Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Our Newest Family Member!!!!

The girls at the Pasadena Humane Society

Sadly, our little PeeWee passed away on May 5th. We had him about 2 weeks and I'm not sure what happened as he seemed to be thriving. In any case, we gave him a proper burial and loved him as best we could...

I had been looking online at the local shelters, in search of a dog that was running out of time and that no one else seemed to want. Now that my babies are growing up and Farley is getting older, we thought it would be nice to save the life of an innocent animal. It's wonderful for kids to experience pet ownership and participate in the care and responsibility. Also an awareness of rescuing, instead of supporting breeding for money, can not be underestimated. There are way too many cats and dogs put down daily. It is heartbreaking.

Since Farley is older and not that big (and has a bit of the Napoleon complex), we knew we'd have to look for a smaller dog. I have been told that adding a younger dog will perk up an older dog and can even increase their lifespan. Farley's brother died of lymphoma 5 years ago, but I was too overwhelmed with my 2 year old girls to responsibly add another dog to our family then.

We decided to visit the Humane Society shelter in Pasadena as there was a little black dog with only one eye who had a rough start and had been waiting for his forever family for almost 2 months. His time was about to expire. So off we went the week before Mother's Day...

This little guy is about 4 years old (though the vet thinks he might be 3) and was found all bloodied as a stray on March 27th. They suspect he was either attacked by another dog or a juvenile coyote. It is possible, even, that a human did this to him. No one came forth to claim him. He was unwanted and alone. His eye was in such bad shape that they were forced to remove it. He was in a lot of pain and growling at everyone. Once his eye healed a bit, they realized one of his testicles didn't descend and was stuck in the canal, so he had another surgery to remove that and was neutered. And then he sat and sat and sat...

I think he was waiting just for us...

We filled out paperwork and were assigned to an adoption coordinator who gave us the scoop on this little guy. He was a bit aloof and more interested in smelling the room he had never been in. I asked Kevin if anyone else had shown any interest in him and he sadly said, "no". I was told that for some reason, people tend to overlook black dogs and black cats. It even has a name : "Black Dog Syndrome". No one wants them. I'm not sure if they look mean or just don't stand out as much as a white or brown dog might. He is also a chihuahua or a mix of one and no one wants chihuahuas. They are the most common dog found in the Los Angeles shelters thanks partially to Paris Hilton showcasing her dog, and the movie "Beverly Hills Chihuahua". Overbred as an *accessory*, people quickly realized how much work they are. Chi's are not easy to train and I've been told are even harder to own than large breeds are. As a first time owner of a chi, I am experiencing this first hand! Second on the list overrunning the shelters are pit bulls. And most people don't want a dog with one eye. So this guy hadn't even been out to be played with by any interested families - he had three strikes against him. But yet...he gave us a few kisses and I knew he had a lot of potential.

Unlike the county shelters, the Humane Society insists on meeting the entire family and then, any other pets in your home to be sure the dog will be compatible. We were interviewed in detail to make sure we had full fencing in our yard and signed a contract to promise that we wouldn't not keep the dog out of doors. If the dog does not work out, you must return it to the shelter and can not even give it away to someone else. They have committed to the safety and happiness of that pet.

So the next day, we brought Farley in to meet him. And it was mutual indifference :D I figured they would be a good fit!

And the rest, as they say, is history! We had to wait until we got back from our trip up north over Mother's Day and then went in last Wed to break our baby out of jail!

Here he is with an adorable Maltese mix that also got adopted out - yeah!

I was crying when we went to get him. He is just so sweet and was almost out of time there.

Charley held him on the long ride home...we had a crate, but he just melted in her arms so I let her hold him...

We went right to PetSmart to get him a cushy bed and lots of treats and toys...

And did a proper reintroduction on neutral grounds, making sure to walk them both into the house together - with Farley (as alpha) in the lead.

He LOVES the girls and loves to play and be carried around. He's such a joy (though we're working hard on potty training).

He loves his travel crate that a friend gave to us.

And is often found lying in the sun or in his cushy bed. It is clear that he is very happy in his new home and most likely hasn't had such comforts before (certainly not in the shelter where even the smallest of dogs have nothing, but concrete floors to lay on). He's quite hilarious as he runs around the kitchen and family room with one of his toys, rolling over onto his back and grasping the toy awkwardly with his front paws. Only then, when his ears are flapped back, does he actually look like a chihuahua, but as I told him in the shelter, "We don't care if you only have one eye, or three legs! We love you just the way you are!" He and Farley are getting along very well and we're all signed up for obedience and training classes so that he can be the very best doggie he can be!

Our Little "Jacky"

p.s. we're still open to name suggestions. We've been calling him Jack for "Jack Sparrow" - "Captain Jack" - "Black Jack" etc. We thought it would add character to him if we acknowledge his one eye in a positive way :D Suggestions welcomed!!!!


  1. What a sweet dog, and how kind you all are to adopt one that would not have had much of a chance, cheers Marie

  2. Thanks Marie! We're the lucky ones :D

  3. Oh, he's so sweet!! Congratulations! I had a one-eyed dog once, so this brings back some sweet memories. Wishing you all the best with your new pup!

  4. Meant to be! Jacky is adorable!!

  5. Congrats on finding such a great dog! Stories like these always make me weepy. I feel so bad for those poor dogs and kitties out there who are abused and neglected. Our next dog's going to be a rescue dog. There's always something so special about rescue animals.

  6. Congrats! What a great little guy! I volunteered for a bit at the Oregon Humane Society here in Portland and a chi mix with one eye would have been adopted in 24 hours, one eye or two, up here. Our shelter is full of pit bulls and black dogs, but the little ones go fast. What a lucky little dog you have there :)

    Jacky is a great name... I like it. Do you have a date with a dog training class yet? That is the most important thing you can do for him and your girls (but especially for him - he's going to need some help learning to trust people and overcome his vision problems). Please find a trainer who uses 100% positive reinforcement methods - preferably clicker training. Google 'clicker training' for more info on this great, humane, super fun method of teaching animals.

    Ooooh.. makes me want to get a new puppy :) What a lucky bunch you all are :)

  7. That's awesome, Alyss! I know last week they rounded up 60 small dogs (mainly chi's) from Kern County pound (and one cat - lol!) and drove them to Oregon because in So Cal, we're so overrun with them. So I am happy to hear they are in demand there as they will most likely find their forever homes! I also heard that people are privately funding private jets to rescue as many from the shelters here (mainly chi's) and shipping them to the East Coast, where they are in high demand.

    That is so wonderful that you volunteered and I do have a trainer lined up (who knows Caesar Milan actually). She does Search & Rescue for the FBI and runs a training/obedience class. She's coming to our home for a private lesson and to assess our fencing, etc next week and then we start classes in June. A few Sat's, we're walking the dogs around the mall for socialization, which will be good for Jacky. And Karen has two chi's herself, so she is aware of their *quirks* and training limitation. And rest assured, we will be gentle with our little guy. Lord knows, he's been through enough and deserves the good life :D

    And thanks for the nice comments, Sarah, Childhood Magic & Nicci! Sarah, would love to hear more about your one eyed guy - any experiences to share? Jacky runs into things on his right side sometimes, but he just shakes it off and keeps right on going! And Nicci - so happy to hear you will rescue! That doggie will be so lucky to come home with you and your family!

    Blessings and doggie kisses to you all!