Sunday, December 15, 2013

Meet Walter

Since Angel lived to the ripe ol' age of 14, we had plenty of time to discuss and think about what would happen after Angel.  We agreed it'd be nice to a little bit of a dog break, mostly for the purposes of traveling without worrying about boarding.  Over much of the last year, we've tossed around ideas of what kind of dog would best fit our family.  We like the slightly easier upkeep of a small dog, but the security of a big dog is a big plus for me.  If I ever felt the need to open the door for a stranger, I loved that they'd take several big steps back when I let Angel stand in front of me and bark at them.  

We kept going back and forth on what we should be looking for, but it was becoming obvious that Secora was developing a pretty significant fear of dogs over time.  She had been fine with Angel, but she was getting more and more skittish around neighborhood dogs.  We decided we needed to get a move on and get a dog sooner rather than later so we would be able to introduce one into the family without traumatizing her.  As these things tend to go, less than a week after we had that discussion, a friend posted on facebook about a stray dog that needed a forever home. 

He had been taken in by the friend's parents, updated on his shots, neutered and generally fixed up.  He had been named Walter.  And when we met him, it turned out he was just right for us.
 The best guess is that he's a great pyrenees/german shepherd/blue heeler mix and a little over a year old.
 His pictures really don't do him justice.  He looks labrador-sized in all pictures, then you sit with him in person and find yourself saying, "that is a BIG dog".  He's already chased off a meter reader (he was in the house, but he kept up his really deep, "I will eat you" bark until the guy left the yard)
 He does like to chew things up when he gets bored.  The people we got him from warned us of this and seemed determined to really impress upon us how bad he is on chewing stuff up.  Angel was even worse though, so we've been managing alright.  He has torn up his fair share of toys and his biggest ticket item was the entire enclosure net off the trampoline.  He has been learning the "leave it" command and doing much better with that than I expected, so when we're with him he's okay.  He's just like a toddler that needs supervision.
 Secora did take some time to warm up.  She loved to see him and talk to him, but it took her a month to pet him.  She's getting braver and braver.  The other girls have done really well.  Sierra likes to run around the backyard with him and Sedona likes to snuggle when he's taking naps.
They are even having a little too much fun with the pooper scooper.  They argue over who gets to scoop the poop.  That's weird, right?  We never even actually told them they had to do it, they just make their way out there about once a week and pick up without being asked.  I'll take it!

His biggest behavior problem is loving on guests just a little too much.  Once we invite someone in the house, he wants to immediately be in their lap.  He hardly ever jumps on us and we don't have guests all that often, so we haven't had a lot of opportunity yet to teach him this behavior has to stop.  Angel acted like a puppy for a good 4 years, which I think was the heeler in her (she was part red heeler), so I imagine he still has some time before he's going to settle down much.  That's okay, he's been the perfect mix of run with the kids, then lay down for calm snuggles!

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