I had been contemplating on getting a pet. As most of you know, I do garden and have other hobbies in my spare time. However, the pet I was thinking of getting would have been more like a fish or a cat.
Minding My Own Business
Picture this... you come home and go check the mail. Nothing unusual about it, until you realize that there is a dog that you did not see all of a sudden following you to the mailbox. Now like most, my natural instinct was to tell the dog to go away and he initially did. As I moved to go in the house, he attempted to follow. Dog was very approachable.
Where's Your Human?
The dog looked like it was well cared, did not have a collar, and was not scared of me. Those clues lead me to believe that he may have been looking for help. I checked with my neighbor who has dogs and asked him if he had seen this one before, but he had not. I posted photos of him on Nextdoor, Facebook groups, and PawBoost but did not get any response from potential owners. I followed that up by calling the local humane society. They took a description of him as well as photos that I had taken of him and said that they would checked their lost records to see if someone had reported him missing.
From discussions with other pet owners, I was told that if his human was looking for him, then they probably would have responded to the posts that I had made about him after about a day or two. If not responding to my post, they would have made their own post stating they were looking for him.
Also took him to a local vet to see if he had a microchip. They scanned him and he did not have one. Since he did not have one, the vet that I took him to would not keep him. The humane shelter does take animals that do not have chips, but I was talked out of taking him there.
Training The New Human
This has definitely been a learning experience. Seeking advice from other dog owners, seeing what his habits are, and learning his food preferences are just some of the things that I have had to do. Learning how to understand an animal that cannot speak your language does require a different skillset. Here's what I have learned thus far.
He does not like dry dog food. It at least needs to be wet or mixed with wet food. Found this out through trial and error. Initially when I tried to get him to eat, he sniffed the dry food and that was it. The next attempt, I hand fed him dry food and he ate a few more bites. Multiple people suggested that you mix the wet with the dry. Thus I have been doing that since.
I have been plotting on building a pet feeder. That being said, wet food will not work well in a automated feeder and thus that automated feeder idea is still on the drawing board.
From discussions, dry food is better for the dog than wet, because wet food has a tendency to stick to the dogs teeth. Who knew? I sure did not before that.
Thankfully he is potty trained. He does not go in the house. When he does have to go, he sometimes will whimper like something is wrong. Thinking of maybe setting up some kind of bell or IOT device with buttons that he can press that will indicate what he needs instead of having to monitor the behavior and sounds.
The word "potty" does register to him to handle his business while he is outside. Going on walks also trigger this to take place as well.
I do have a robot vacuum that would run on schedule. Since the dog has been in the house, I have disabled the scheduled runs. For those of you that are wondering, I am aware of poopocalypse. The "poopocalypse" is where a dog poops inside and the robot vacuum runs over it throwing and smearing it all over the place. Not something that you want to have to clean up.
Sometime ago, while digging in the garden, I found tennis ball. Tried to give the dog the tennis ball, but he was not feeling it. Bought a couple of other toys and he was not feeling them... at all. So much for entertainment.
He does enjoy walks. Often times, he is the one leading the way down the path. Only problem that I have noticed is that when walking in the neighborhood, he stops at every other mailbox to mark his territory. I don't mind the occasional stop, but when you are trying to get a walk in during a lunch break and still be able to eat, time is of the essence.
He is an older based on the gray hair around his feed and mouth and what others have mentioned. How old? not fully sure. That wisdom does make it easier to manage him as he does not have to be taught the very basics.
My neighbor mentioned that because he always like to follow me around, to be snuggled next to me or in my presence, that he was probably a persons' lap dog. Furthermore, I am thinking that the dog probably was owned by somebody that was retired or always had a person at home. Given that, I will have to break him of that habit by going into rooms and closing the door and placing him in the kennel while I am working from home.
When around other dogs, he practically ignores them, even if they are barking at him. Usually other dogs like to interact with each other, but this one is hesitant to do so. When in the backyard with my neighbors dog barking at him, he ignored it and continued to explore this new territory.
There are some commands that he does understand. Majority of the commands, he does not understand. Will probably do some training in order for him to learn more vocabulary and maybe the same commands in a different language.
He does not bark. Matter of fact, he did not bark at all until about day 2 with me. I have been training him to get used to me not being around by putting him into a different room from me. After some time, he got fed up with being isolated and started barking.
He also occasionally barks at the robot vacuum when it is cleaning. I assume it is because it is not something that he has seen before. He has managed to stay clear of it when it runs.
Today is day 3 of having a dog. Oddly, it is also National Puppy Day. Of course I had no idea about this day since I am not a pet owner. It seems though that now I am a dog owner, as said by a number of people who have seen me with him.
Since the dog did not have a collar, after talking with my significant other, he will henceforth be named "Buddy". Now to continue learning Buddy and his habits.
If the owner does not come forth, then I will eventually get him taken to a vet to get checked out and see if he needs any treatments.
Still haven't figured out what type of dog Buddy is. Based on his features and color, he's probably a mix between a rat terrier, mini pinscher, and one other breed.