What Happens When You Work at a Humane Society ...

Friday morning, as I passed the dog kennels at the Heart of the Catskills Humane Society, I noticed two new small dogs, but kept walking as I was there to work. On the way back through, I did briefly pause to take a 2nd look, and they both looked to be Schnauzer/ terriers of some type. I honestly didn’t think too much about it for awhile, as I’ve been content with just one dog for the past 2 ½ years. But, later on in the morning, I walked over to the door where I could look out & see the dogs in the “puppy run”. Just like I had done with McDoogle, I wanted to take a closer look at these new dogs, as they had a similar cute “scruffy, homeless” look. They seemed to stay together most of the time, and as I watched them, I found out that both of them were males. McDoogle has generally gotten along with female dogs better than males, so I knew the odds were stacked against me, not to mention that I knew Dad was most likely not going to say “yes” to a 2nd dog. I tried to put the little dog’s furry face out of my mind, but it had already made its indelible mark. I had to find out more, so I looked up its paperwork, part of which is confidential, but as an employee, I can read it. I did discover that one was a 10 yr old Miniature Schnauzer, and the other (cuter one I was eyeing) was a 2 yr old Cairn Terrier/ Schnauzer mix. A little time passed and I tried to focus on my work I was there to do, but my mind couldn’t help think about this little dog. Lo and behold, Mom called me on my cell phone, so I let her know what “I was up to.”
Then, I got the opportunity to see him a little more up-close when some college girls took him and his”brother” for a walk. I made the observation that the 2 yr old was actually more laid back than the 10 yr old. I just had to let Deb & Laura know what was going through my brain, and by that evening, I sent an e-mail to them about the possibility of “fostering” him, to see if he’d work out or not.
I didn’t have much time before Dad left for work on Friday, and Saturday was very busy also. But, Mom had informed him, plus we made quite a few “hints” about McDoogle wanting a “brother”. When our landlord came to put in a new dishwasher, I mentioned to Dad that I was going to ask him if a 2nd dog would be ok. Dad responded, “Just ask me.” (Indicating he wasn’t too fond of the idea.)
But, we mentioned to the landlord that I was “looking at” a 2nd dog, to which Dad made some comments. I responded with, “Well, I’ve only be at it for one day! Besides, I’d need to foster him first to know if he’s the right match for our family.”
After I re-organized the storage room on Saturday, I made sure to let Mom & Dad know the "good news" that there's now room for a 2nd dog crate. Dad asked (jokingly), "Why would you need an empty 2nd dog crate?" Mom replied that would be for McDoogle's "brother".
The other thing I’ve been working on is taking McDoogle for a walk at least 1 time a day. For quite awhile, Mom & Dad have been the one taking him for a walk. So that’s probably part of why they’ve been hesitant about a 2nd dog, even though it takes the same time to walk one as it does two.


But, I also knew before I got too “carried away”, I’d need to see if McDoogle would get along with Eli, as he doesn’t always like other male dogs. Perhaps it was because I’ve been nervous in the past, or not a strong “pack leader” when meeting new dogs. But, I came up with a plan. Dad was taking me in early on Monday, as they were going to leave around 8 am to go visit Mom’s Aunt before she dies. That would have left McDoogle home in his crate until at least 1:30, when Joel came home and if he remembered to let him outside. McDoogle would have been fine, but it was a “good excuse” to bring him with me to work.
When I shared that “plan” with Dad, he said, “Not in our car, he’s not going to work with you.” But, he never said a word again when I brought McDoogle in the car Monday morning.
I was motivated while doing my work, knowing I needed to get my job done first, before having “fun”. Meanwhile, McDoogle stayed with me in the cat rooms, and did very well, especially since he has chased cats at my cousin Daisy’s house. Must be he was “out-numbered” by all the cats, and figured he better behave. Throughout the day, I kept looking out the window in the door, looking at Eli, the little terrier mix. I made the observation that the Mini Schnauzer was barking almost all the time, while Eli was mostly quiet, except for when McD & I walked by outside & all the dogs were barking. Even then, he barked once for every 5 barks of the other dogs. That’s a big “thing” for me, as I don’t like yapping, barking dogs that won’t keep quiet. So, it was already “looking good”, and I hadn’t even met this dog or spent time with him individually yet.
I was so excited that I mentioned to my coworker Devin that I’d brought McD because “no one was home”, but also to introduce him to Eli, so I’d have some ammunition to convince my dad.
After finishing everything (including doing extra cleaning), the long-awaited moment arrived. I went into the puppy run and picked up Eli. He was heavier than McD, but by only a few pounds. When I brought him into the “breezeway”, I knelt down & he immediately put his paws on my legs & licked me. He then looked into my eyes and melted my heart further. Meanwhile, Devin was watching, and I think was amused by it, as I never take breaks and work hard all day cleaning and working with the cats. And here I was with this little scruffy dog, my heart melting with each passing second. Once I attached an Easy Walk harness & leash, and had looked over& petted this little bundle of love, I knew I had to quickly proceed to the next step before I got “too deep”. McDoogle was alone in the cat room with a few loose cats, and was scratching at the door, which when Devin first heard, he thought someone was knocking at the door. He told McDoogle, “She’s with another dog!”
Finally, the long-anticipated moment arrived when it was time to introduce McDoogle & Eli to each other. They greeted each other very well, just one brief little "growl" from McDoogle, which is a “typical” response, yet similar to the growl/bark he makes with us when he wants to play. It’s often misunderstood as him being aggressive, but he’s never really “attacked” a dog, I think it’s just his way of “challenging” them. I’ve also noticed that if I let the other dog first smell McDoogle, it then goes much better after that. So, I quickly escorted both dogs outside, keeping the separate and walking a distance before letting them sniff each other again. This time, it went much better & Eli even did a little “play bow” to McDoogle. As we continued walking on the natural trail, they both got more comfortable & relaxed with each other. I think it also helped that they would both mark & read each other’s “newspaper”. I basically just let them “be dogs”, while I remained the calm-assertive pack leader.



After the walk, I brought them back inside, and did more organizing of paperwork, while "the boys" hung out in one of the offices. That went well too, although I had to keep on eye on Eli, as he kept wanting to "mark", which is probably due to him being not neutered. But, he was very responsive and would stop if I said "no". 

I also learned he knows "sit" and "come", actually better than McDoogle does! And he's super easy on the leash, usually following behind me on the end of the leash. I left the "boys" unattended for a few minutes and everything went fine with that, as well. Even when I introduced McDoogle to Bo & Boquet, I never dared let them alone and/or off-leash together on the first day, let alone the 2nd day! Bo & Boquet were more unpredictable, but McDoogle seemed to adjust quickly & after the initial introduction, he seemed relaxed around Eli. Granted, McDoogle wasn’t thrilled with the idea of having to “share” again, but at least this time it’s not with a bossy female like Boquet was.  
Once I got quite a bit of paperwork organized, I decided to give them both baths. Eli didn't seem to mind it as much as McDoogle (even though he's 90% better than the Chihuahuas ever were!)
Above: still wet
Below: towel-dried


Even though McDoogle is estimated to be a Schnauzer/Yorkie, whenever I give him a bath, he always looks like a Dachshund to me, just with smaller ears. While it looks like in these photos that Eli is 2x as big as McDoogle, he's actually only slightly bigger. Eli’s fur is longer than McDoogle’s, but he also seems to have a coat similar to what read about the Cairn Terriers. They have a soft undercoat and coarse “guard-hairs” for an outer coat. He’s also very uniquely colored, like of like a lighter version of McDoogle. His coloring reminds me of the silvery gray of ‘salt & pepper’ miniature Schnauzer, but with a light tan undercoat. He has the same markings as McDoogle, just lighter tan eyebrows & paws. His head to bigger, more “blocky” and a larger mouth. While he’s overall the same size, he’s more dense, more muscular - exactly what I read about the Cairn Terriers. I love his adorable upright ears, as it just “completes” his look. I’ve always loved dogs with upright ears, probably because of the Chihuahuas being my first dogs. But, with the upright ears, full “beard” and “eyebrows”, he’s similar to McDoogle overall, yet also different.
They took turns on my lap, while sorting through the paperwork or doing database. Then, I put both of them on my lap, and although McDoogle wasn't pleased to have to share "his lap time", he did settle down & allow Eli to lie next to him.
Since Eli (& McDoogle) have passed all the "tests" so far, I began thinking how to try him here at home. Since Mom & Dad would be away all Monday until late Tuesday evening, I thought it would be the perfect time to bring him home with me after work. One of the major questions Mom & Dad have is whether I'd have time for a 2nd dog, now with more "hobby farm" things going on, even though I did have 3 dogs before.
It seemed to like perfect timing, as I'd not have anyone else to take care of them, so I will know & they will know once this 2nd stage of the "test" is over, if I have the time.
So, when it was time to leave, both McDoogle & Eli came home with me, even if it is “temporary”! Eli did well in the car, just a little hot, but otherwise was a good traveler. That’s a big plus, as not all dogs do well traveling.
So far, he's been good about not "marking" inside, but I've made sure he's on a leash, in a crate or supervised all the time.
When I first put him in McDoogle's crate (by himself), he didn't like it, as he whined, pawed at the door & tried to dig in the dog bed. But since I didn't respond by letting him out, he eventually calmed down & rested until I left the room.
While I set up Eli’s crate in the storage/chicken room, I brought him in with me. He was very curious what that movement was inside the chick brooder. So, I first brought out one chick & let him sniff it. He was just curious, and watched intently as I refilled their food dish. So I put him on my lap, so he could see inside the brooder. He was very alert, watching the chicks eat their food and move around. When one of them flapped their wings and flew a small distance, he got all excited, like his prey drive “kicked in”. Of course, I had a hold of his Easy Walk harness, which is just temporary, especially since he’s easier to walk than McDoogle, so far anyways. He loved watching them, but I’m sure left on his own, the Cairn terrier instincts would tell him to kill all those “little rodents”.
Right before bed, I took McD & Eli for a quick walk on Rider Hill Road, just to past the bridge. When we came back inside, I showed Eli the water dish again, and he drank his fill.
I put both dogs in their crates, and got ready for bed. Eli was not happy being left in there, and started whining, combined with a few barks. I ignored him for awhile, then told him “no” and “be quiet”; but once I closed the door again, he started whining again. Since I didn’t want to “reward” that behavior by letting him out of the crate, I realized that it might just be he wants to be “with someone”. So, I picked up the crate with him still in it & carried it to my room and set it beside McD’s crate, in front of some desk drawers. Would you believe that he was quiet, and eventually laid down? I climbed in bed, half expecting his to start whining again, but no, he was quiet except for the noise of him rearranging his bed inside the crate.
I'm not sure yet what will happen Tuesday, if I'll have to bring him back in the evening; or if I can keep him, at least until Wed am, so Mom & Dad can see him.
I still don't have an answer from Dad, as Saturday & Sunday were busy and I didn't get a chance to really discuss it with him. He does know what I'm trying to do and he isn't "sold" on the idea. But I also know he's a facts type of person, so by "fostering" Eli tonight & tomorrow, I'll then have facts to present "my case".
I'm also hoping they can see him in person, as he has a way of "wiggling into your heart!"