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Saturday, August 29, 2015

Post #36: Frank Comes Home

I’d stopped at Pet Smart on my way into town to pick up Frank at the Adopt A Pet shelter.  I picked up an inexpensive leash and a collar.  After completing the paperwork, I attached his rabies tag to the collar, and put the collar around his neck.  I loaded Frank into my car.  I threw a towel across my lap and took off.  It wasn’t until I was a mile down the road that it occurred to me that I didn’t know what kind of travel buddy Frank was.  Would he get motion sickness?  Would he cry all the way home?

Fortunately, Frank was pretty good.  He did not cry, and he did not get car sick.

He was curious, however.  Frank walked across his seat and onto my lap.  He put his front paws on my chest and stared me right in the face, sniffing my nose and mouth.  That would have been a little annoying if I had been sitting at home on the couch.  Driving 70 miles an hour down the highway with his face that close to mine was scary.  And dangerous.

It only took five or six tries to keep him out of my face.  And I even managed to stay in my own lane.

Frank next ventured into the back seat.  Then he hopped back up onto the center console and down onto the passenger seat.  Frank jumped to the floor and found some crumbs to lick up.  He discovered that he could squeeze between that tiny space between the car’s firewall and the console where the gearshift is.  Frank ended up on the driver’s side floor investigating the gas pedal, the brake pedal, and my feet … Another scary and unsafe predicament. I managed to grab Frank and settle him back on my lap.

We made the two hour trip home without having a wreck, and Frank began to settle in to my life.

It seems that PD was not really very interested in having another brother.  In fact, he was downright opposed to the idea.  We had not discussed this with PD, had not asked his opinion, and didn’t even give him a warning that something like this was about to happen!

PD owned the house.  He owned the back yard, and he owned Kathy and me.  His “ownership” was part of the reason I had felt we really needed a second dog.  PD was becoming bossy and demanding.  He needed a little competition in his life.

Frank remained respectful and submissive.  He quickly learned to avoid PD whenever PD was in a possessive mood.  The signs were there.  We knew we needed to be careful in our introduction of Frank to the family.

We decided that for the first night, we would put up the baby gate in the doorway leading from the kitchen to the landing for the stairs.  We would shut the door leading to the dining room, and let Frank sleep on the dog bed in the kitchen.

Frank didn’t like that idea.  He wanted to sleep with us.  Even if that meant getting growled at or nipped by PD.

Frank barked and cried.  Even though our bedroom was close, we managed to ignore him.  Then he got quiet.  Good!  He knows he is supposed to sleep in the kitchen. All was quiet.

Then we heard scratching on our door.  What?

Frank had figured out how to use all four paws to climb the baby gate.  He had to have climbed it like a ladder.

It was clear that we could not contain Frank.  We began to understand why Frank had been found on the streets.  He was a smart dog.  When he wanted to be somewhere else, he was going to figure out how to get there.

We let Frank in to our bedroom.  We knew this would happen eventually, that we would have both dogs in bed with us.  We just didn’t expect it to happen the first night.  PD was not happy.  However, after some tense moments, we were able to figure out the sleeping arrangements.  PD slept between Kathy and me.  Frank slept on the bed next to Kathy, close to the edge. 

Frank may be respectful and submissive.  But, he is also persistent.  Apparently, persistence gets rewarded in our house.