I'm sorry to be getting going so late. About two weeks ago, Rosey brought home a red labrador (maybe with a little pit bull mixed in, I don't know dog breeds much) from her work where it was obviously a drop-off along the road. I don't know how old it might be, except it still has puppy qualities and seems to me to have quite a bit of growth left in him before he tops out. When we got him, he was emaciated, scarred a bit from other dogs, and mostly frightened of people. He has a deathly fear of long pieces of wood like brooms (he freaked out when I went to sweep the back deck), so he was probably beaten with a stick by his former "masters."
After this morning I can make a guess as to what his former master looked like. We were waiting in the car outside the animal clinic where he is to get neutered today (he's been attempting the rape -- fairly successfully -- of the other male mutt dog we have). People were coming and going from the clinic door, dogs were coming and going with them, none of which excited his reaction. Then, a big old white guy of about thirty years, a Bubba with a huge beer belly and a beard came out of the door and INSTANTLY the dog (who I have not very originally dubbed "Red") began to growl and as the guy got closer he began to bark an attack warning. He's NEVER done that to anyone or anything since we've had him. It was all I could do to keep him from throwing himself against the window glass. He REALLY doesn't like bearded, beer-bellied bubbas, not one bit.
He has responded well to firm kindness since we've had him and he has bonded with me. He also, more recently, now misses Rosey whenever she leaves the room, whining sometimes until she returns. The only thing that's interrupting his successful training is his hormones. Time, discipline and love should take care of the rest. He shows every evidence of being highly intelligent, much more so than our other obese mutt, who responds to nothing and no one (he was dumped on us without warning as an adult rescue dog by my oldest daughter -- don't get me started). The females in my house also interfered with his remedial training and he is now useless except as an eating machine that sleeps most of the time. I call him variously "Sluggo," "Butthead," and sometimes "Nert," which is short for Inertia.
Anyway, Red had to be NPO before the procedure and the only way to guarantee that (since it has been raining and there are pools of water in the yard AND like all lab pups he's been chewing the wood off the back of our house) was to keep him inside overnight, which meant a lease with my hand attached to the other end. This pinned me in place in the upper level (he also seems to have an irrational fear of doors and refuses to go through them willingly). Consequently, I did no posting early this morning and didn't enable the comments until Rosey got up to take my place this AM. The dog had to be at the spay and neuter clinic by 0730 and so, on about one hour's sleep in my case, we got him there and the place was crowded. They sure do a land office business in deballing male dogs. At a hundred bucks a pop (counting shots and what not) we couldn't afford it but Zoe fronted us the money. Certainly the dog couldn't go on without being altered, not in our house.
So that's my excuse -- the dog "ate" my posting time. I'll go back and pick him up at 4:30 this afternoon. When I get a chance, I'll have Zoe take a picture of him and I'll post it in these pages. He's a pretty dog, I'll tell you that, with a sweet disposition.