Friday, August 28, 2009

The 24 Hour Report

We have been dog owners again for twenty-four hours, and here is our report.

Tank is very well mannered and has lived up to his former owners’ glowing description. They dropped him off last night with all his equipment: two beds, feeding bowls, toys, leashes, food and food container. Kathy slept downstairs so he wouldn’t feel lonely, but it turns out he spent most of the night out in the living room.

I took him out for an early walk at 5:30am this morning, as he excitedly explored the neighborhood. Apparently he is not as interested in marking his territory as our former dog Kodiak was, since Tank just pees until he is done, all in one spot. Later in the afternoon, we went for our first mile walk and he did not even stop to sniff anything but just walked briskly down the sidewalk watching everything.

He knows many commands and is very easy to direct both inside and outside. They warned us he does not like the rain, and I found that out tonight when it started to sprinkle during our evening constitutional. He shook himself every few steps, though it wasn’t even raining very hard, and he plunged ahead trying to hurry us along, as if he were about to melt.

He really is a great dog and it’s wonderful to have such a beast in the house once again.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Tank is coming!

Our big news is that we are taking possession of our new dog on Thursday this week. The owner called us a few days ago to let us know that we were the successful suitors. They felt good about us and our house and believed that Tank would be loved and cared for well here. We are very excited. At first we were going to take him in on Labor Day weekend, but since the owners are going away next weekend and needed someone to watch him anyway, they asked to transfer him to us earlier. I was anxious to get him in here, so I was happy to agree.

They are giving us a bag of food, his bowls, toys, bed and a “manual” on how to take care of him, so we should be in good shape. When Ann Kodiak, she had a seven page owners manual. Tank’s is only three pages, but that should help. Kathy will take Friday off to help him ease into our household. So here we go!

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Interview with the dog

We had an exciting Saturday morning being interviewed by a prospective dog. I had worked myself into a state over this dumb dog—I didn’t sleep well on Thursday, on Friday night I couldn’t sleep at all so I came downstairs for a while. Finally, D-Day (D for Dog) arrived. We were waiting on the front steps when "Tank" and his owners pulled into the driveway. He bounded out of the back hatch of the SUV and our first thought was: Jeepers! He’s big!

Anyone who has been in our house probably wouldn’t recognize it after we staged it for this dog. We put four or five chairs in the basement, along with the exercise bike and an end table, all to make the house look bigger to the owners. Kathy had a brilliant idea to collapse the dining room table down to the size of a bistro table which opened up the whole room. In fact, once Tank had settled down, he laid on the dining room rug and filled the whole space. He really is the size of small horse, weighing 135 pounds.

Max was here this weekend, so they got to meet everyone, too. The owners brought their three year old daughter, and she and Max got along famously. They brought down toys and played together while the grownups talked and Tank paced around the house. Near the end of the visit, I took him for a test drive around the block and we did very well. We should know in a week or so if we are the winners.

Sunday, August 09, 2009

Checking in again

I didn't realize it had been so long since I've posted. Bad blogger, bad! It's just too nice outside at night to be in front of a computer screen.

Last week I was in Chicago for a conference. OK, not exactly in Chicago, but in Lombard, a surburb that wound up being 45 minutes away from the airport, provided the traffic is moving. The conference was pretty good altogether. I got to see my friends from around the country, take photos of everyone, hear some useful ideas and also present a workshop. I heard later that people liked it, so that was gratifying.

We are closer than ever to a new dog. The friend of one of our son's Facebook friends has a Great Dane that she cannot keep and so she is looking for a good home for him. He is five years old, all black with natural floppy ears, 135 pounds, and reportedly very smart and sweet. I spoke to the owner the other day and we had a long conversation as she vetted our credentials as potential Great Dane owners. At first she said she had several people interested and that she would get back to me, but at the end of the call, she agreed to bring Tank (an apt name, from his photos) to meet us this coming weekend. It turns out that I know the owner from our interactions a few years ago when she worked in HR for a hotel here in town. It’s a small world after all.

We feel as if we are adopting a child, getting nervous, hoping that the “parents” will like us, approve of our living arrangements, and allow us to take their baby. We are trying not to get too excited in case they decide we are not worthy. Kathy pointed out to me that we are "staging" our house for a dog: moving furniture around to make the house look bigger, so they can visualize their baby romping in our space. We are trying not to get our hopes up, pretending that it's OK if we don't get him. But it's not OK. How do people do this when they are adopting a child? How nerve wracking.