Friday, April 13, 2012

Meet Gus! By Dr. Rebecca Abrams, DVM

Introducing Gus!
My husband Joe and I had been considering adopting a dog for a long time.  After weighing the benefits of adopting a puppy versus an adult dog we decided to take the plunge and have the full puppy experience.  We wanted a medium sized dog that could chase a frisbee, has minimal shedding, and gets along with our cat, an 8 year old tabby named Tootsie.  We talked to friends and family, breeders, and did some internet research and decided we liked the look and temperament of a popular mixed breed dog, the labradoodle.   We prepared for the puppy by borrowing an exercise pen, bed and crate from my in-laws.  We also purchased some puppy food, treats, toys, and bitter apple spray to apply to the furniture and our shoes to deter chewing.

Will Tootsie and Gus be friends?
We found a breeder who matched us to a puppy based on our lifestyle and the puppy's temperament testing.  The 3.5 hours car ride home from the breeder went smoothly, other than some puppy carsickness.  We were worried about how he would react to Tootsie, but he did not even notice her for about 2 days.  She watched him from a perch.  The puppy and cat have touched noses a few times, but if he gets too close and excited, she will hiss or even swat at him.  We plan to keep him separate from the cat when he is very excited and looking for play, and let them interact when he is sleepy and relaxed.
The first night the puppy slept about 6 hours in the crate before we were awaken by barking and whining.  We were relieved that he was able to rest that long and thought we were on easy street.  The second night we were not so lucky.  He woke up in the middle of the night barking and crying.  I took him outside but he did not need to use the bathroom.  He continued to bark for about 2 hours and we were worried about waking up all the neighbors. The third night we moved the crate into the bedroom, which seemed to solve the problem of barking at night.  The puppy had been feeling lonely, missing his mother and littermates.  Still, he is quickly adjusting to our home.  I made a list of my 15 favorite dog names in the days before the adoption and asked my friends and coworkers what they thought about the names.  We decided to name him Gus after trying out a few names the first couple of days.  

Sleeping soundly for now. . .

 Stay tuned for more updates about Gus as he grows up in his new home!

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