Unexpected possible rescue
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Thread: Unexpected possible rescue

  1. #1
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    Unexpected possible rescue

    Hi, okay so I was out for a walk today and someone followed me home. He is a stray, and there are no shelters here (I'm not in the States, and the local policy when it comes to strays is catch, neuter and release, with females given priority in terms of rehoming in an attempt to maintain a stable but non-reproducing population). My dog seems to be accepting the new addition well enough, though he is usually fairly jealous.

    I am not adverse to the idea of keeping him. In fact I lost my girl back in January, and I had been waiting for my boy to pick a companion for himself. The problem is that I have a trip in February, where someone I trust will be dropping by to feed my dog/dogs a couple of times a day. On the one hand I'd rather leave them together than leave my boy alone, but on the other I am terrified that a problem will arise in my absence, that they will get into a fight, or something like that.

    So my question is, are six weeks enough time for me to be relatively sure that the new dog is fully settled? I have had two females with no problem, and a male and a female, but these are two boys, and they are both rather boisterous. Mine is neutered, the other one is not (I will probably have him neutered if I decide to keep him, but again with an upcoming trip, timing and recovery are an issue).

    I am attaching a picture of the handsome fellow (or at least I'm trying to)
    Unexpected possible rescue-img_0259.jpg

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  3. #2
    Senior Member Shell's Avatar
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    Re: Unexpected possible rescue

    It isn't unusual for neutered males to have issues with intact males. Personally, I would not leave the two alone together but then again, I don't leave any dogs alone together even if they have gotten on well for months or years.

    In general, my rule of thumb is to expect a new dog who comes in as an adult or older puppy from a shelter, rehome or being a stray to take 4-6 months to fully settle in.

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    Re: Unexpected possible rescue

    I was afraid of something like that. The problem is that my dad lives 10,000 miles away. We are talking a 14 hr non-stop flight here, so taking the dog/dogs along is not an option, but neither is cancelling the trip. I just hate the idea of sending him back out into the big, bad world (and as I said, there are no good alternatives for males around here).

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    Senior Member Shell's Avatar
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    Re: Unexpected possible rescue

    Quote Originally Posted by clea View Post
    I was afraid of something like that. The problem is that my dad lives 10,000 miles away. We are talking a 14 hr non-stop flight here, so taking the dog/dogs along is not an option, but neither is cancelling the trip. I just hate the idea of sending him back out into the big, bad world (and as I said, there are no good alternatives for males around here).
    Maybe I'm a bit confused about your plans for the care of the dog(s) while you are gone. If someone is already coming by to take care of your dog, it would only an add extra minute or two for them to deal with taking out/putting back the dogs into separate rooms so that they aren't alone unsupervised.

    I use baby gates to keep my dogs in separate spaces without totally blocking the air flow around the house. They love each other and are wonderful together supervised but even if they are only playing, alone they run the risk of one getting grumpy about it and setting off an argument. I use two gates so they aren't able to get face-to-face.

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    Re: Unexpected possible rescue

    The problem is that my dog is used to having full run of the house in my absence, including access to the dog flap to go out to the backyard when he wants to, and the second dog is not even housebroken (and while I am fairly certain that I can get him used to doing his business outside in the time I have left, there's no way he'll be reliable enough if he has to wait), so that division would require more training/retraining than I can do in the next six weeks. I can try to teach the new guy to stay in certain areas, but boundary training takes times, and again reliability in my absence would be a serious issue.

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    Senior Member Shell's Avatar
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    Re: Unexpected possible rescue

    Is it possible that your friend who is coming by to feed the dog could just stay at your house during your trip?

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    Re: Unexpected possible rescue

    No, unfortunately that is not an option, though I do have another friend who might be able to keep both dogs (the problem is that she has a dog with some health issues and a cat who would have to accept them, so it's a long shot))

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    Re: Unexpected possible rescue

    Just a quick update to let you know that it looks like the little fellow is staying. I know it's too soon to trust them completely but he seems to have really bonded with my dog and with me. Still working on a solution for the two weeks I'll be gone, but even though the timing isn't right, that's not worth giving up what we have here, or denying him the possibility of a home.

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    Re: Unexpected possible rescue

    Quote Originally Posted by clea View Post
    Just a quick update to let you know that it looks like the little fellow is staying. I know it's too soon to trust them completely but he seems to have really bonded with my dog and with me. Still working on a solution for the two weeks I'll be gone, but even though the timing isn't right, that's not worth giving up what we have here, or denying him the possibility of a home.
    Awww, lucky dog there.

    I do know plenty of people who leave their dogs alone together and for the most part, they are fine. I happen to be A) a cautious type, B) have a great set-up in the house their own areas, and C) have big, powerful dogs.

    One key to reducing chances of problems is a thorough housecleaning to pick up/remove any items that are likely to be guarded or argued over. Toys of course, but also similar items like shoes, balls (like sports equipment), stuffed toys etc. Having two water bowls even can give the dogs options (and provide extra water in case one gets knocked over between caretaker visits).

    If you decide to get him neutered now, the normal recovery time is basically not more than 2 weeks for male dogs. It is a pretty simple surgery for them at least.

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    Re: Unexpected possible rescue

    Quote Originally Posted by clea View Post
    Just a quick update to let you know that it looks like the little fellow is staying. I know it's too soon to trust them completely but he seems to have really bonded with my dog and with me. Still working on a solution for the two weeks I'll be gone, but even though the timing isn't right, that's not worth giving up what we have here, or denying him the possibility of a home.
    Just an idea, but can you maybe take your dog to your friend's house and have the other friend come and check on the new guy? Or board the new guy at a nice kennel and leave your other dog at home, as usual?

    Not sure if you have access to good boarding kennels. We have a local one where they have a 24/7 live camera feed in all rooms( they don't have pens, but individual rooms for each dog with a nice window and transparent door), so you can see what your dog and the staff are up to. They also have a vet on the premise, in case anything happens. They also match dogs according to play style, temper and size and organize play groups throughout the day, aside from the one on one time with the dog( pee breaks and longer walks). I leave my dog there without worrying, anytime.
    I described our kennel, since those were all the requirements I had when shopping for boarding kennels.

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    Re: Unexpected possible rescue

    Okay, I tried to reply to this about a week ago, but for whatever reason it never came through. First, for the suggestion of finding a good boarding kennel, I haven't found any, but on a more positive note the boys have bonded and become absolutely inseparable... as in the last time I tried to leave them in separate rooms because I was going to be gone for a couple of hours, I had several neighbors calling to complain because that they had spent the whole time howling. Now I usually come home to find them curled up together waiting for me with no signs of distress. In other words, I am fairly confident that they will be just fine with someone coming to spend a couple of hours playing with them. Also, if a problem arises, I have figured out a way to keep them apart. It's not practical while I'm here, but it is workable while I'm gone. Still, I am hoping it won't come to that.

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