Snoopy has been living with us for six months now and I figured it was time for an update, both on him and what it’s been like having a rescue dog, and an older one at that.
Snoopy is well, which is excellent and vaguely unexpected news. He had been to the vet just before we adopted him and was given a clean bill of health, but he didn’t look well to me: his joints were stiff and his eyes cloudy, he’d been roughly clipped so his fur was hard to the touch and there’s no other way to describe his butt other than to say it was very exposed. I suspect maybe he’d been fly-bitten or had sores from concrete, because the groomer had really gone to town back there.
We took him to the vet recently, when Sydney had an influx of biting flies and he needed ointment for his ears. The vet said he’s actually in excellent health for a 12-year-old. His vision isn’t too bad, his joints just need a little fish oil and his weight was surprisingly healthy for a beagle.
After we were told that, I felt a great weight lifted and realised I’d subconsciously prepared myself for not having him around for long. Maybe six months or a year at most, and that had prevented me from really bonding with him.
Suddenly, I could see the absolute joy in Snoopy. He runs like a giddy foal when he’s happy to see you (or when he’s being fed), he loves sleeping near Barry on the lounge and unlike Delilah who is still squirmy and excited, he enjoys being hugged for long periods of time.
One of my favourite things we have been able to give him is trips to my parent’s farm. He comes alive out there. A typical visit involves them both jumping out of the car and going crazy when they realise where they are and almost immediately they disappear for a few hours and come back soaking wet. We’ve yet to figure out exactly where they go for a swim, whether it’s one of the dams or the river, but they come back, together, with smiles a mile wide.
I honestly can’t get over how sweet it is that they go off and enjoy something together.
Owning a rescue dog hasn’t been all fun and games. Games is literally one of the issues. Snoopy doesn’t know how to play, toys don’t seem to interest him at all, and this is totally me projecting, but it makes me sad that he seems to have never developed an interest in them.
He is also terrified of men. Initially it was all men and slowly it’s becoming some men, but his fear was at a level where we had my cousin over and we found Snoopy violently shaking in a corner, at just the sound of an unfamiliar voice. This behaviour and his lack of play skills makes me wonder about his previous home life. And judge it. Harshly.
He is getting better though, he’s fine with my dad and usually slowly warms to people once they’ve been in the house for a while and I think he’s getting pretty good at taking cues from Delilah. We also get visitors to feed him a treat, which usually works.
He was also not totally house-trained when he arrived. He peed inside a lot and we could never catch him in the act and direct him outside. He was like a pee ninja (thank god for wooden floors). However, whether it was watching Delilah, who is house-trained, or the fact that B thought to move Wuz’s water dish where Snoopy can’t reach it, he finally got the idea and now only pee ninjas, at most, once every six weeks or so and it’s usually when it’s super rainy outside, so we know to enforce outside time.
He’s really become part of the family in the last few months and we adore him.