Monday, March 26, 2012

Champ's Story

Champ's integration into the family went much faster and smoother than we ever anticipated. He and Brutus sleep right next to each other sometimes and Wolfie has stopped growling every time Champ comes near him. We're giving all three dogs lots of love and affection and treats.

And Champ has made himself right at home.

Yes, that's a Queen size bed.

His original owners gave him up when they moved. The first couple to foster him had a problem. Right after they got him, the husband had to go out of town for a week for work. When he got back, the dog (then known as Cheup) had bonded with the wife so much, he saw the husband as a threat and was overprotective of her, giving the husband a nip. That didn't go over so well and they returned Cheup to the shelter. The next people to foster him raise chickens and they discovered he liked to chase chickens. Well, what dog wouldn't? As Ron said, if he were a dog, he'd want to chase chickens, too. But fortunately for us, those people didn't see it that way and they returned him to the shelter. So we got him, and we think he's fantastic. He's bonding with both of us equally and we don't have chickens.

He's very smart and what he doesn't already know, he learns quickly. He came to us already knowing the commands "Sit" and "Shake." The other night, I saw he had a plastic jar lid in his mouth that he'd gotten out of the trash can and I told him, "Drop it" and he immedately dropped it. So either he already knew the command or he knew he shouldn't be getting into the trash can.

And of course he's quickly learning Guard Dog Duties from the other dogs. When they're all inside and they hear a noise outside, Champ is sometimes the first one to reach the sliding glass door, ready to go out and investigate. And of course he's learned tapping on the door to come in or go out.

He's very sweet and loves giving and getting affection. He's also very calm and laid back.

We've come to the conclusion that he's half Newfoundland and half Black Lab; Ron Googled pictures of dogs of that mix and they look exactly like Champ. Also Newfs and Labs tend to have very calm demeanors.

Satchmo is taking it all in stride.

Princess still spends a lot of time on top of the cabinets over the refrigerator so she can keep an eye on things.


Elle said...

Wonderful story with such a happy ending (and it will continue to be a happy story since Champ is the perfect dog for your family). He is one lucky dog to be with you! My Sweetie would probably call him a big lummox, in the most affectionate way possible. Congrats for rescuing the perfect dog. We wish you joy as a pack.

Barbara said...

If he was that protective of the wife in that first foster couple when her husband came home, is he likely to react like that to people other than you and Ron if someone comes over? Or is being cool with visitors something he will learn from the other dogs too?

That picture of him on the bed--yow, he's a big guy! (I also love that picture of Satchmo.)

Beth said...

I don't know how he'll be with visitors; that's the one thing that hasn't happened yet, so we'll see. I hope he'll learn from the other dogs that visitors are OK.