Last August we said good-bye to our 11 year old Shar-pei Wu.
This was the first time we had been a one dog house in 30+ years and the silence, for me, was deafening.
My partner had had enough and decided 'No more dogs'.
I thought that once the grief lessened we would once again go looking for a rescue.
I thought a smaller breed dog would be a nice change from the 65-120 lb breeds we usually had roaming around.
It was not to be, she was firm on the no more dogs stance.
Then our Son called asking if we knew anyone who could take his 15 month old Akita, Drudwyn.....LOL!
He was having roommate and job issues.
The dog has destructive separation anxiety but has been wonderfully socialized and was a doggy daycare star.
Living 1000 miles away we had only met the dog a few times but other than the lax way our son had trained him we loved him.
He brought him in for a 'visit' stayed w/ us one night then left the dog to see how we got on.
His lead training was more pull than control and our son had let him get away w/ murder. He had been caged more than crated.
But a Gentle Leader and 30 minutes later he was slack lead glued to my hip then to my partner's.
We're working on the command part of our relationship....lol!
So we went from no dogs to an 85 pound puppy in our life.
The good part is as an adoption we know his name, background and upbringing. Unlike the 1/2 dozen rescues we've done in the past we have something solid to work w/.
And at 60 years old we are for the first time dropping our 'Child' off at daycare twice a week........
First of all, I looooooooooooooooove Akitas, and second of all; I second what Amaryllis had said... I have been adamant for almost four years that I wasn't going to get a second dog. One dog is all I can handle. Yadda yadda yadda. But the minute we met Amgio we were in puppy-love!
I'll have to say that an Akita wasn't my first choice when it came to a new dog.
The ones I've met, outside of shows, were not well trained and a handful.
We had told our Son that for a first time dog the breed was definitely what he didn't want.
We had both Rough and Smooth Collies as the boys were growing up and I told him, if he wanted a big dog, they would be a better choice.
But what can you say.....lol!
Akita as a breed seem to thrive on constant attention and have to be in on the action at all times.
Dru more than most .....
So when left alone all day, in a cage, he went postal it appears.
Separation anxiety times 10. Tore the doors off, tore up the place.
His housemate it appears egged on the problem by constantly yelling at the dog and possibly more...
So he was taken to daycare every day when Matt went to work.
Finances precluded this continuing and the Dru was getting more and more a handful.
Not helped by our son trying to be his 'buddy' and not being firmly in charge.
Akitas need firmly in charge as an anchor.
It took days for him to stop looking for Matt, walking around w/ his toys in his mouth..........
But he has bonded to us now.
Our situation is much better as she is mostly retired, so home most of the time.
He's taking training well, better from me, and joined at the hip to my partner.
The Separation Anxiety is a work in progress... and will be for some time.
The first day we left him alone he went out a second story window, down the outdoor stairs and through the fence.
Luckily our neighbors are dog people and corralled him then called us to come home and get him.
So we are using a WONDERFUL Doggie Daycare a couple of times a week.
Gives him TONS of exercise and gets him away from us for a bit.
I will say again that Dru has been amazingly socialized.
At, now 16 months, there isn't a dog, woman or kid he doesn't try to get along w/.
Men and Cats well lets say we are working on that. ;-)
Our other Son is going to watch him today while we go to a garden tour........ hopefully all will go smoothly.
Have you read any of Patricia McConnell's work? She has a ton of really great, positive books out there. The Other End of the Leash is one of my all time favorite books and I consider it a must read for any dog owner. She also has a booklet called, "I'll Be Home Soon" which deals with separation anxiety. It might be worth checking out! (http://www.patriciamcconnell.com/category/dog-training-books)
Thanks for the tips and the Welcome.
I'll be sure to check the sites and books out.
Separation Anxiety is a new one for us.
We have pretty much always gone the Big Lug route when doing our dog rescues. Or actually it's more they find us I think.
Everyone wants Lassie, till they have to groom Him....
Everyone wants a cute wrinkly little Shar-pei....
till they have to remove him/her from the mailman......
Then they become throwaways. So we recycle.
Dru (no longer Drudwyn) did well today w/ his baby sitter.
After a rough start, had to seriously call him down when our eldest Son came in.
WAY too territory protective,
but after raising Shar-peis he was pretty much an amateur.....lol!
They made up and then basically he slept or watched the Star Trek Marathon the whole time we were gone.
Soon as we walked in, in low low key mode, he came popping up w/ his lead in his mouth asking for a walk.
After about 15 minutes of walk he was done.... racked out in the LR now.
Here's my Partner walking him for the first time about a month ago.
Then checking out the back yard..... He's never had a yard before.
Birds and Squirrels fascinate him.