Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Meet Leo!

Sam and I rescued a 10 month old mixed labrador from an animal shelter over the weekend. Never in my wildest imagination did I ever think I would be a dog owner, but here we are! It's funny because even just 4 months ago when we were looking at the house we bought, our relator said "What a great fenced-in backyard for a dog" and I immediately said "Oh no, we will never get a dog. I hate dogs!" Well, it wasn't too much later that Sam's mom got a new puppy (Jax) and we were visiting her and I had so much fun walking and playing with Jax! My experience with dogs up til that point had been one biting me as a child and another breaking through a fence and charging at me barking and growling while I collected money on my paper route as a teenager. Plus, I thought dogs were smelly and hairy and drooled and seemed to always poop wherever I liked to walk.

However, as I played with Jax, I realized that I might like to have a dog IF and only IF the dog was small enough for me to control and not be frightened he was going to eat me. So, we started taking our time looking on shelter websites and we deliberated about what it would mean to have a dog and not be able to spur of the moment leave for a long period of time but ultimately, we decided the pros out weighed the cons. Sam's requirements for a dog: smart enough to learn tricks, well behaved, and large enough he wouldn't be a snack for other dogs. My requirements: doesn't yappity yap and drive me nuts, active outside but wouldn't ruin our new house inside, and small enough he wouldn't eat me. Leo meets every requirement! Amazing!

We found him at the animal shelter and he was the only dog not jumping up to the window and barking; we walked by and he was calmly laying on a blanket in his room and when we opened the door, he walked right over and sat down. To this day, he still has never barked, so maybe his vocal chords are damaged?? Or he just hasn't found a good enough reason to bark! He is 10 months old and 54 pounds, so a good size dog and will likely get a little bigger. The shelter has him listed as mixed breed, but he definitely has a lot of black labrador in him because he is smart and very well behaved. Sam is using "clicker training" to teach Leo how to behave and he catches on quick! He already makes eye contact when you call his name and he sits on command. Only had one small pee accident in the house the first day he was home and since then has consistently gone outside. He even poops in the spot we took him to originally in the yard where we want him to go! What a champ! Sam said he sleeps through the night in his crate in the office and never whines or barks when Sam puts him in.

So, we are dog owners now and so far so good!

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