An Update on Snoopy

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.

Snoopy

Delileo + Juliette

lilahredbull

Delilah is in love with a neighbourhood cat she met about four weeks ago.

We discovered an alternate route for her nightly walks, which mostly sticks to a path, but passes by two driveways. Perched on the red brick fence of one of the houses was a gorgeous, fluffy calico cat who had absolutely no interest in Delilah.

Wuz doesn’t like Delilah much, whereas Delilah is attracted to anything cute and fluffy.

This cat ignored her completely.

Delilah was smitten.

Now, every time we walk past the yard, cat or not, Delilah runs through the gate and sniffs in frantic circles in the front yard, trying to find her friend.

I have spent many an anxious minute creeping outside the bedroom windows of these poor, unsuspecting cat-owners, hissing, ‘Delilah! Come! Here!‘.

Of course Delilah thinks it’s a game, so she crouches and darts through my legs, wheels back and makes like she’s going to hoof it down their driveway.

Last night we were running late to meet B and I had to message him and tell him I couldn’t catch Delilah and when I finally did, she pulled up on a patch of grass, lay down and refused to move, such is her love for the cat.

Like the Montagues and the Capulets, this love will end in tragedy, we’ve decided to leash Delilah whenever we walk past there now (why didn’t Romeo and Juliette’s parents think of that?).

And just like that, she will learn her first lesson in heartbreak.

 

Delilah: Scarfenger.

lilah

About a week ago, I was lying around being lazy.

Before we go to bed, we switch the animals: Wuz comes in and spends the night indoors, Delilah goes out and sleeps in the yard. They both hate it, they would much rather we didn’t, but those are the rules. Because someone might run away during the night and someone else still pees on the carpet occasionally.

Anyway, back to my laziness: it was my job to wrangle the animals and it sucks, because you have to catch Wuz while Delilah gets in the way and there’s barking and hissing and generally it’s a royal pain in the arse. I wasn’t looking forward to it.

As a joke, I turned to Delilah and said, “Hey Lilah, where’s Wuzzy?”

Her ears pricked, her body stiffened, we laughed.

Turns out the joke was on us: Delilah stood up, ran outside and herded Wuz in.

Maybe this is just a hilarious coincidence, we thought!

No, she now does it most nights.

She gets it: “Where’s Wuzzy” means “Go get the fluffy thing that hates you and bring her here”.

She now understands three things. The other two are:

“Walkies?” which makes her run to the bucket by the front door where her leash is.

“ATTACK!” which means, jump on the bed and run all over Julia until she gets out of bed. Only B uses this command, Monday to Friday.

Unfortunately she no longer comes when called.

In fact, on last night’s walk, she was off in the distance doing something and refused to come, so I had to go and drag her away from what turned out to be an abandoned pile of once hot chips. She was scarfing them down. We walked  on for about 20 metres, when she looked at us, grinned and ran as fast as her chubby butt would let her and ate the rest.

Treat motivated, her breeder told us.

I guess so.