Frankie has another new puppy – only this puppy is ten pounds bigger and at least ten times more trouble than little Zander.
Hops is a gangly, sweet, goofy boy who somehow already seems bigger than when he got here on Saturday. He’s forty pounds, but his feet are so big he looks like he’s wearing galoshes, so I’d say that even though he’s six months old, he’s far from finished growing.
He routinely runs into things and can’t get his long legs out of his own way. He’s labeled a lab mix, but looks like he was put together with spare parts from a handful of breeds possibly including shepherd.
He’s in that awkward adolescence phase, tripping over himself, with a loose discombobulated swagger that makes me smile and think of teenagers trying (and failing) to look cool.
Nothing on the counters is safe. Yesterday he polished off the cream cheese, sampled the newspaper, and [insert frustrated shriek and several curse words] broke my tea mug (the huge, handmade pottery mug, really a beer stein, that holds enough tea to get me through an entire morning).
Shoes left unattended will likely be slurped on and laces tightened, but so far none have been rendered unwearable. While Zander simply stockpiled shoes in his crate, Hops has the ability to do permanent damage if he could just stay focused long enough. Thankfully, some other treasure usually catches his eye and like a severely ADHD youngster he is on to the next victim in moments. Everyone is learning to put their things away! (Somehow even after 107 foster dogs, they have not learned.)
I was bemoaning my mug (I’m still mourning it this morning) when Ian pointed out that we’re out of practice. We haven’t had a dog like this in some time. I thought about it and he’s right. We’ve had lots and lots of puppies who poop but are contained to the puppy pen, Mama dogs with manners, Nelson (who was easily one of our best guests) and Gala, who quit her destructive ways once she settled in for the long haul. You’d have to go back over two years to Catalina in March of 2016 to find a dog who was a mischievous as Hops. So, basically we’re out of practice. I think this is all Zander’s fault. He was such an easy puppy. Which is why when I saw a look-alike puppy needing a foster home, I snatched up Hops. But Hops is no Zander.
[speaking of Zander – he is now Enzo and went home to his forever family last weekend!]
Hops is very people oriented and follows me like a big loping shadow. Frankie is perhaps a little jealous and while he does indulge in serious wrestling matches with Hops, there is no cuddling as there was with Zander. I’ve dispensed with the leash with Hops as he never leaves my side and the leash only raises the possibility of him tripping me a hundredfold. He likes to keep one part of his body in contact with me when we are outside for a walk. Even the cat, while interesting, won’t pull him from my side.
We took Hops to our first adoption event held at the local brewery just over the hill from us in a small industrial park that has stood empty for nearly the entire 15 years we’ve lived here. Gunpowder Falls Brewing is the perfect Pennsyltucky spot (good German beer, no frills) and we aren’t the only locals who ride their horses in for a brew from time to time.
I thought it was very fitting that I picked up a new foster named Hops on the day we held our first event at Gunpowder. Maybe it’s time Gunpowder had its own brewery dog I told Kristin, the manager. Conveniently, the owner was away for his daughter’s graduation.
As it turned out, Gunpowder was the perfect location for an adoption event. Not only are beer drinkers friendly and generous and not adverse to considering adopting a dog, but right next door is a gymnastics center where families come and go (or tried to go, but their children were lured in by our selection of dogs).
We had wonderful weather and a plethora of black dogs for adoption (plus three small brown ones) and met lots of nice people. We all decided that this was the perfect venue because if no one showed up to meet the dogs, we could still hang out and drink some good beer. Plus, Kristin even brought us ice water and free hot dogs, which is something I’ve never known Pet Valu to do.
Hops will be with us for another ten days since technically he is a puppy and OPH puts a 2-week hold on puppies just to be sure they’re who they say they are and not carrying any kind of infectious yuck.
Update on my Canine Good Citizen student: After another CGC prep class, Frankie is solid at sit, down, stay, being left with a stranger, allowing himself to be brushed, walking on a loose leash with distractions and in crowds, doing a right turn, left turn and u-turn on a loose leash. But yet again last night when he ‘met a friendly stranger’ it was an epic fail.
Here’s the drill: I lead Frankie towards friendly stranger. When we reach FS, I ask for a sit. He sits. (so far so good)
I shake hands with the stranger and she asks, “May I pet your dog?” I say, “Sure.” (Still good)
She crouches down to pet Frankie and….he leaps in her face and licks her nose.
We have about a month before the test. Still welcoming Friendly Strangers willing to come practice with Frankie, but I’m realizing that this may be one of those things he won’t be able to overcome until he grows up a bit. He’ll be one in about two weeks, but I’m guessing CGC may be out of reach until he’s two.
I’m okay with that because a dog who is 90% a good citizen is still a pretty good dog.
Thanks for reading!
If you’d like to know how you can volunteer, foster, adopt or donate with OPH, click here. And if you’d like more regular updates of foster dogs past and present and extra puppy pictures, be sure to join the Another Good Dog facebook group.
COMING AUGUST 2018 from Pegasus Books (Preorder available NOW on Amazon!)