Thursday, January 12, 2012

Meet Walter!

Is he a cute dog or what?  I've been looking for a dog for a long time.  I've visited so many sites online and looked at pictures of dogs (and cats, rabbits, and chinchillas), but when I saw this picture, just his expression caught me.  He's a mixture of German wire-haired pointer and terrier, at least that's what was written under his picture, and he's about six months old.  This particular time, it was about 3 a.m., and I was on the SPCA adoptable dogs site.  I heard my husband get up to use the bathroom, and I kind of ambushed him.  "Come see this dog!"  He stumbled into the computer room, barely awake, and when he saw Walter's picture, he laughed.  I took that as a good sign.

We adopted Walter today, or actually, since it's 2 a.m. right now, we adopted him yesterday.  It's been a long day, and I think we are all worn out - me, my husband, Walter, and our four cats.

As soon as we left the SPCA, we went to PetSmart, where we spent $347!  We got him a bed, a crate with a mat, dog shampoo, dog food, treats, toys, bones, collars, and bowls.  Then we drove home, and I took Walter for a walk.  I didn't even bring him into the house yet - I wanted to wear him out a bit before introducing him to the cats.

We went straight into the bathroom after returning from our walk, and I used the dog shampoo we'd just bought to give Walter a bath.  He did pretty well, and he even tolerated the blow dryer.

How to describe Walter?  Exuberant! Yes, that's Walter.  Everything seems exciting to him, and he makes me laugh with his delight in all that he encounters.

Now, about the cats.... When we were at the SPCA, we asked how he got along with cats, and we were able to bring Walter into the the cats' enclosure.  He didn't even seem interested in the little kitten that one of the SPCA workers was holding.  So far, so good.

After Walter's bath, I let him run around the house to explore.  When he saw the cats, he ran after them.  They ran under the bed, except for Harry, the resident "King of the Neighborhood," who sat up on the windowsill, hissing and making deep guttural sounds, voicing his extreme displeasure.  Harry eventually ran under the bed to join Henry, Violet, and Zoe.  They stayed there for several hours.  The females cats were braver than Harry and Henry - they came out to inspect the newcomer.  Zoe even sat on the dog bed.

You know, it's funny because my husband and I both read all the SPCA literature on what you're supposed to do when you bring a  puppy home.  We had all of that information stored in our brains, but as soon as we got him, it just flew right out.  Walter's already jumped on everyone he met when we went for our walk.  We tried making him walk at our sides instead of pulling.  Yeah, you can already see him wrapping me twice with his leash.  We "babyproofed" the house, but of course, we forgot to put up the shoes and the cat toys.  He's chewed three of the cats' little furry mice.  You're not supposed to give him all of his toys at once.  I started to give him all of them when I heard the voice, "Don't give all of his toys at the same time."  At least that piece of information stayed with me.  He only has two toys in his crate with him right now.

My sister-in-law called to ask "Am I an aunt?"  I told her "yes, we got Walter."  I told her we were signed up for obedience/training classes, but the ones for this month were full, so we had to wait six weeks.  She said, "You better find some other classes, because you guys are going to suck at being parents, I can already tell."  What could I tell her?  I had to agree.  I'm indulgent, and my husband is strict.

Then she said, "Do me a favor, and don't leave Walter to me in your will."  I said, "Oh, I forgot, we have to add Walter to our will in case anything happens to us."  I've already informed my brother and my sister-in-law that they were getting our animals in case we die.  Now we need to decide who Walter's godparents will be.

It's peaceful in the house right now.  I think all the cats have come out from under the bed, eaten, and used the litter box.  I've seen Henry skulk around close to Walter's cage, but he hasn't formally introduced himself yet.

There will be time for that later....

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