Friday, January 31, 2014

Day Three: TGIF

Now that we had the crate reinforced and hopefully impermeable we were able to put Barry in the crate during the day while we were gone. As much as I was against it I decided that I'd like to keep Barry because if we didn't crate him he'd escape.
Me and Barry! This picture was taken 15 minutes before I realized he had eaten a hole through a pair of my husbands leather Red Wing boots. Yikes...
Husband's co-worker met us at 7AM to bring things that might help Barry get through the day while we were gone as best as possible. Due to the activity of the previous day my husband contacted her letting her know how distressed we were and that we weren't sure what to do anymore. She was able to go to a pet store that night and pick up a few things that she said she'd bring to us. I was so relieved knowing she'd be bringing over things that could help us and help Barry. I was willing to try just about anything! She has also been a huge help for us during this time with Barry.

We took Barry down for his walk and she was waiting at the front of our building and gave us the bag of goodies. Once we got back in I opened the bag to find many things that could be very helpful. Calming chews, calming collar, Sonic Egg (see picture below), a no bark collar (not a shock collar), a Kong toy and maybe a few other things. We were unable to use the Sonic Egg right away because it needed a special battery but everything else was ready to go. I placed the calming collar on him and the no bark collar (which emits an annoying sound that dogs can hear to help control barking - it's humane and safe). I gave him 4 calming chews and we began our normal morning routine.

The Sonic Egg. It has indoor and outdoor settings. If you have a dog that barks a lot this egg catches the noise and emits an ultrasonic sound only dogs can hear (similar to the no bark collar we were given). We hang it on the coat rack shelf right by the front door.
Before I left for the day I put him in the crate with some treats, left a few lights on throughout the condo and put on light rock music. I just hoped that all of the things we used would help him. The calming chews, collar to calm him and the no bark collar to help keep him quiet so the neighbors wouldn't be upset or bothered.

I got to work and emailed the resident dog walker that our building manager recommended to me. I wanted her to start ASAP but I knew she'd need to meet us and Barry first. I just hoped that she'd respond quickly so we could start the process.

Once again at lunch I got on the train to go home to Barry. Nerves and all. I got home and Barry was still in the crate! I didn't know if he was upset or whining the whole time but at least he hadn't hurt himself or gotten his head stuck. I felt pretty good about the crate situation at that point. It seemed like he was okay with the crate. Before I left to go back to work he went into the crate easily and I gave him some treats.

Barry waiting patiently for his treats.
When I got back to work I had a response from the dog walker. She was willing to meet with us on Monday after work to go over the details, the cost, etc. Finally! This would make my life so much easier!

At the end of the day around 6PM I got off the train and saw my husband was in the train car in front of me. We were both home at the same time! I ran to catch up to him. He looked frantic and said, "Did you get the text about Barry??" What text?! "The text said, 'dog escaped twice in the last hour.'" Whaaaaat? That can't be! Maybe there is a delay with the texts - that has to be from yesterday! We walked quickly to our building and as soon as we entered we saw the door man and there was Barry at the front desk. The building manager met us there as well. I think we were both speechless. I know I was. There were residents standing around and all praising Barry and saying how sweet/cute he was, etc. I was overwhelmed and totally confused. I finally turned my full attention to Barry and his face!!! His poor face! That was the first thing I might have said, "Oh my god! His poor face!" I was so upset.
Barry's poor face after the crate incident.
I went to our condo to grab his leash while Husband waited with Barry at the front desk. I quickly went to the back room to see what happened. Was it possible that I just didn't latch the door? When I saw the crate I was once again floored. The door was latched alright but the bottom portion was bent up and out. He was able to pry open the metal crate posts, push his face through and force his way out of the crate then escape the unit. Wow. Houdini. And a now-useless crate - totally ruined.

The rest of the night was mostly a normal Friday night. We touched on the idea again about Barry being too much dog for us but I think at that point we had our mind made up. We'd need to try harder. It was decided we'd get a deadbolt put in and that was really was the only option we had as far as making sure Barry didn't escape again. A crate wasn't going to hold him.

I drove to Home Depot that night, picked up a deadbolt, called the vet to make an appointment (we wound up going with a different vet that accepted walk ins), got home, and drank 'Polish Cognac'.

Here's to you, Barry.

Thank god it was Friday.

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Day Two Part II: The Great Escape

**After writing about day two with Barry it turned into a really long post so I made it a two part post. This is part II.** - find part I here.

Here's a pic of Barry to tide you over!
About 30 - 45 minutes after I got back to work from lunch I got a call from our building manager letting me know that Barry had escaped from our unit. He was found roaming the hallways by one of the board members who lives on our floor. He was placed back in the unit but managed to open the door again and let himself out. (remember that door handle pic in the Day One post?)  At the moment the building manager was telling me this I thought I'd pass out. I couldn't even eek out a word to express anything. I didn't know what to express. Should I apologize? Should I cry into the phone that it was hopeless and we just weren't meant to have a dog in our life? Should I quit my new job? Should I be angry at Barry? Did someone let him out? How did he get out? What were we going to do? Who could help us? The building manager chimed in again and asked me if I was okay. She was excellent. I mean I don't think we could have continued without her. She really made a big difference in our decision making with Barry. She has since received a well deserved promotion and is no longer our building manager but I can't say enough good about her. She was one of the most helpful people (there were a handful) during our first few weeks with Barry.

Barry looking down the hallway.
I immediately called my husband in a teary panic. I told him what was going on and he wound up taking the rest of the day off work because I couldn't. Remember, this was my 4th day on at a new job. At that point I was just worried that everyone thought I was a big drama queen and loved attention. First of all I hate drama. Don't want any in my life. Second, I don't like attention unless it's from my husband and now Barry. I certainly don't want people I barely know giving me unwanted attention due to doggie drama. It was embarrassing but it felt like my life was falling apart! It also turned out that my immediate supervisor is a huge animal advocate and was very supportive of me during this time. She kept telling me, "The first month is the hardest part." She was right.

Another pic to tide you over. He's so handsome.
My husband had gotten help from the building maintenance man to reinforce the crate so that Barry wouldn't be able to escape it. He had to be crated or he would escape our unit! Once the crate was reinforced and sturdy enough to hold a 60 some-odd lb pit pull my husband had Barry get into the crate then he laid down on the bed in the back room and fell asleep while Barry fell asleep in his crate. When I got home I was exhausted with worry. I can't really remember if they were both asleep when I got there or they were in the living room because my mind was in such a jumbled-whacked out state. They were both just fine, though. The crate was sturdy and the plan would be to crate him. I was still worried, though. I didn't want Barry to hurt himself in an effort to get out. I shared my concern with my husband and I know he felt the same. We had the talk about Barry. Was he too much dog for us? Could we handle him? We were having second thoughts. The idea of going back to Tuesday and just not adopting Barry at all was a relieving and wonderful thought. The thought of taking Barry back now and giving up on him was both a relief in that my life would go back to normal and devastating because of the reality of what that would mean. The reality of taking Barry back outweighed any relief I might have fantasized about. It would mean Barry would be devastated too. He would go back to being in a shelter. He may not get adopted quickly enough and that might be it for him. We might be his last chance. It also would mean that we failed. We weren't willing to put in the effort that it takes to care for and love an animal. I already loved him. Love wasn't enough.

Husband & Barry relaxing together. My two favorite guys!
I went into our bedroom and tried to constrain my sobbing to quiet puffs of air rather than gasps and gulps. I was beside myself after that talk. I was so torn. The feeling of dread everyday coming home at lunch, not knowing what to expect. Waking in the middle of the night and wishing we could take it back. Having a brand new job that I really liked. Loving a dog and not knowing how to make it work. I wanted to bring a dog home and love on him and have fun with him, maybe train him and work with him a little but that was it. I didn't know the level of detail and work that would go into this. I didn't sign up for this. But there it was. I loved him and it killed me. I cried my eyes out and kept as quiet as possible. I didn't want Barry or my husband to see. I just needed to cry after so much stress and anxiety. It was only day two! If it was already this bad how could I handle more? My husband eventually saw me crying. We decided we couldn't give up. Not now. It wasn't fair.

I  suggested getting a weekday dog walker. I explained to Husband how taxing my lunch breaks were and that because I was still new at my job I'd like to not have to be in a rush to leave, rushing around for my one hour lunch to walk Barry, rushing to put him in the crate, rushing to get back to work, and then get to work all flustered and upset. Our building manager was able to suggest someone for the job. Someone that lived right in our building.

If memory serves me correct we also decided to give him a bath on this night (I can't remember exactly which day but I know it was within a couple of days of bringing him home). We didn't want to give him a bath right away but he hadn't had one since he was out of the shelter and he had a slight smell with that dirty feel when you pet a dog or cat and can feel and smell on your hands. Plus his coat was dull and some tinges of yellow/brown were in areas. A bath was in order. We used a sensitive skin almond oatmeal wash. He didn't love the bath but he didn't fight us either. I got in with him and helped scrub him down. All in all, the bath wasn't a bad experience but I could tell he didn't want the bath to be happening.

We decided we could tough it out. We would come through this and Barry would get used to everything and it would all work out in the end.

We weren't prepared for what day three would bring...

Monday, January 27, 2014

Day Two Part I: Why Did We Decide To Get A Dog Again?

**After writing about day two with Barry it turned into a really long post so I made it a two part post. This is part I.** -find part II here

This was day two. Thursday morning. This morning we decided we'd workout in our building's gym which is just one floor down from us. Before Barry we were on a regular workout schedule and we figured we could maintain that even with Barry. We woke up extra early and did only a short 20-25 minute workout. We were still conscious of the fact that we had Barry and wanted to make sure he wasn't waking the neighbors with crying hence our quick workout.

When we got back to our floor we could hear Barry crying very loudly. It was way too early for that so we ran to our unit and my husband went to calm him. I think then and there is when we realized we can't do weekday morning workouts anymore - at least not until we know Barry is settled and won't cry during that time.

Big yawn!
I heard a light knock at our door and because I was red faced and sweaty I very reluctantly answered the door, opening it just a crack. There was a guy standing at our door asking about our dog. I opened the door wider. He told me that the previous day our dog barked and cried and howled for three hours. From 9AM to 11AM - or something around that time frame. Quiet time hours in our building are from 11PM to 8AM and I didn't leave until 8:30AM so in my mind I figured most people would be up and awake ready to go to work or already gone for the day and that Barry wouldn't be much of a nuisance to anyone. EXCEPT for the fact that we happen to live right across from 2 people who either work in the evening, go to school in the evenings and/or don't have jobs. Great. I didn't ask his situation but I did apologize a million times and asked what time he does get up and quickly added in that I don't leave until 8:30 so it should never happen again so early... He told me that he wakes up around 9AM and his girlfriend wakes up... later... Those were his actual words for when his girlfriend wakes up. Later. Huh. Well, that stinks. I apologized profusely again and told him we'd work on whatever we needed to do so that Barry wouldn't be a bother. The guy was nice. He wasn't mad or accusatory or anything. He was actually very courteous and gentle about telling me our dog was annoying him and his girlfriend. Thank you across-the-hallway neighbor for being kind. Unfortunately it broke my heart even more and upped the stress in our household once again.

I closed the door and my husband came out with a face that I know well (I know all of his faces well, he is my husband after all). Frustration and upset. My feelings reflected what his face expressed. We sat down and started searching for doggie daycare places, boarding options, ANYTHING! It was 6:30AM and time was running out. We found out that Barry needed to have a *negative fecal exam --see definition at bottom of post-- (AWL didn't offer this exam and we hadn't gone to the vet yet to get one of those - not to mention at the time I'd never heard of such a thing) in order to be able to go to pretty much any doggie daycare or to be boarded AND to top THAT little nugget of refreshment off he wasn't allowed at a few places due to him being a pit bull. Then the final gut punch - almost all doggie daycare places need to have a meet and greet set up with the dog first in order to decide if he can behave well around other dogs. Not just pit bulls, but any breed. It's standard to meet the dog first. Obviously this makes sense now looking back on it. You don't want some crazy, aggressive, mean dog at a doggie day care ruining everyone's experience.

So now what did we decide? The bathroom. The master bathroom is big enough and in the center of our condo so hopefully his whining would be muffled a little. Perfect(ish). We got ready as normal and then prepared the bathroom with a few things. A bone, some water, his bed...

Here's a photo of Barry dreaming. His tongue is sticking out just a little. What a freakin' cutie!
Fast forward to lunch time. I am, once again, a nervous wreck on the train ride home to see Barry. I'm worried what the bathroom will look like and mostly if he's hurt. I get in and the bathroom is mostly okay. One side of the door frame is hanging off and some of the dry wall has been scooped out by either paw or mouth. But otherwise, it's not bad and nothing we can't fix. We go on our quick walk - this time I exit the front exit avoiding the parking garage. When we get back to the condo I decide against putting him back in the bathroom due to the damage on the door and wall and let him run around the condo because he's pretty good in the condo and it's after noon so if he does howl or whatever it hopefully won't wake anyone.

Here is the damage to the wall and door frame via Barry.
Next up: The Great Escape

**Negative Fecal Exam - A fecal exam is literally that. An exam of feces. The vet tech will look through the feces provided by the dog parent and check for worms, worm eggs, etc. If there are visible signs of worms in the feces that will be a positive fecal exam and the dog will need to take a medication to rid itself of the parasite. If there are no signs of anything bad in the feces then that is a negative fecal exam - which is what you're going for.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Day One: Not What We Expected

The first morning that we had Barry I woke up quickly and ran around the condo to check for any accidents or to find if he had torn anything apart, etc. Nothing. He was good all night. No damage to anything and no doggie accidents. Yessss!

So the normal daily work week routine began. Unfortunately for Barry we were ill prepared doggie owners. We didn't schedule time off work to be at home with him to help him acclimate or get used to us and get used to the new place. We were going into it totally blind. We adopted him on a Tuesday evening. So that meant on Wednesday morning we'd be going to work and leaving a dog in our home by himself for part of the day. We didn't plan well. At all.

The look of ill prepared doggie owners - Husband is blurred for privacy. Sorry about the bad quality photo - this was taken with an old cell phone a couple of years ago.
Husband and I took Barry on his first early morning walk and it went as well as could be expected. Then we fed him and began getting ready for work. Showers, ironing, make up, etc. Barry sat and watched. Husband left for work and I was alone with sweet Barry. Just me and the dog. But I was nervous. Nervous about leaving him in a crate for 4 hours. Nervous about putting him in the crate and would he be mad at me? Nervous about if we were doing the right things with him. I put a bone (or something - I can't really remember what it was at this time) into his crate. A small bowl of water and a few treats to lure Barry to the crate.
This is the look he gives us when we're getting ready in the morning. He knows we're going to be leaving him.
The plan we had for a schedule for Barry was as follows~~
  • Take Barry outside for bathroom and a walk first thing in the AM.
  • Give Barry breakfast after his walk
  • Put Barry in his crate before leaving for work
  • Come home at lunch time to take Barry outside for bathroom and a quick walk
  • Put Barry back in his crate before going back to work
  • Come home after work and take Barry outside for bathroom and a walk
  • Feed Barry dinner after his walk
  • Take Barry outside once more for an evening bathroom and walk
Simple enough, right? Well, yeah, actually. The schedule we currently have looks a lot like this now. We've had to make some minor adjustments, though.

Barry went into his crate just fine. No issues. I latched the door both top and bottom and Barry looked at me with his beautiful big brown eyes. I left the room and he began wailing. Howling. He sounded like a human/beast/sea lion. Not a dog. I kept to what I was doing trying to be consistent and thinking that this was good for him and good for us. I grabbed my things about to walk out the door to catch the train and then decided I'd go look into the back room once just to see if he was okay - just to take a look, maybe give him another treat. Thank god I did. 

What I saw made my heart lurch into my throat! Barry had his head through the side of the crate - stuck sideways, metal crate rods tight around his neck and clamping his head so he was unable to back his way out of the sides. He pried the side of the metal crate open with his face and stuck his head through it in attempt to get out but now was unable to get his head out of this bind. I dropped all of my things to the floor and ran to him and pulled the sides so he was able to free his head. I opened the crate and decided I'd rather have a home that was trashed and with dog shit all over it than to come home on my lunch break to a dead dog. If I hadn't looked in on him I don't know what would have happened. I think he probably is tough enough and strong enough that he eventually would have been able to get out but then, what if not? Could it have killed him? I don't even want to go further in my mind with the possible outcomes.

So I quickly picked up things I thought he might get into, shoved things into closets, closed both bathroom doors, put things up high so he couldn't reach and then tracked the train for the next one coming. There was no way I was going to be late on my second day at work. TALK ABOUT STRESS!

Barry by the door. He doesn't want us to leave him.
Leaving Barry behind I shut the door to our unit and walked to the elevator. I could hear him yelping and crying and it broke my heart. But I had to go to work.

At lunch time I took the train home and was a nervous wreck. I didn't know what I would find. A whole house torn apart? Accidents everywhere? Would he be hurt? It was the most awful train ride home I've ever had. When I walked into our unit there was nothing awry. No accidents, nothing chewed or torn. It was fine. I was in disbelief and so relieved!

Barry was happy to see me and excited. I loved on him and still in shock looked around to find all was well. Except the brown/red streaks of blood (from 'happy tail' - see definition at bottom of post) on the wall by the door and the door had some scratches on it. Minimal issues so far!
Front door scratches. Notice the type of handle. Consider that foreshadowing for an upcoming post!
In my shock and disbelief I misplaced my keys so I wasn't able to quickly get him outside. I was searching for the keys everywhere. We can't leave the unit or the building without the keys otherwise we can't get back in. At this point I was in another full on panic mode. I didn't have much time and needed to get back to work. Again, it was my second day on at a new job so I couldn't be late to work or back from break. Finally the keys surfaced and I felt bad for Barry so I walked him down the stairs rather than using the elevator to give him a bit more exercise. We got to the first floor and as soon as we stepped into the parking garage he peed. A huge puddle of wet began to spread underneath Barry. I was so embarrassed! Luckily no one saw it. I checked the time and decided we needed to head back up so I took him back up the stairs (again, I wanted to make sure he got a little bit of exercise and that was all I could offer him at the time).

Since it's been very cold here in Chicago we are unable to take Barry out for long walks and give him sufficient exercise with walks. We combine a short walk with stairs and additional indoor exercise. It's important to give your dog exercise, especially if you have a dog like ours! While Barry isn't necessarily high energy he needs exercise and we try to give him as much as possible. He is responding very well to exercise and he loves it! 

I gathered my things, checked the train tracker and grabbed a handful of paper towels. I flew out the door after throwing a treat down the hall for Barry and went to wipe up the mess he'd made in the parking garage. The nice thing about most parking garages is that they are made of cement. By the time I got there the puddle had totally seeped into the ground and it was barely noticeable. Back to work I went!

Also understand that my husband was nervous right along with me. He couldn't easily take the train home for his lunch break like I could so he was in limbo waiting for my calls and my updates as well. It could very well have been even worse waiting and not knowing than knowing and dealing with it. Either way - we were both super stressed and nervous about the whole thing.

Finally the work day was over and we were both happily home with our Barry. Husband brought home a few more things that we'd need for Barry. More treats, a bone, toys, a doggie bed, etc. Things were great. Barry was totally house trained (as far as we could tell), he didn't tear anything up and he was super cute! We thought maybe he doesn't need to be crated after all. Yay! Perfect dog and happy life.
Lap dog.
**Happy tail is when a dog gets excited and wags his tail rapidly and can injure his tail knocking it against a hard surface. Many times when a dog whacks his tail on a hard surface it can split and bleed and is hard to heal because of the continuous tail wagging and reopening of the wound. It can also be called Kennel Tail, Splitting Tail, and Bleeding Tail. For obvious reasons I prefer the name Happy Tail.

Happy Saturday

Barry wants to say 'Happy Saturday!' to everyone! Today is one of his favorite days of the week.

There are three posts in the works covering day one and day two of life with Barry. I should have the first one up by tomorrow.

Have a fun weekend!

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Homecoming Day

My husband works with a lady that volunteers at The Animal Welfare League (AWL) shelter where we picked Barry up. Her sister and her father also volunteer here. Barry was recommended to us via the sister and his co-worker. They felt Barry would be a good fit for us and for our lifestyle. Barry's name was Jasper when we first met him. We changed it quickly because not only did we not like that name, he didn't respond to it anyway. He was brought in to the shelter by someone that found him on the street. It is unknown who the previous owners were or what happened to him that he was no longer with them.
This is where we first met Barry.
The Animal Welfare League.

If you are considering getting a pet please consider a rescue!
Save a life!

Quick rundown of our lifestyle: We live in a quiet (by Chicago standards) neighborhood not far from downtown Chicago. We own a decent size condo with a balcony, no yard. The condo building we live in is very dog friendly. We work Monday through Friday and are gone about 9 hours. We are both young and healthy (read: able to care for a high energy dog if needed). We have no children. 
View of downtown Chicago from our rooftop deck. 
We were shown pictures and videos and we just loved him - just looking at his sweet face. He was very cute in those pictures. We had it in our mind that we would be getting a dog at some point. In fact about 2 weeks prior we were looking to adopt a sweet girl named Lizzy but the foster mom fell in love with her and decided to keep her.

This is Lizzy - the sweet girl we almost adopted. She is in a great & loving home now!
On December 2nd, 2013 I started a new job with a great company. That evening my husband let me know that the following evening we'd be meeting Barry and possibly (well, WILL BE) bringing him home. Kind of scary. Very fast. Not prepared. < To say the least!

On December 3rd we followed our friend to the shelter. We got there and signed paperwork, Barry was brought out and he was just a big ball of energy! Was he beautiful? Yes. Was he what I expected? No.

Intense emotions were running through my husband and I. We both just stood there watching this beast run all over the place even though he was held on a leash he was pulling and controlling the direction of the handler. He didn't look at us. I wanted to pet him but he wouldn't stand still long enough.

Once we were done filling out the paperwork Barry was ushered into our friend's car, a crate (courtesy of AWL) was folded and put into the back of ours and we were back on the road following our friend and our new dog back to her place for food and celebratory 'Polish Cognac'.

Barry licking my husband's face off!
We were finally able to meet our new dog. He was sweet and fun. I liked him. He even laid down and relaxed a bit at our friend's house. This could work! I felt there was some hope and that he would actually be a good fit. < Kind of too late for that sort of thinking being that just moments before WE ADOPTED HIM! Good fit or not he was ours! All 60 lbs of him.

Loaded with essentials (a leash, dog food, treats, and an unopened bottle of 'Polish Cognac') we packed up our new family into our tiny Hyundai Accent and headed back home to our condo in Chicago. The ride home was nice. Barry was relaxed and calm the whole ride. I had tears in my eyes thinking of how much I already loved him. I was so happy to have been able to rescue him plus finally having a dog was (and is) exciting! On the ride home we decided on his name being Barry. We didn't think on it much. We threw out a bunch of names. We landed on Barry and decided we liked it and he looked like a Barry. I think it's perfect for him.

We arrived home and took Barry on a quick walk around the area near the building we live in. We brought him in and put the crate together right away. We put some blankets in it and hoped he would take to it well during the day and at night. We didn't know what he was like. Would he tear everything up? Was he house broken? Would he bark and cry all day and all night? No clue. We got ready for bed and attempted to keep Barry in the crate but he started howling and crying. We decided we'd need to work on that another time because it was late and living in a condo in such close proximity to other humans means we need to be respectful of them and the quiet time rules. He slept at the foot of our bed on the floor that first night.

Let the good times roll.
'Polish Cognac'

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Meet Barry!

Meet Barry. 2(ish) year old American Pit Bull. Sweet big-baby-boy-lap dog.

Beautiful, huh?

He was rescued from a shelter in a suburb of Chicago, IL. I can't say it was love at first sight. In fact I think my husband and I were scared shitless. Not because Barry's a pit bull but because we sort of decided we'd bring him home before ever even meeting him (a story for another day). He came out into the room where we met him at the shelter all big and happy and excited. Tail wagging (a lethal tail), whining, jumping, pulling hard on the leash the handler had him on and we were expected to take him home with us. Our nice, quiet, boring home would now have a pit bull resident.

I promise soon I'll have a post about bringing him home and the first week of hell we endured for the love of an animal.

Back to meeting Barry...
Barry's favorite things include going on walks outdoors, other animals (especially squirrels), his Kong toy filled with goodies, weekends when we're all home together, treats, sleeping in our bed, snacks, getting his pink belly rubbed, the flirt pole, food, love and approval from his adopted parents, and meal time. He really loves to eat, but he's a dog so I guess that's not too incredibly impressive or abnormal.

Barry's dislikes include PAWZ rubber booties (though, he doesn't put up much of a fuss when we do put them on him), baths (we've only given him one so far), his red winter coat (too snug), being kicked out of bed at night and told to sleep in his own doggie bed, human dinner time, not being able to meet every doggie and person he sees and finally weekdays when we are gone for work during the day.

He is still new to us. We're going on two months with him right now and we're already madly in love. I hope he feels the same about us.

He is laid back and pretty much just enjoys being next to us. Wherever that may be. He hates sleeping by himself in his own doggie bed and insists each night on jumping in bed with us. That usually consists of Barry slowly, like a ninja in the middle of the night, walking to either side of the bed and with one incredible 4 foot leap landing right smack in between my husband and I then laying across the bed taking up much of the foot space. At that point we are both half asleep and too tired to do anything about it. Okay, the truth? Most nights we just let him sleep in the bed with us. Naysayers to dogs being allowed in your bed be damned. Barry's cute and we love him. Though, we have tried a number of times to make him sleep on his doggie bed. The times we do try that he really does come to our bed like a ninja in the night... Well, a ninja with jingling tags, but a ninja nonetheless.

Proof that Barry does sleep in his own doggie bed - even if it is only during the daytime.
At this point I might be able to admit that he's officially spoiled and I don't care. Poor guy was in a shelter for 2 months where he didn't get many walks or much exercise, he was underfed, and it was just an overall high anxiety and horrible place for a dog to be. It was bad enough for my husband and I walking into the kennel area for about a minute and seeing the many, many dogs. The smell, the noise, the nervous energy... I feel bad for any dog that is in a shelter. The people that work at shelters or volunteer are amazing people who don't get enough credit.

I hope you enjoyed this first post! I intend to do a couple of posts per week with updates, pictures, advice, and honest reviews of products.