Sunday, January 20, 2013


I got a dog! Bruno comes from a rescue situation in Seattle, is probably about 6-7 years old and probably part Mastiff, weighing in at a svelte 104# as of last week thursday. He thinks he's a lap dog.

I will post pictures, but right now it's easiest to type blogs from my computer but easiest to upload photos from my phone. I will try to get a pic in soon.

This is a surprise to most people, but has been simmering for a while, probably since my Alaska trip. Everyone in Alaska has dogs. One night, there were more dogs than people at our dinner party! I grew up with a dog, and my allergies to dogs are mild in that I can breathe around them, unlike cats, who are little furry death monsters. However, I've always lived by myself and in small spaces. I don't get up well in the mornings, which is problematic if someone else is relying on me to let them pee outside. There's also the fact that I work full time. Not only do I not have sufficient time to make a puppy happy, I don't want a puppy destroying my house. But even homeless people in California have dogs. Surely I could figure something out.

I looked into small dogs, just in case. The lovely and talented author Catherine Mann who also fosters dogs in Florida, was kind enough to send me a primer on common qualities in small dog breeds. And she was evil enough to keep posting pics of her foster pups on facebook. I wanted some of them too. But again, no time for a puppy; no time for housetraining.

Then while visiting friends in Seattle, we met up with their friends who do foster dogs for a dog rescue. My friend asked about the foster dog who was so friendly and it turned out Bruno was still being fostered and the fosters didn't want to keep him and their two other dogs and a cat. Everyone loved him, but he was just too big.

But everyone also said he was pretty chill. A bit of love, a place to nap, some snacks and some walks and he's good to go. So I inquired. I met Bruno. He seemed a good sort - easy with strangers, hadn't knocked over the christmas tree or nativity, hadn't chewed through any cords, walked well on a leash, and clearly had been well trained at some point. He didn't make me sneeze. (He does, on occasion, give me a rash on my hands, but that's easily overcome. The breathing thing is the sticking point for me and he passed that.) How could I not love a dog sized dog who was happy sleeping most of the day?

We got him from Seattle to SoCal because his first foster family was able to drive him partway. I met up with them in San Jose. It was a little traumatic for him, but he loves riding in the car, so I figured it would be less unsettling than flying in a crate to a stranger. Now that he's here, I'm making it a priority to get him at least a 30-45 minute walk every evening - aiming for an hour, but if you hadn't heard, it has been freezing in SoCal. We're combing the neighborhood for walkable streets, mostly in the dead of night. Then on the weekends, I drive him to a hiking site. He loves riding in the car, loves walks and we wear him and me out pretty good.

I'm also coming home at lunchtime for the time being. I won't be able to do that always, but until he realizes that I am coming back and not leaving him, I think it helps. Being at his 5th home in as many months has given him some separation anxiety issues. This weekend, I tried leaving him more often for short jaunts so monday won't be such a shocker. We also had a doggie date with my friends in Santa Monica who have two tiny dogs. It went ok. The minpin realized there was little threat, even though Bruno's paw is the size of his head, but the Chihuahua need a little more time.

So that's me and Bruno. I've become somewhat of a hermit with a dog, but tonight's outing was a step in changing that a bit. Once he gets more settled, I'll feel better about taking him more places. And once he learns/re-learns "stay" and "come".

I'll work on the picture uploads. Next up is a visit from my mom to see the new granddoggy and help walk him after I get my hernia repair repaired next week.