The Bailey, aka Moose, story continues. I now understand why there are so many dog stories out there. We have yet to have our final interview before being officially allowed to adopt boxer Bailey. In the mean time we have been allowed another visit. Today’s visit was challenging.
We thought we were prepared. We were rested and ready to walk and play first thing so that Bailey could spend the rest of the morning becoming more familiar with our home. The walk went pretty well except for the part when Bailey needed to be on the leash. He’s obviously new to the leash and does just fine for brief periods until he moves in such a way that the leash catches his attention. When that happens he does one of two moves. One is the classic chewing process clearly intended to rid himself of this annoying line that is slowing down his forward progress. The second move is when the leash seems to totally surprise him and he proceeds to jump around in such a way that the leash pulls on his collar so tightly that he thrashes even harder in an effort to figure what the hell has him trapped. The second move is much more difficult to watch and even harder to sort out. Of course we know it is our job to teach him differently but we are not there yet!
Overall though, the walk went well. Back at the house it seemed he was content to wander around and finally drop down at our feet for a nap. This is part where he is the adorable puppy and isn’t it great to have him in our lives moment. Then he woke up.
We missed getting him outside fast enough so there was the little accident on the carpet. Once out he seemed confused why we were staying out when he was complete with the task. Back inside it was clear he wanted our undivided attention. Actually he really wanted Sooke’s attention and she was not into playing. After a number of play bows, some barking and a few right hooks thrown gently at Sooke’s face, she let him know she was not going to be the one to entertain him. Next he started working on us. We did give it our best shot and for a few minutes I thought we were doing okay. But the phone rang and one of us needed to cover that. You would think one of us could entertain the puppy but may be that is the problem we simply are trying to hard and he knows it. Shortly we felt quite defeated and decided we’d end our visit a bit early.
When we dropped Bailey off at his foster home we asked how she did it. We then got the chance to see Bailey with his three adult boxer buddies and realized he was getting tons of attention that was never really going to be available at our house. It was fun to watch one adult dog after the other tag team Bailey’s needs for play. I was exhausted watching!! Foster mom, Tracey, let us know that really he would settle in. Routine and knowing us would eventually help him settle into our lives. Still I left wondering if I was the best owner for Bailey.
After getting home we had another chat about our decision. I am beginning to wonder if this is why the adoption process is taking so long. The process will determine how committed we are or wear us out trying. We are not giving up on Bailey but after I write this blog I am heading to Petco for more toys and supplies. Tomorrow he is coming over for a sleepover and we are determined to be prepared.
Of course having Bailey in our lives has changed the focus of everything. Even blogging seems difficult. I wasn’t going to keep writing about Bailey but he is so BIG in the picture thus for a better writer a book becomes a easy outlet for the amazing level of focus this job requires.
I am sure any parents reading this blog are laughing. Indeed Bailey and previously Sooke are the closest thing to child rearing I have ever done. Well not totally true I did teach, and at one point, was responsible for a room full of first graders. I also have a niece and nephew who survived living with me for short periods when they were young. I don’t need to be reminded this is not the same. I know from talking to many new parents when they were exhausted and wondering, “What made me ever think I could do this?” It is not uncommon to question and even wish for a way out. It is a significant life change be it a child or a puppy – both are a handful of joy, energy and constant demands. I just hope I am up to the job or up for being honest and making the right choice. It is clear this is not an easy logical choice. This type of decision is riddled with emotions. It may seem obvious to an outside observer but for me I am not so certain.
In the mean time, I will keep giving this my best shot and likely you will keep hearing more about Bailey. He really is a cute puppy and he does deserve the effort!!