Monday, March 20, 2017

Having the time of my life

TJ has been with us for several weeks now. He's been neutered, he's gained weight, he's learned the ropes around here, so it's time to try to find him a permanent home.

Here's what we know. TJ appears to be purebred red Siberian Husky. He came with paperwork showing a date of birth of July 21, 2005. That means he will be 12 years old this summer. His teeth don't look 12 years old and he doesn't act like an old dog. He's not ready for a rocking chair, but he might like a nice recliner.

He broke out of a kennel the first day I left him alone in there and apparently huskies have a reputation for being fence climbers/jumpers and generally being difficult to contain. Since that time I've just kept him indoors. He goes out to a small 6' high fenced yard to poop and pee and he will sometimes be content to lay on that porch in the sun, but more often he's scratching at the door to come back in. Apparently he was an indoor dog at some point in his life and he clearly likes it. His indoor manners are impeccable, with one big caveat that I'll explain in the next paragraph. TJ doesn't need a crate and doesn't like one. He sleeps in the bedroom on a dog bed. I've left him alone indoors without any problem; he doesn't get into things, doesn't counter surf, chew shoes, root through the garbage or any of the other things and some of my own dogs do. He has attached himself to me and is generally laying next to my chair when I work.

TJ has never pooped or pissed in the house for the purpose of elimination, BUT, for the first week or two when he came here he was a persistent and inveterate marker. He would lift his leg to pee frequently throughout the house. I'd like to think that he stopped when he got the idea that I didn't want him doing that, but more likely he stopped when he thought he had the place sufficiently marked. For a couple weeks I kept a bucket of water and cleaning rags ready and made frequent use of them throughout the day. Our house has a LOT of dog smells and he's certainly not the first one to mark in here, but it was clear that he was going to do it as long as he felt it was necessary. He's been neutered now, but I don't think that will prevent this behavior in a new home. He doesn't do it here anymore, but I wouldn't want to make anyone think that he wouldn't do it again in a new home.

Since TJ doesn't get any yard time, he goes on hikes with me and Maya. He loves it. You can just see the thrill in his face. This is a dog who had been living outdoors on a chain, so having the chance to actually go someplace and see something of the world outside a 15' or 20' circle is a big deal. He can do five miles with us, but he doesn't really need to walk that far every day. He'd be happy with much shorter walks, or even just to go for a drive, but he likes to be with his person and he loves going places.

TJ and other dogs is a little complicated. He's living with 10+ dogs around here and we are making it work, but it took a little work and it's still a work in progress. He's an old man, he's been an altered male all his life until recently, and he has a bit of a dominant streak. He's possessive and protective of his food with other dogs, and also of his position and proximity to his person (me). It's been more an issue with other males, much less so with female dogs around here. Trooper is our alpha male dog and he has not challenged him, but you can see him vying for position with the other males in the pack, Theo and Max. I took him hiking with Theo and I think that's a great way for dogs to bond with each other just as it is for dogs to bond with their person. I haven't done that with Max yet, but we will. TJ would be fine as an only dog, it's people he really loves.

TJ is having the time of his life here. He loves it. He loves me, he loves being indoors, he loves going hiking, and he loves getting good food twice a day. Nothing I've even done in rescue is more rewarding than giving a senior dog the best life that I can give him, and the easiest, gentlest, pain free exit from this world when that time comes as well. It's not for everyone, and TJ is not for everyone, but if this sounds like a dog you'd like to share some quality time with, TJ is ready to do his part. He's available for adoption through The HOWS Project, and anyone interested can contact me at


Pat Delany said...

I think he is beautiful. I have a senior only dog and can't welcome him, but I so hope someone that is able to will do so soon.

Anonymous said...

You really think he's going anywhere?

Brent said...

The Anonymous comment on this post was quite prescient. I had hopes and plans of getting him adopted, but TJ didn't go anywhere and he's not going anywhere, except on our next hike.