I have failed to mention here that our time as dog owners was short-lived. That yellow lab on my nightstand in the post below is the only dog we'll have for a good long while.
We wanted to do so well by Thrall. We had him groomed (matted hair in 90+ degree weather had to be miserable), we played with him, we wanted him to be well-behaved. Unfortunately, he was not well-behaved. He was aggressive to other dogs and barked A LOT. He ignored us if he was off-leash and alarmed folks walking by with his not-quite-friendly approach. I'd let him out to run and play for a solid 15 minutes (he helped me nab two rodents in the backyard, in fact), then find that he'd poop in his kennel not five minutes after being put back inside. All of this was frustrating, but not overly alarming... until he displayed food-related aggression towards both me and Rob, and he bit my hand. It was a warning bite, he was very stressed, and he did not break the skin (he could have hurt me badly had that been his intent)... but there it was.
We wanted to work more with him, but it was quickly clear that he did not see me as dominant, and I had a newborn in the house. I couldn't give a dog the time needed to break those bad habits when my time was so thoroughly occupied elsewhere. While I didn't think Thrall was necessarily dangerous or bad, he was unpredictable, and with all the kiddos we have running around here regularly, unpredictable equals dangerous. We called Rob's family, who had left their fence and kennel up, just in case things didn't work out.
So, Thrall is back in Washington. I feel badly that we couldn't do what we'd set out to do for Thrall. I think he'd be a great ranch dog. But... he seemed happy the last time we were out there, and I know that they love him. I'm not afraid our pet is going to snap at my children, nephews, or pretty face. And one of these days, when we have the time to dedicate to it, we'll get another dog. It might be years, which Rob reluctantly agreed to. I did hold out some hope for him, though: if we get a puppy, I will probably cave on my "outdoor dogs only" rule, because I might be coldly rational about many things, but tiny, wee, sad-eyed puppies are not included in that list.
I did already write about the time Rob brought a puppy home to the condo, eyes filled with such innocent hope that I couldn't help laughing in disbelief, before I squashed that idea and made him take it back.
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