New Dog Owners
Rosco and mom
Before our kids came along, my wife and I adopted a 3 year old Pug named Sadie. She was the first dog for both of us since we were children. Sadie was the perfect dog, potty trained, lovable and lazy. She stayed with us through two boys, which loved her dearly. Just the perfect dog all around. Fast forward a couple of years and Sadie got old and passed away.
We were all devastated and of course our boys wanted a new puppy ASAP. After about a year, we found ourselves on a hunt for a new family dog. We decided to adopt a rescue in place of buying from a breeder. We learned that there are so many dogs that need rescue and that is just the type of people we are, we were looking for a pet, not a full breed.
We did not know much about dogs. My wife wanted another pug and the boys and I wanted a larger dog like a lab or boxer. Over a couple of months, we went to meet a couple of different dogs which didn't work out. Then I was contacted by a niece asking if we wanted a new puppy that they had. They gave a story of getting it and then finding out that their landlord would only allow one dog. She said he was great, had all his shots and even though they really wanted to keep him, they just couldn't. So, we packed the boys in the van and went to go meet this puppy. It was a larger puppy at 4 months old, we were told it Lab/Sheppard mix and I figured he would double in size. He came right to the boys and started licking them, they fell in love. I looked at my wife and said, what do you think? She agreed and we took him home with us that day. The boys changed his name to Rosco on the way home.
Once home Rosco went around and sniffed his new home, seemed okay with being in a new environment with people he didn't know. We were all excited. The morning after bringing home Rosco, I noticed he seemed a little sick. I thought it was just being in a new place with people he really didn't know. I took him out to the bathroom and I freaked out when he took a number two. I have never seen worms before but I knew what they were when they exploded out his end! I was not expecting this and called the vet on the spot. We already had an appointment to have him checked out but I didn't want to wait 2 more days. They assured me it was okay but moved up his appointment. It wasn't as bad as I had thought, in fact worms in puppies are very common. I learned my first lesson, all puppies should be de-wormed. So with that out of the way, I figured we were good to go.
Rosco was good with the boys, a little hyper but hey, he is a puppy right? Fast forward about a week and he started teething… What, dogs teeth? Oh yea, and we found just like babies, they want to chew to help things along.
We found out that larger puppies, chew larger stuff. The first thing Rosco ate was one of my work steal toe boots. I was mad but okay, I left them out knowing we had a new dog. I purchased another $100 pair of boots to have them eaten the first night I got them again. At this point I started to get pretty upset. I could not keep buying work boots
like this. I went out a second time and got another pair. This time I made sure I put them away every time I took them off. He then went after my wife’s shoes and anything in the house that was not bolted down including my brand new SIII cell phone (twice). It was a constant battle and we spent all of our time chasing him around the house.
The straw that broke me was when I got a call from my in-law telling me that when he brought my older son home to change for wrestling practice, and they found the couch arm eaten up. My son knew my patience was running thin and this would be it. My father in-law told me that my son yelled at Rosco and got very upset telling him, “don’t you know dad will probably get rid of you now!”.
Let me tell you, if my father in-law had not told me that, Rosco would be long gone. My son saying that opened my eyes that Rosco was already loved in our house and I could not get rid of him, but, something had to be done. I started doing a lot of research online and decided training was needed. We hired a guy to come to our home and work with him along with all of us. In just a short couple of weeks we saw a lot of improvements.
During all of this, Rosco kept growing and growing. He was 90 pounds at 9 months old! I did more research and found that he was not only a Lab/Sheppard mix but had Grate Dane mixed in!
One and a half years old and well over 100 pounds, Rosco today is part of the family. He is still in puppy mode and has a long way to go but he has also came a long way and knows the rules of our home (though not always following them). That doesn't mean he always listens but he knows when he does bad and I think he is just going to get better once fully out of puppy stage.
So I spoke earlier about my niece and her story of only having Rosco for a couple weeks then finding out that they could not keep him. I’m not sure if this was an excuse or the truth but either way, she was not prepared and that eats me up. Many people get dogs and want to get rid of them after a couple weeks or months. I read it all the time in my local Facebook Buy/sell/trade group. That is why the website New Dog Owners
was created. To help prepare people and help them through the rough times so that they can grow and give their dog (that they took responsibly for) a long term home. Sure, I came close a couple of times on giving up on Rosco, but I knew my boys were bonding with him and wondered where he would have ended up. I really do think he would have either been euthanized or pinned up in someones' backyard as an outside dog. So thank you for reading our story and if you are here researching a way to train your dog, I ask that you look around and do what you can to give your dog a good, long term, loving home.
I am telling our story for one main reason, to help people deal with new dogs in the home in the hope to cut down on people sending them to the pound.
With a little patience and perseverance you will rewarded with a very loyal dog who will give you and your family unconditional love.