Archive for January 2020

The Story of Ace (as we know it)

January 21, 2020

Three years-ago this month, we welcomed a young, thin, anxiety-prone dog into our family. I always feel bad when I think about how he arrived; with his collar and leash, a half-bag of dog food, a dish, a half-chewed antler, and his crate without a pad—all his belongings in this world. The first few nights he spent in his crate, because it was where he felt the safest and because we weren’t really sure how he would react with our two cats and other dog. He seemed leery of men, but it didn’t take long before he attached himself to his new “dad” and didn’t shy away. I still remember the night when, after Dad went to bed, he hopped into his chair and sat there looking at me, waiting I suppose for me to tell him to get down. I didn’t have the heart and instead just said quietly, “I won’t tell if you won’t tell.” Three years later, it’s one of his favorite places to nap, mostly when Dad is in the chair.

 Since he didn’t answer to his name, we gave him a new one; Ace which was nice and short and easy to shout out if need be. Also, it was Batman’s super dog’s name. Ace soon didn’t want to stay in his crate anymore, and we gave it a trial run to let him out when we left the house. That worked for about the first few times, then I guess he decided we might not come back and chewed Dad’s work shoes (luckily, an old pair). We gave him another chance and a pillow got chewed. I can’t even remember everything that got chewed, unstuffed, and strewn around the house. Putting him back in the crate didn’t seem to be an option, because he barked and howled and dug and tore up the lovely pad I’d made for the crate. I have to wonder now, was he testing us? How many things can I chew up before you send me back to the rescue? If that was the case, we fooled him. We didn’t send him back. We stuck it out. He did have one saving grace; he was housetrained and only ever had one accident in the house. And he really did seem to love his new home.

 Nowadays, Ace is a few pounds heavier (the vet even said he should lose a pound or two), loves his sister Foo Foo and the cats and his toys, especially if they’re the kind he can unstuff. One toy had no stuffing but did have eighteen squeakers in it, and he methodically took out everyone. Before long, the cute raccoon toy was down to a few raggedy scraps of fur. So much for that. Now we mostly buy toys at the dollar store. He still loves his antler chews.

 What Ace doesn’t like is cold weather, snow, rain, or walking in any of that. He will lay in the backyard in the hottest summer sun, but if the wind blows while he’s walking, he wants to go home. He doesn’t care for trash day when the garbage cans are out. Sometimes he makes it to the end of the street before he puts on the brakes. Once in a while, he makes it through the entire loop around the neighborhood. Then we cheer.

 The truth is, sometimes you don’t know what you are getting with a rescue pet. You don’t know their history, what they’ve been through, what experiences have shaped them before you came into their life. But the one truth that makes it worthwhile is that a rescue pet will love you for all their life. You can’t beat that.

 

 

Ace