The Escape Artist

He’s cute, he’s mostly lovable,  and if he can find the smallest of openings he’ll go through it. No, I’m not talking about my husband, I’m talking about our dog. Since he is part poodle, we knew he would be smart. Apparently he’s using his smarts to become the runaway dog.

Within two days of adopting Buster, he busted out of our gated back yard.

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We figured as long as we were outside with him, he wouldn’t try to escape. We thought wrong. At least this gave us a chance to see how he was getting out. Since he’s 90% hair, he had no problem slipping his skinny, yet hairy body right through the bars of our gate. As the weeks went on, he didn’t even pause to break out. He’d get a running start on our driveway and simply jump through one of the openings. He may be a smart dog, but he’s just a dog, it couldn’t be that hard to keep him corralled right? Wrong. After we all tired of running through the neighborhood trying to catch Buster after one of his many escapes, the husband bought some mesh and attached it to the bottom of the gate in attempt to keep him from getting out. It worked for about five minutes. The terrier in him used his jumping skills to leap above the mesh and out the gate. You may have heard about a new American Heart Association report that says that owning a dog may reduce your risk of heart disease.  I’m convinced my heart is much healthier after running after him.

Since the mesh didn’t work, the husband had the ingenious idea of buying a retractable metal gate. Viola! It worked. But now Buster was pissed. Really pissed. He doesn’t want to be fenced in. As I like to say, he doesn’t want to have any boundaries to get his puppy out. So what did that dog do? He found another way to escape. Soon after I got home from work last night, the kids came running inside yelling, “We can’t find Buster!” I went outside and started calling his name. He didn’t answer, but our neighbor behind our house did. Our crazy dog slipped through a crack in our backyard fence and made himself right at home at our neighbor’s house. We’ve since covered the crack, but I have no doubt he’ll be looking and finding another opening to run free.

It’s a good thing Buster is cute and lovable.

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It’s a Boy!

We added a new curly-haired boy to our family.

Buster Meak
Buster Meak

Meet Buster!

Olivia’s been begging and pleading for a dog for years, but with Erin allergic to dogs, we had to wait until she’s had enough allergy shots to build up an immunity. And we couldn’t get just any dog.

We had a long list of demands:

  •  We wanted a rescue dog.
  • We wanted one that was hypoallergenic and didn’t shed.
  • We wanted a medium to large dog.
  • We preferred a puppy.

With all these requirements, we figured we’d be waiting a long time before we found the right dog. I mentioned all this to my co-worker who volunteers with the awesome Stonecliffe Animal Rescue organization. She then took it upon herself to become our rescue dog matchmaker, or as she likes to call herself, the puppy pusher.

We headed to an adoption event a couple of weeks ago, just to look. Wow, was that a mistake. We had no intention of adopting a dog that day, but Olivia thought we’d be going home with one. When she realized we wouldn’t, she lost it. We tried to explain that we had to find the right kind of dog, but she wasn’t interested in hearing explanations.

We then decided that we wouldn’t be going to another adoption event unless we found a dog that would be a good fit for our family.

Well, my friend found one in less than two weeks. She emailed me a photo of this guy, a poodle-terrier mix.

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Sure, he was a little rough around the edges, but look at that face! We knew he had potential. Plus, he met just about all of our requirements.

So with this image and an application filled out, we headed back to another adoption event, but didn’t tell the girls where we were going. They pestered us with plenty of guesses along the way, and when we arrived, Olivia screamed, “I knew it!”

Upon meeting Gatsby (that was his original name), the girls took to him like a lab takes to water. We knew we couldn’t very well leave again without him.

Happy Tales
Happy Tales

Once we completed the paper work and officially adopted him, we took him immediately to get groomed.

This dog got the complete treatment, blow-out and all.

All Cleaned Up
All Cleaned Up

He seemed to adjust to his new home pretty well, especially since we outfitted it with toys, treats, and plenty of attention.

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The true test would be at night. Would he whine all night in his crate? Well he wasn’t perfect, but I sure got a lot more sleep with him than when I first brought home any of the girls. And for now, he certainly likes peeing and pooping outside more than inside. Let’s hope that trend continues.

We’ve got a lot of work ahead of us. Erin’s a little scared of him. He’s also not a big fan of the leash, he likes to jump up on people, and gnaws on our fingers and toes, but I’ve got a feeling with time and lots of patience, Buster is going to fit into this family just fine.

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Now, who can recommend a good trainer?