So, now we're at this place called "Home." The two people calling themselves Mum and Dad took me out of the crate they had me in for my safety and led me to a gate. Inside the fence was a big back yard with trees, a chicken pen with real live chickens for me to sniff, places to pee and grass to eat.
Mum immediately began raking me with some of her grooming tools and Dad snapped a picture of her doing it. Can you tell she was surprised at the number of mats she found on me? She thought that I wasn't tutored!
(click on the pic for a full view!)
I can't believe she's putting that picture up for people to see!
Shortly after figuring out that was just a huge mat, Dad opened up the gate and let a big black beautiful dog who looked just like me into the yard. I was so shocked to see someone like me! We ran at each other and had to sniff and follow one another to make pee-mail. What a wonderful place this is turning out to be! Dad went back inside and another dog like us came out, only it was a girl who is brown and white, a Landseer. She's so pretty! We all ran around the yard and Mum kept chasing after me with rakes and combs and brushes and scissors.
It started to get dark, so Dad brought the boy and girl dog inside and Mum took me to the garage where they started working on getting me cleaned up.
We worked on Grady's mats with combs, conditioner, scissors (had to cut a LOT of hair from between his legs in the back, from around his feet, ears, tail), rakes, and brushes. I had the dremel out and worked a little on some of his nails which are long. The poor guy was so worn out from the whole day he actually fell asleep and started snoring while we were working on him. He was flat out on his side snoring.
We got as much of the mats and hair off without making him completely bald and stood him up for a wash. He let us wash and condition him, dry most of him off, added some leave-in conditioner, towel and blow dry again and into the house we went for sniffies. No one bit anyone, no one growled, everyone was quite well behaved.
We got cleaned up ourselves, dressed in sweats/jammies and ordered a pizza. Grady slept in Brandon's bathroom overnight, no accidents and a new life began for him.
We kept watching him to check for signs of limps, weird behavior; anything underlying that would signify we did a major goof in bringing this guy home. He doesn't know how to walk very well on a leash and is always eager to pull ahead of the other two who seem happy to plod along with us. Except for the occasional stiffness after a nap he doesn't seem to limp. Period.
I took him to work with me the Tuesday following us getting him and one of the girls offered to keep him with her when I had to use the restroom. He pretty much stayed in her office the rest of the day much to my amusement. She sent me an IM saying someone in here is snoring :)
I'd scheduled an appointment for him for Wednesday which was an off day for me. We'd been given his belongings that he came with, a knotted leash and a chain collar with three tags on it, one was a name tag with the phone number of his previous owner and the other two were rabies tags.
I attempted to contact the shelter we got him from twice to try to acquire his vet records as I didn't want our vet to duplicate any shots/vaccines he might have already had. Once, they asked for my fax number, the second time, my email. I never heard back from them. So, I braved calling his former vet which I'd not wanted to do in the event they contacted his former owner. That might have been weird.
Hi, I'm Melissa ***** calling about a dog my hubs and I just adopted from a shelter. I gave the gal who answered the rabies ID number and she pulled him right up. 'Yep, we've seen him, he's up to date on all his records,' she said. 'He's not due for more shots til next June, can you give me your vets fax? I can send over all his info.' Hallelujah! I immediately asked her if she could tell me his age. She said, 'Sure! he's a June baby, of '03.' So, he's 6.5 years old.
Brought him to the vet the next morning. He was very nervous. He whined a lot and paced, then finally laid down while we waited. They did a heartworm check on him as we were told he'd never been heartworm tested, negative but the poop they "stole" from him did test positive for Coccidiosis. They put him on meds for that, listened to his heart, checked out his body, weighed him (129 lbs) and sent us home with a good feeling about this guy.
We survived Thanksgiving and have finally started seeing Grady's personality start to emerge. He "talks". He will sit close to you or just outside the door and make these little "boof" noises. Slowly they start to increase in volume, but are never a full blown bark. They're all "boof's". He also stamps his front feet in either exasperation or excitement or a combo of the two. Very endearing. He loves drinking water and that's about the only time he has drool or floggers hanging from his funny shaped lips. He seems to have a perpetual pout, his slightly crooked teeth accentuate it and give him the appearance of a child or an older man looking disgruntled or upset at something. He hasn't yet given up what...
We're also seeing some of the stuff he probably lived through. Being as he can't talk and tell us his life story, all we can do is guess at the behavior he exhibits. Balking at being led into a room or into the house by the scruff if no leash or collar is available to hold on to, backing into only one room of the house until his feet are completely off the wood floors and onto the carpeting, scooting on his butt thru the kitchen door from wood floors onto tile, hiding in the laundry room or my bathroom in the dark and remaining as quiet as he can, the exuberance he shows when he's outside on a walk and the stride he maintains or tries to accomplish; very long legged stride, tail wagging, lips flying, tongue hanging out, ears slightly back in a happy look, feet reaching way out to cover more ground, he's missing all his upper incisors and a few molars too but for the most part, his teeth are pretty clean, tartar build-up seems to be only on one side...He LOVES having a pillow to sleep on and I think he's starting to realize he's HOME.
(Clockwise from left, Bava, Grady and Sophie)