Updated: Nov 29, 2018
Ever since I came to Canada, I have never been without a dog, at least not for any length of time. Fortunately my wife was the same, so it was only natural that we adopt a furry pet, when we met, many years ago. Recently, we had to euthanize our third pooch, but because we were doing a fair bit of travelling, we decided to hold off getting another one, until we returned home.
After many Google searches, sadly we could not find a midsized dog that would suit our lifestyle. The SPCA shelters were inundated with cats, pit bulls and rotties, none of which suited our wishes. We were beginning to wonder if ever we would find a pet, when a friend sent us a note about a Foxhound rescue place, east of here. After a few phone calls we drove up and met Kayla, a three year old, very timid Foxhound.
She was rescued from a hunter’s camp where unfortunately, when dogs have fulfilled their usefulness, are put down. Kayla had just turned three, when it became evident she would rather have a nap than chase vermin. An hour later she was in our car enroute to her new house.
She was great in the car, albeit very timid. She had always been around dogs, but not too many humans. I had forgotten what a young dog was like, as Candy, our 15 year old hound, slept most of the days and a brisk walk meant to the end of our driveway (getting back was an issue). I have now incorporated a trek to the mailbox (about a 2 km. jaunt round trip) into my daily routine, and must admit, it’s difficult finding the time.
Where our previous pooch would go 15 hours without a bio break, Kayla wants to go every five or six hours. At this point she has no way of telling me that ‘it’s time’, but routine and training seem to be doing the trick (I do believe I am the one being trained).
She sleeps in my office, but has grown attached to us and must miss us at night, because that she insists on barking, usually around 3AM. The first few times I got up and took her out, but I soon realized that she read the manual on how to train owners. Now we let her bark and she settles in again. Six o’clock, however, is up time and I have been trained to start my day as well.
We have always had an invisible fence, as we live in the country, but we have not turned it on yet for Kayla. We want her to become familiar and comfortable with her surroundings, before we subject her to the trauma of training with the fence. I guess what I didn’t realize was how cold it is at six in the morning, and how dogs have to do their business, even when it’s raining or snowing.
All in all, she is becoming a great member of the family, especially once I realized I had to change my routine to suit hers. We went for a 6 km. walk for Guide Dogs and she was ready for more (I had to have a nap). Scott, at Pet Valu, is my new best friend and has been extremely helpful throughout the training process.
Challenges are becoming fewer, as its only been four weeks and when I question ‘why’, she lays her head on my lap and looks up with those big sad eyes that say, “Hi dad.”
Maybe tomorrow I will introduce her to our Roomba, something our other dog never really became attached to. If it’s a problem, I can always get a Filter Queen and vacuum when she is outside. All in all, the training is going very well. I think another week or two should do it, and I will have learned enough to make everyone happy.