AKA…what it is like owning a street-wise German Shepherd Dog/Labrador Retriever mix puppy.
I was at the beach for girls (and babies) weekend, and never suspected a thing.
We had recently been accepted to foster Golden Retrievers. Following the loss of our beloved Goldie, Jack, we thought maybe we would get lucky and do another failed foster. *failed foster: when you “foster” a dog and end up adopting it yourself*. Sarah’s behavior on our ride home from the beach was, in hindsight, suspect, but it had been a long ride home in driving rain with lots of screaming. Mine. Because of her driving. But that is totally normal for us. I try to keep my head down and keep busy with crocheting.
So walking to the carport door, opening it and seeing a dog crate in the dining room wasn’t such a shock as seeing the little black puppy hurling toward me and greeting me wee-wee of joy all over my feet and the floor. Sarah and My Man were quite pleased with themselves that I was completely unaware.
It’s been downhill from there.
Apparently, this pup had been found running the back roads of North Carolina. How they ever caught him is beyond me. He is a runner and the more you chase him, the more fun he has running from you. They probably used cat food. Because he loves it. Just one more reason for the kitties to hate him.
It’s been awhile since we had a puppy in the house. But not long enough for My Man to have completely and totally forgotten every single thing he ever knew about raising and training a puppy. But, he has. As Sarah says, “MOM. It’s like he has never owned a puppy before!” Sad, but true.
There is a reason GSD’s are affectionately (ahem) known as “German Shredders”. I had forgotten this small character trait. Max quickly reminded us as item after item after item was shredded as soon as we turned our backs. Well, not OUR backs…Russell’s back. None of these mishaps have occurred under MY watch. Labs are wicked chewers as well. Max happily shreds pillows and dog beds, and chews up shoes and chair legs on a regular basis. He totally disregards the 3,945 chewies, bones, toys, and chew sticks spread around the house and in his crate. My favorite son-in-law found this out when Max chewed up one of their dog beds in a matter of two minutes while he was in the bathroom.
There is only one reason that Max is still with us. GSD’s are notorious Velcro-dogs. Goldies are known for this also. Jack was the best at Velcro of any dog we have ever known. Max is smaller and shorter (he’s around 53 pounds right now and probably won’t get much bigger) and is often difficult to see. He sits at or on our feet every time we stop for even a second. We trip over him 35 times a day because he lies down right in our path when we stop at the kitchen sink; the washing machine; the bathroom sink. He has tried to climb into the shower with each of us. And has finally, begrudgingly, settled for spreading out on the bathroom mats, every one of which is white. He is solid black. You might ask yourself…or me…why I don’t just go out and by all black bathroom mats. BECAUSE. It’s the principal of the thing. (That and the fact that I wouldn’t notice the black fur as much and I would totally ignore washing the mats every other day like I do now.) There is nothing worse than stepping out of the shower onto the bathroom mat and a blob of black fur sticking to the bottom of your feet. It’s just gross.
Currently, I am sitting on the porch and Max is gathering every stick in the back yard and trying to pull them up the stairs and onto the deck. One problem: he has already pulled up all the smaller sticks to the deck and now there are only limbs in the yard. It’s been very entertaining. For both of us.
Sarah took him for a week of “puppy camp”. She gave him back after three days and basically told us he is not the dog for us old folks; has too much energy; needs a ton of exercise; and is as hard-headed as they come.
This is perfect timing, really. The weather is beginning to cooperate with my fall weather needs and, to be perfectly honest, I’m about 7 years behind in getting back to my fighting weight and physical condition.
Stay tuned for more life with Max updates. Assuming he is still around. Did I mention that cleaning out the kitty litter boxes is his favorite snack?