The first things we wanted to do after getting our house was (1) Fix our fence and, (2) Get a dog! That ended up not happening right away but that's okay. I've really wanted an Australian Shepherd, and Chris has always wanted a Siberian Husky. Both expensive dogs = us not able to get said dogs, at least as puppies. So I started looking at the local shelters, as well as Aussie and Siberian rescue clubs around California. Well, a few weekends ago we just decided to go down to the Bakersfield SPCA & Kern County shelters and check out the dogs. I had actually seen a few Aussies online at the County site.
Well, we didn't really see any dogs we were interested in at the SPCA. By that I mean, not a pitbul or a yippity yappy dog. Though I would love to say that I'd love to rescue ANY animals, different households have different needs. We have two cats and we needed to find a more mellow dog/tolerant dog. After that we went to the County shelter. Their adoption center really didn't have many animals, 75% of the animals at the shelter weren't yet adoptable (meaning that they hadn't been there a week yet, so they were still waiting for their owners to come find them). Well...we walked down the first line of kennels in the not-yet-adoptable area, and there were TWO huskies. One was jumping around barking, one was sitting calmly (MY kinda dog!). We went through the rest of the kennels and I didn't see the Aussies so their owner's must have come for them. We ended up putting our names down on the "wait list" for the two huskies, because I'm such a nice girlfriend ;)
The female husky, the calm one, was actually ready to be "adoptable", but she needed her behavior test done. She's about 2-3 years old and was found off some random street. We called back 2 days later, they told us she passed the test but needed to be checked if she was spayed. We called back a few days later, again, then again, back and forth. FINALLY they said we could pick her up Wednesday (as in, this past week Wednesday, the 12th). We already had a dog tag made, had picked our her name: Tundra, and had purchased plenty of toys and supplies. Chris picked her up from the shelter after work and I met them at home - after making a Target stop for more supplies. I drove up and they were waiting for my outside and a big smile emerged on my face and I was so excited!
Here are some pictures from the past few days:
I would have a lot more pictures if my camera wasn't such a piece of crap! Most of those are from my phone. Anyways, so far it's been a roller coaster. Let me tell you why. Before getting her, we read a lot about Siberian Huskies and what they need is lots of exercise, they get bored easily and they are "escape artists" by nature. It's not that they don't love you, they just love to run...and run and run. We felt we could take on this job. Well, apparently our house wasn't ready to take on this job, nor were we really thinking about the nature of these dogs.
FIRST catastrophe: I took her to work. We have a side yard that is fenced, so when I had to run a quick errand, I put her out in the side yard to get some fresh air. WELL, I come back and see her OUTSIDE OF THE GATE (she must have just got out). I managed to fetch her before she took off. Apparently she squeezed out of a 6-inch gap between the gate post and the building. Sigh-no more side yard for Tundra.
SECOND day I take her to work I have to run another short errand, I get back and my boss said she figured out how to push open the front doors (just your standard glass swinging doors). Well, one of the other office dogs does that so of course SHE figured it out. Well...apparently Tundra took off and my boss caught her a street over. Thank God.
THIRD ordeal was on our hike. Everyone (EXCEPT ME) thought it'd be a good idea to let her off leash, "ohhh, she will stay with everyone" (4 other dogs + 6 people). I handed the leash over to Chris and said, "fine, if she takes off it's YOUR fault, not mine." Guess what happend? She took off running. These dogs LOVE to run FAST. Again, it's not that they want to get away from you...they just like to run. We all start running after her, and after about 5 mins she gets tired and comes back to me. Hate to say it, but I told you so
FOURTH, final and worst thing so far was Saturday when we left to a family photo session and my Grandma's birthday party. We were gone for about 5 hours, we left her in the back yard with food, water, and plenty of toys. Well, long story short, our newly built gate has a big gap under it so we put some wood under it and some other things to deter her from getting out. We get home and she was not in the backyard and I see that she dug out under the gate. So I obviously started crying. Chris check his phone, that he left at home, and someone left a message that they had seen her. Well apparently she broke their "leash" and got away, so that didn't help. We started driving around the neighborhood for about 15 minutes and we get another phone call, a person on our street had her (they had called earlier too, but didn't leave a message?). So we went back home and the people walked her down the street. I was crying and felt like a r-e-t-a-r-d. They were really nice and telling us how awesome of a dog she was and the guy (Pretttttyyy sure he was drunk) asked if he could hug her goodbye, lol.
Needless to say, today we took care of any way of her to get out our yard with lots of cement, rocks and bricks. I did more research along the lines of things to keep her from getting bored, we bought more play things and chew things. Also bought a dog door to put in the slider that goes into the bedroom so we can close the door to our room during the day and she can go in and out, while the cats won't since they won't have access to the bedroom. I took her on a jog/walk this morning, we went to the dog park, and we will walk her again tonight. Twice a day running/walking will need to be a routine for her. I don't think I'll take her to work, as much as I want to it's too risky and she gets bored because I can't pay her enough attention. But, honestly, she is the sweetest dog. She is SUPER mellow and loves to lick and cuddle. She sleeps on the bed ALL NIGHT and only goes potty when we let her out. Plus she is giving us good work outs :)
I think as we get to know her and the breed everything will get better. And we'll eventually get another doggie to keep her company. Oh yeah, and the cats are warming up to her to. It was a little rough at first but now they can actually be within a foot of each other without the cat freaking out (Tundra wouldn't harm the cats, she's too nice).