of months, but Jack joined our pack on Wednesday.

I really hope we did the right thing.

He's a good dog- she was right he's very laid back, eager to please, and intelligent. But he's also huge! People say how big Zack is (our mutt we brought with from New Zealand), but he's tiny compared to Jack. I've never brought an adult dog into a pack before, only ever started from the puppy stage. I always thought going to straight to adult dog would be so much easier. I still think that's sometimes possibly true, but not in this case. He's not really trained and it's making me really appreciate how well trained Zack is. When going through the feeding ritual this morning, I made Zack sit and wait until I released him for his food, all good. Then I needed Steve's help to get Jack to sit because I'm physically not strong enough to push his backside down. Unfortunately, every time I told Jack to sit, Zack would stop eating and sit and look at me. Poor guy!

I know we'll get there with him. I just wasn't expecting it to be this hard, you know? I'm taking him to the vet today as he has a skin issue. The back half of him has no hair to speak of, and he's itchy and in pain. It's so hard when he scratches and scratches and then looks at you with his big brown eyes and whines like, "Can you make it stop?" We're going to try, big guy.

The other major difference between the two dogs is the way they move. It's hilarious! Zack has quite a bit of huntaway in him, a herding breed from New Zealand, so he moves low and fast. He's very economical in the way he moves, no wasted effort. Jack, on the other hand, is a great big lumnoxing goof ball. He lollops along just happy to be here.

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