Photo Comments Age: 9 Years Sex: Male Weight: 100+ lbs
Photo Comments (2)
Leave a bone for Boone
Dogster stats for Boone
4 times 29
JD, Joe Dirt, Booner, Boonie Bear, Pooter Brown, Mr. Boone
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February 8th 2005
Sleeping in bed with D, walkies, go in the car, eating horse and donkey manure, napping in the sun, rawhide chews, rolling in the daylillies
Giving up his seat on the lounge chair, getting in trouble, being excluded from ball and fribee time
Blue Canvas "Kitty" Toy
around the back yard
Sit, shake, bang-bang real dead
When we first moved to our current home, we had some lousy next door neighbors that kept their dog in a poorly maintained 4 x 4 chain link pen. The dog was badly neglected and mistreated. The situation got so bad I ended up calling the sherriff. The dog was taken away, maybe a couple of times. Mercifully the bad neighbors moved away, I don't know what became of the dog.
A nice young couple has moved in, they have a new baby. But I was very concerned this summer when I saw a little puppy chained up where the previous dog had suffered for so long. I thought the worst of the situation on sight.
I was mowing the pasture one warm early summer day and I kept going past that chained up puppy. He seemed listless and sad, it didn't look like he had enough water. I felt bad for him. It looked to me like he needed love, attention and care. It took about 7 passes on the tractor before I talked myself into taking action.
It didn't look like anyone was home at the new neighbors. I decided to take a 1 gallon bucket of fresh water to the pup. In advance, I concocted the story that I had accidentally blown grass clippings into the dogs bowl while mowing. If somebody caught me and was offended by my trespass, I would humbly apologize and explain how I was just trying to make up for my carelessness with the mower.
While I was getting the water, it occurred to me that the puppy might enjoy a bone or a rawhide chew. I went into the house to see what we had. While inside it occurred to me that the puppy might also like a toy or two to play with. I grabbed a couple of old stuffed animals from the toy box we keep for our dogs Bunny & Pooh.
Loaded with water, toys and bones I slipped quietly up to the house. Of course the puppy started barking, but he quieted down pretty quickly when I started offering gifts.
I played with him for a few minutes. He loved the stuffed animal immediately and held it in his mouth with proud possession. I was happy to offer him some comfort.
Just as I turned to leave, the woman inside the home came out and spoke to me. "Hi there... do you know anyone who would like to have this dog?" she asked. I babbled some confused response, probably inappropriately incorporating my prepared lie with the random observation that the dog looked a little bit like my first dog Jasper.
The woman went on to explain that the puppy was a gift from an Aunt who didn't realize how unprepared the young couple busy with the birth of their first child. They knew they weren't in a position to care for the puppy. They had named the dog J.D.
My wife Kelly and I were meeting for lunch that afternoon. I told her immediately about the puppy and she was very supportive and eager to get involved. We agreed that we would take J.D. and at least foster him on to a good home. My wife is a real-estate agent and has used her professional network to place animals successfully before. Kelly called the neighbor and arranged a pick up for later in the afernoon.
The puppy was big at 6 months, already 30 lbs. He was gangly and awkward. There was an ugly scar on his right front paw that looked like it had gotten caught in the chain. Later we learned that this was an injury from birth, his leg had become entangled in utero. He had a smell too. Honestly I didn't really connect with him immediately. Kelly and I were very intimidated at the prospect of having a third dog. He wasn't the dog I would select for myself, I'm a fan of Belgian Sheepdogs, Border Collies and shepards. This dog looked like a clumsy mixture of Rottweiler and Coon Hound.
He seemed happy and grateful to be in doors and to have the company of our dogs Pooh and especially Bunny. Pooh was a bit standoffish, maybe even down right jealous and bitter at first, eventually she welcomed him into the pack.
Neither of us particularly loved the name J.D. We joked about what it might stand for, "Joe Dirt", "Jack Daniels", "Jimmy Dean", etc. I called him Joe Dirt for a couple of days, he liked it, but it didn't stick. Kelly eventually came up with Boone, it seemed to fit his personality so it stuck. The neighbors still call him J.D., and he still seems to remember them and visits them often through the fence. The young couple's baby always calls him through the window when she sees him. She'll be able to see him any time she likes and watching him playing in the pasture with Pooh & Bunny. The adoption was a win for everybody.
We did have a girl over from Kelly's office who wanted to consider adopting Boone. During her visit she mentioned chaining the dog because she didn't have a fenced yard. She did say she would take him running for exercise but he had very bad "Pano" disease from the quick growth spurts. Poor baby could hardly walk some days. I knew from that moment on that I couldn't give up Boone to anyone else. Some friends of our recently tested that bond when they bonded with the dog during a party at our house. Our friend Jill fell in love with him and seemed very interested in having him. It was too late by then, he was one of us already.
Boone has surprised us a lot, most notably in size. In his first visit to the vet they predicted he would be a 100lb dog at maturity. He was 105 at 9 months and currently tops out around 115. He seems to get bigger every day. For the first six months he was regularly lame from the growing pains. I've never seen a dog suffer so much from explosive growth.
The pain seems to have subsided, but it still looks like he has room to fill out to be balanced and proportionate. Another vet friend suggested he may have some Great Dane heritage, that seems likely.
We expected a Rottweiler personality because of his coloration. It turns out the young couple had taken him to the Loudoun County Animal Shelter to see if they could place him. They ruled the dog aggressive and said it was likely he would be put down quickly.
We read some scary background on Rottweiler's. I bought a magazine at Petsmart called "How to Train Your Rottweiler" or something. It had a quiz on dealing with your Rottweiler that went something like this:
"If your Rottweiler growls at you when you try to move him out of your space in bed, you should
A) Dominate the dog and forcibly remove him
B) Retreat cautiously and alertly
C) Call a professional for assistance
D) Get a new bed
The answer was of course D. The article suggested that if you picked A or B you would likely be in need of urgent medical attention. It went on to advise that you sleep on the couch and mind your own business.
Boone is nothing like that. He is a quiet, lovable, goofy dog who wouldn't hurt a flea. He is loving and gentle like a Great Dane, silly and nose driven like the Coon Hound.
The biggest challenge we thought we faced would be with walking three dogs. We got to watching the Cesar Milan, the Dog Whisperer on National Geographic Channel. Cesar has a great technique for learning to provide dogs with a calm, disciplined walk that results in obedient and cooperative behavior. Kelly and I take turns walking the dogs, both of us can do it now and it is not difficult. We are able to manage 250lbs + easily, and the dogs love the exercise and discipline.
The one lesson learned worth sharing is that 3 dogs is not too many. If you have 2 and the right property, a third dog is not a huge burden. We're on three fenced acres and have installed a super sized dog door so that the dogs can come in and out on their own. We're in a large home and have the room.
We'll share continued updates as Boone gets larger and gets more training.
I'm gonna lay down here for a minute.
I've Been On Dogster Since:
|December 23rd 2006
||More than 8 years!
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