The Potty Gang: Day One
Thursday, February 18, 2016
In October, our long time family member Boci (Boatsie), a 16 year old English Spring Spaniel died peacefully in our home. Boci was the eldest of three dogs in our pack. My wife had Boci since before we were married. Boci was adopted from a couple going through a divorce. Our other two dogs are also rescues.
Toffee, our big girl, is a German Shepherd mix. She is about 4 years old. We adopted her from Fuzzy Friends a local animal shelter and rescue.
Rolo, is my buddy and my therapy dog. Rolo is a mix of something and something else. He is a mediums sized dog with Rottweiler style coloring. We found Rolo (or Rolo found us) while my two of my sons and I were playing Frisbee Golf in a local park. It happened to be my youngest son’s birthday. He never made it to the shelter.
I will tell you more about our other dogs in later posts. This post is about the newest members of our pack, the Potty Gang.
With the loss of our dog and our desire to raise our children around animals, my wife and I decided that fostering rather than adopting another dog might be the way to go for the time being. We got approval to foster from Fuzzy Friends and soon had a call that they were overrun with puppies.
They had so many that they were keeping three Chihuahua mix puppies in the staff bathroom. That is why we call them the Potty Gang. I think they were being called the Bathroom Brothers at the rescue. We decided to bring the Potty Gang home with us and return the restroom to the staff.
We packed the three Chihuahua pups into the carrying crate provided by Fuzzy Friends and headed home with Chewie (top left), Powder (top right), and Roscoe (bottom).
Meeting the Pack:
How were Rolo and Toffee going to respond to puppies? We knew from experience that when properly introduced (thanks Cesar Milan) that Toffee and Rolo make friends easily with full grown dogs. But what about little puppies? Prey or pal?
We brought them home and put the puppies little crate inside a large crate. Toffee and Rolo were definitely curious and a little nervous but no signs of aggression or territoriality.
Later, we brought the puppies out to play in the living room. For the most part, Toffee simply gave them space and was content to lay on her dog bed away from the chaos.
Rolo remained curious. When the little guys approached, he hopped backward as if they were rattlesnakes ready to strike. You could tell he wanted to get in on the play but was not sure how to enter into the fun. He began nudging Powder (or Powder Keg) with his nose. Whenever Powder “attacked”, Rolo leapt back in “terror”. Vanessa said it’s like a parent or big brother faking great injury at a toddler’s punch. Rolo backs up whenever the pups coordinate an assault. One at a time please and no sneak attacks.
Vanessa and I have never raised puppies nor have we ever had to house train a dog. However, even on Day One the puppies successfully eliminated outside — once each anyway. They also successfully eliminated inside. We are learning. We now know if they wander away, then they are likely looking for a place to poop.
Just like infants we are practicing play, eat, & sleep. For sleep, the pups curl up together in their little crate within the big crate. The crate is a safe place like a den. It is never a place for punishment. We hope that the adoptive families for Powder, Chewie, and Roscoe will receive dogs who love their crates. Good crating practices greatly reduces separation anxiety and helps in situations where a dog might need to be removed for awhile, i.e. for the family friend who is afraid of dogs.
They settled in for the night with only a little whimpering which we lovingly ignored.
What will tomorrow bring? I bet it will start early.