Sunday, 25 February 2007

Welcome home, Winston!

For those of you who don’t know the phisch family pet history, the missus and I both grew up cat people. Our first dog was a Pembroke Welsh Corgi, our beloved Linus (forgive the wretched HTML work on that page). Linus was a great first dog, and he certainly endeared the Corgi breed to us.

Clancy was our rebound dog. We adopted him from the local humane society a little over a month after Linus died. It was just too weird for us, after a decade, to not have a dog in the house. Clancy’s a great dog, too, though his allergies and skin issues (he’s part Shar-Pei) can be off-putting at times. He’s super-sweet, gets along great with the little phisch, and we’d been thinking at one time or another how nice it would be for him to have a playmate.

As of yesterday, he does. Presenting…Winston!

Busted!.JPG

As you can see, Winston has already made himself at home. Obedience training with regard to dogs being on the furniture has already commenced.

Our friend Wendy, who lives a couple of blocks away, volunteers as a foster home for the Flower Mound Humane Society, and gave us a call Thursday night. “Normally I wouldn’t bother you guys about a new dog we’re fostering,” she said, “but I’m on my way to pick up a Corgi…”

That was all that needed to be said.

We stopped by their house later that evening to meet Winston, who was, well, a typical young Corgi: exuberant, happy, full of energy. We immediately liked him. I went by the house, put Clancy on a leash, and brought him back down to meet Winston on some neutral turf. The boys did the meet-and-sniff, and then generally ignored one another as I took them both for a long walk. We ended the evening determining we would bring Winston over for a play date the next day, to see how Clancy acted around him on home ground.

We had some concerns with regard to Clancy and another dog. Clancy was another rescued animal, and he had either (a) been fought by the type of “macho” assholes (you’ll pardon the language, but I can’t think of any nice terms to adequately describe these people) who fight dogs, or (b) just generally had his butt kicked by life on the street. He has some food aggression issues, meaning we’ve been careful to keep the cats out of the kitchen when he’s eating, and we’ve taught the little phisch not to bother Clancy during feeding times.

So Friday afternoon I trooped Clancy down the street, we picked up Winston, and I walked the two of them back. We went first to the back yard, where I turned the boys loose for a bit. We needn’t have worried about Clancy and another dog on his turf. If anything, it was Winston who was all about the growling and snapping, which occurred when he felt Clancy invaded his personal space just a tad too much. When the sky opened and it began to sprinkle, I moved the party inside, which is where the real test would be, at least as far as Clancy was concerned.

It was pretty much same-old, same-old between the two canines in the house, too. Winston was exploring, Clancy was following, some times getting too close for Winston’s comfort, I behind them both at a small distance, observing and waiting to step in if necessary. The missus and little phisch arrived home during this time, and Winston got a dose of life with the entire family for a little while.

Watching Clancy.JPG

The decision was made that so long as we could work around the food issue, we were keeping Winston. We decided an overnight visit would be helpful, and calls were made to appropriate parties to let them know of our interest in Winston, keeping him overnight, etc.

Having a trial overnight stay ballooned in to our going out to grab a bite to eat, then stopping by the newly-opened Petco to take advantage of their grand opening sale. The cats needed food, and we bought a small bag of food for Winston, along with some other supplies. (Clancy has prescription hypo-allegenic food we get from the vet.) We arrived home, and it was feeding time.

Things went very well. The boys are fed at the same time, but separately, and neither bothered the other. Each was curious as to what remains might be in the other’s bowl afterwards, but c’mon, these are rescue dogs; they don’t leave anything behind in their bowls.

Winston was a little restless during the night, not surprisingly, but all was well. Breakfast went like dinner the night before, and the more the two dogs have spent around one another, the more comfortable Winston became. The Flower Mound Humane Society held an Adopt-a-Pet Saturday at our PetSmart, and we stopped by to finalize the adoption of an eighteen month-old pup, bringing a Corgi back in to our house for the first time in five years. (There was also at least one other person interested in adopting Winston, so keeping Winston overnight and alerting FMHS we wanted to adopt him played to our favor.)

The impression Linus made on us was much deeper than I think either of us realized. All throughout the day Saturday, the missus and I kept making the same basic observation to one another: it’s very comforting to have a Corgi in the house again.

Winston’s not a replacement for Linus, because you can’t replace a beloved pet. Winston’s his own dog, that’s for sure. And our love for Clancy isn’t diminished; in fact, it’s enhanced, because we see how readily he’s accepting Winston in to the family pack. I’m continually amazed at the capacity for love God grants us.

It sure is nice to have a Corgi in the house again.

posted on February 25, 2007 1:54 AM




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