During the summer, my neighbours moved out. Three days after they left, their dog was still at the house. I asked around the neighbourhood and no one seemed to know what was going on. As I was going out of town the next day, I asked one of my other neighbours to look after him while I was away. During the time that I was gone, the dog’s owners came and picked him up.
Fast forward six months to early December.
When I left my house to go to work one December morning, I noticed a dog that looked an awful lot like the same dog sleeping in the neighbour’s former yard. I had taken some pictures of the dog in the summer, so I compared the dog to the pictures and, sure enough, it was the same dog. I called the real estate agent to get in touch with my former neighbours, and after a great deal of time, I finally found out that they had asked someone to look after the dog, but that it had run away and returned to its former home. I’m not sure whether that story is true or not, but it is clear that they didn’t have any intention of looking after the dog anymore. They had moved to an apartment building and there was no way for them to keep the dog anymore. They offered to take him to the pound (which would mean that the dog would die within one week), but I refused to let that happen.
So, now I am the proud owner of my former neighbour’s dog, whose name was Fugu (but who was renamed “Richard The Lionheart” soon after he adopted me). I cannot keep him because I have a cat who is not able to make friends with other animals, and she is extremely stressed out over the current situation. Also, as I don’t keep a very normal schedule, I am not a good candidate for dog ownership. So, I am hoping that someone will fall in love with him and want to welcome him into their family.
Here’s what I know about him. He is extremely quiet and doesn’t bark very much, except when he gets excited (when he knows that he is about to get food, or when you first come home). He is good on a leash. When you first start walking, he gets really excited and jumps around, but if you use your best “Dog Whisperer” techniques, he quickly settles down and heels. (I don’t start walking until he settles down and if I feel him pulling on the leash, I say “CHHT”, give a quick jerk on the leash, and stop walking until he stops too. After I do this for a few times, he remembers to keep pace with me and not pull.) He seems to love other animals and doesn’t try to fight with them. The neighbours had a cat and another dog (before I moved here), so he is very well-socialized towards other animals. He leaves my cat alone and doesn’t try to antagonize her. (My cat hisses and spits at him, but he just ignores her.) I feed him once in the morning and once at night. I mix up some dry food and wet food and he will often eat some and leave some for later.
I’m pretty sure he is not a purebred or anything, but the closest breed I can find to him is a Border Terrier. His colouring is tan with black on his back. I would say that he is “small to medium-sized” — not a small dog that you can put in your purse, but not a large dog that is stronger than you. An adult could easily pick him up, although you wouldn’t want to carry him around like that for very long.
Before he gets adopted, I will make sure that his vaccinations are up to date. He will also come with his own wooden dog house, some dog food, and a leash. (Actually, I have been using a leash that I bought for my cat back when I had illusions of training her to walk with me. She quickly informed me that she did not take kindly to the suggestion of a leash, so it has been sitting around unused since then. Fugu/Richard is a gentle dog, so he can be walked easily with the cat leash.)
If you can provide a forever home for Fugu/Richard (or whatever you want to call him), please contact Shaney through the Angels with Fur Japan address. I know he will make his new family very happy.