Whole Dog Journal's Blog February 1, 2016

Of Course He's Staying

Posted at 12:15PM - Comments: (16)

None of you actually had any money riding on the question of whether I was going to keep him or not, did you? I hope not.

Yes, I am keeping the puppy, the one I fell in love with from the litter I fostered for my shelter. One of these days, I’m going to go back through all my files and do the math, but I think that if I added up all the dogs I’ve fostered for one shelter or rescue of another in the past 20 years, the total would come to more than 25, and this is the first one I’ve “failed” at fostering. At least, so far. I am still not discounting the idea that, if it turns out that this puppy turns out to be the ideal dog for an ideal family sometime down the road, I could, theoretically, still turn him over to a perfect life elsewhere. Who knows? Maybe he will turn out to be a great service dog or therapy dog, as some of you have suggested. He does have the calmest, most centered personality I’ve ever seen in such a young dog.

And his name is Woody. I wanted a nice, friendly name – even though half of my friends were proposing names based on his size and promise of future bulk, names like Thor and Hercules and Max. My husband usually names all of our pets, and he admired the wood-grained look of the pup, apparently unaware that the brindle coat color is generally just called brindle. It’s never been my favorite coat color, but now that I look at it like wood-grain, I like it. I like everything about this pup so far.

For example, I taught him (within minutes) to put his front feet up on a stool. He decided to go one step further and get up onto the stool, and then sit down on it (sitting is still his very favorite behavior). I thought it was just too cute, and rewarded him richly. The next day, I was working at my computer and suddenly thought that thought you don’t want to have when you have a puppy: “It’s too quiet! Where is the puppy?!” I started to jump up from my chair, and as I did, I looked into the next room – where Woody was sitting comfortably on his little step stool, waiting for me to notice and reward him. Goodness knows how long he had been sitting there, but he got rewarded with treats and an abundance of kisses. He climbs up there all the time now, just to hang out, but he’s not going to fit on the stool much longer, the way he’s growing. I’ve ordered a K9 Kore Balance Disk and Base from TotoFit (totofit.com) for his next “station.”

My good friend Leonora, who was fostering a litter of six tiny puppies (the ones I had for just the Christmas week in addition to the litter of nine I was fostering), has also “failed” at fostering. She kept the smallest of her litter, and she did give him a big, tough name, Samson! We’re both signed up for a puppy kindergarten class with my favorite local trainer, Sarah Richardson of The Canine Connection, starting this week, and we’ll take the puppies to Sarah’s puppy socials, too.

I haven’t owned a young puppy since I was a kid (and didn’t really own the ones my parents kept). As an adult, the youngest dog I’ve owned was my Border Collie, Rupert, bought by my then-boyfriend when the pup was about four months old – and that was years before I knew anything about dogs, years before WDJ. This is my first opportunity to own a dog from as early as possible, and I could not be more excited.

Otto is still not excited, but he knows that where there are untrained puppies, there are more treats and more exercise than usual, so he’s getting on board, slowly. He gets extra compensatory love, too, and I’m taking pains to crate Woody enough so that Otto gets plenty of alone-time. And, fortunately, I am still fostering Maebe the Black and Tan Coonhound, who is absolutely the best puppy-sitter ever. She plays and plays with Woody, helping get him good and tired. Most of the pictures I  have been taking of him have Maebe in them; they are just too cute together. 


Comments (16)

Ah he's adorable! Reminds me of my Sophie when she was a pup. I laughed at your brindle comment because, as a lover of all things Boxer, I'd envisioned owning a fawn and didn't care for brindle either...until this cutie brindle girl stole my heart, and now I love her color, and we get comments on it all the time (she's a lighter brindle than most Boxers). Looking forward to hearing more Woody tales (tails?) as he grows up!

Posted by: sdboxermom | February 3, 2016 2:01 PM    Report this comment

What great pictures of that smart little guy! I love the name Woody too. (And very smart you were to let your hubby name him!) Looking forward to hearing more of the joy his brings you and your family. Thanks for sharing him with us!

Posted by: jae | February 2, 2016 8:12 PM    Report this comment

Congratulatons--I am looking forward to "watching" him grow up on the pages and posts of WDJ!

Posted by: PJKutscher | February 2, 2016 6:52 PM    Report this comment

Are you keeping Maebe too? just wondering!?

Posted by: meanmorgan | February 2, 2016 6:43 PM    Report this comment

Such good news, to hear you kept the puppy. Of course, we'd have all thought you would need to be committed, if you had NOT. Dogs like Woody just don't come along but once (or twice) in a blue moon. I like the name. I never considered brindle as a possible wood grain (description) although I collect hand-crafted burl & spalted, wood pens. I was thinking more along the lines of tiger stripes, zig-zags or lightening strikes.

Woody is likely to spoil YOU.... rotten. Best working dog, ever. Whiz-kid. Prepare to treat him as a versatile dog just as though he were a Weim. (You can switch hit from activity to activity, all week long, as long as YOU have the energy and can find the instructors or the space). He can be started on tracking, was well as obedience, & rally, etc. Let nothing limit you, unless you find something that is NOT his "thing".

Posted by: Betsy | February 2, 2016 4:38 PM    Report this comment

Woody's reached Nirvanah, and so have you!

Posted by: IrishEyes | February 2, 2016 3:44 PM    Report this comment

HA! Another family? Woody is in his forever home! He is yours and you are his! He clearly had chosen you, I'm SO glad you reciprocated! I look forward to watching him grow up via your blogs. As I said last week, you will be a member of the pit loving club very soon.... They are such wonderful dogs who so often never get given a chance. Prepare to be amazed!

Posted by: SFLSue | February 2, 2016 2:20 PM    Report this comment

My bet is that you will never be able to let Woody go! And he will give you lots of years of joy--hang on to her, Woody.

Posted by: maisie | February 2, 2016 2:08 PM    Report this comment

You know you didn't stand a chance of not keeping him. Enjoy your new puppy!

Posted by: Kaliki | February 2, 2016 12:52 PM    Report this comment

A picture of absolute contentment on the couch. Great photo.

Posted by: Susan72 | February 2, 2016 11:18 AM    Report this comment

I LOVE your comments...always look forward to your view. Thanks!

Posted by: joanne.c | February 2, 2016 10:48 AM    Report this comment

SO GLAD you are keeping Woody. Many more stories and pictures please!!!!!

Posted by: Sportschick | February 2, 2016 10:37 AM    Report this comment

I hear hint of guilt about keeping this puppy and I think you deserve this little guy. I think you are being rewarded by the universe for all the good work you've done on behalf of dogs. Why shouldn't you get to enjoy the "best dog ever", for life. You've earned it! No offense to Otto. lol

Posted by: Denise Pratt | February 2, 2016 9:35 AM    Report this comment

I just love, love, love your blogs. I can't wait to hear more about Woody, Maebe and of course Otto. We have a beagle mix that has some hound and he is a great dog. Good luck with the puppy training. Puppies are a lot of work which is whwy God made them cute! LOL

Posted by: Chester's mom | February 2, 2016 9:24 AM    Report this comment

Congratulations, Nancy--I was hoping you'd adopt Woody!! He's absolutely precious!! I'm a foster for our local shelter and have fostered (and adopted a couple over the years) adult dogs. My "puppy experience" so far has been minimal, so I am very much looking forward to your experiences (training and otherwise) with this puppy so that I can learn from you. Looking forward to your next "Woody story"!! Bless you and family!

Posted by: katmac58 | February 2, 2016 9:10 AM    Report this comment

Hounds are the best, most patient and elegant dogs. Who would have thought? We adopted a Blue Tick Hound that we (yikes) hit with our car on the Blue Ridge Parkway five years ago (she wasn't hurt, we saw her and were able to slow way down). She was collarless and rail thin. We advertised for an owner and even tried to find a home for her, but by the time someone wanted her, she had won our hearts. All dogs love her, too.

Posted by: JennyN | February 2, 2016 9:00 AM    Report this comment

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