While I’m busy recovering from some back surgery, you have the good fortune of reading posts from some of my favorite doggie bloggers! Today’s post comes from Yvonne DiVita who blogs regularly at www.scratchingsandsniffings.com. In an earlier guest post Yvonne introduced us to Chester (http://speakingforspot.com/blog/?p=1395). Please make her feel welcome by posting your wonderful comments. Be back soon!
Dr. Nancy Kay
Recently, we adopted a terrific coon hound from our local shelter. He was placed there by Kindness Ranch, a rescue that takes in research animals. Chester is 7 years old and the kindest, gentlest, sweetest dog I’ve ever met. We fell in love with him the first time we met him.
Shortly after adopting Chester, we contacted Kindness Ranch again to see about adopting a ‘friend’ for Chester. Somehow, knowing he’d been around other dogs his entire life, and that we occasionally have to leave our home-based office for business meetings, it seemed right to make sure he was not alone. Mind you, we have a cat we refer to as The Grumpy Old Lady, but … she wasn’t going to keep Chester company, trust me on that!
Well, it turned out that there was another hound at Kindness Ranch, a young, female, two-years old, who was Chester’s friend when he lived there. Her name was Emily. She was a Treewalker Hound. The folks at Kindness said they felt Chester and Emily would love being reunited.
And they were so right! We adopted Emily (after a nice visit one day…where she spent more time watching the birds in the trees than paying attention to us; probably because she wasn’t used to extra attention from ‘humans’) and brought her home and the change in Chester has been amazing.
Chester and Emily are perfect for each other. They adjusted to our house easily, although they still can’t figure out the cat. Together, they like to sleep in one dog bed on our landing. Together, we walk them and Emily rushes out front, to make sure nothing ever gets in our way, while Chester lumbers along, more intent on the interesting smells at his feet, than anything else.
Together, these two dogs have made our house a home. They bound to the door to greet us when we return from shopping or a meeting. They seem amazed at the treats we offer for good behavior. Chester, especially, regards treats with suspicious, until he sees Emily begin to devour them. They are learning to play with each other, to run around the back yard with all the abandon of a kid let out of school. At night, they share the dog bed… only occasionally coming into our room, as if to make sure we’re still there.
As the weeks go by, we’re noticing their personalities emerge. Chester, for all his easy-goingness, has learned to give Emily the low growl that says, “This is my bone, go get your own.” For quite some time, he just let her have his bones. Emily, to her credit, sneaks little bits of Chester’s food, from his bowl… always eying us, because she knows she isn’t supposed to take Chester’s food. I guess it’s okay for her to steal food, just not bones!
Neither dog knows how to play ball. They just look at it, and us, when we throw it in the backyard. They are learning to play tug-of-war with chew toys, but only minimally. Mostly, they like their walks and being home with us. And, we like that, too. We are so thrilled with these two dogs – it’s hard to remember life without them. I hope we never have to be without them!
Nancy Kay, DVM
Diplomate, American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine
Author of Speaking for Spot: Be the Advocate Your Dog Needs to Live a Happy, Healthy, Longer Life
Recipient, American Animal Hospital Association 2009 Animal Welfare and Humane Ethics Award
Recipient, 2009 Dog Writers Association of America Award for Best Blog
Recipient, 2009 Eukanuba Canine Health Award
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Please visit http://www.speakingforspot.com to read excerpts from Speaking for Spot. There you will also find “Advocacy Aids”- helpful health forms you can download and use for your own dog, and a collection of published articles on advocating for your pet’s health. Speaking for Spot is available at Amazon.com, local bookstores, and your favorite online book seller.
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Tags: animal shelter, Be The Change, BlogPaws, Chester, coon hound mix, dog adoption, Emily, forever home, kindnessranch.org, longmonthumane.org, research facility dog, scratchingsandsniffings.com, shy dog, Speaking for Spot, Treewalker Hound, Yvonne DiVita