Friday, September 18, 2009

Change will do you good

As I type this, a new member of the family is watching "Everybody Loves Raymond" with me.

Koa, a three-year-old German Shepherd, joined us last night. We adopted him from the local animal shelter in what seemed like a predestined move. He became available just a week after we'd saved up enough to put up a fence in the back yard, pay adoption fees and buy a whole mess of doggie gear.

I fell in love when I first saw him: He's a beautiful specimen of the breed. But more than that, I was amazed at his calm nature. Despite the dozens of barking, kennel-crazed dogs going mad all around him (and an escaped Pomeranian yipping at his heels), Koa just sniffed around. He is apparently impervious to provocation of the animal variety.

The only time he's barked is when Matt--against my wishes, mind you--tried to get him to jump up on the bed. Koa refused, and barked to rebuke his master for bad behavior. GOOD DOG!

He doesn't bark, he doesn't bite, and he doesn't chew. He doesn't even enjoy his chew toys in the house. He circles the rooms we're in, then finds a cool spot on the tile and lays down, sighing.

Walking him was a breeze. After awhile, I stopped holding the leash ... he just walked calmly beside me.

At bedtime, we discovered his herding instinct. First it was just me in bed, and Koa searched the house for Matt. When Matt got into bed, Koa immediately settled himself on the floor next to me ... until I got up to get some water. He followed me into the kitchen. Then Matt got up to use the bathroom. I swear, Koa heaved a massive sigh, rolled his eyes, got out of his doggie bed and waited by the bathroom door to nudge Matt back into bed.

Despite his excellent behavior, I was a nervous wreck last night. I have an extremely low tolerance for change, you see, and a dog is a pretty big one.

He's doing a great job at assuaging my fears, though. Today, home with me, he apparently sensed that I was the "laid-back dog lady," and adjusted his behavior accordingly. He spent the day sleeping and relaxing, sprawled out on the floor.

When Matt got home, however, he was ready to play. I guess he gets that Matt is the roughhouser in the family.

Pictures to be posted later. In the meantime, I'm going to go back to enjoying this honeymoon period with my new pup!
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  1. That's too funny. The bedtime behavior is exactly what my Corgis do. They will not settle down until everyone is in their "assigned" spots. Good luck with the dog, he looks beautiful. - Stacy (from TNT)