I never posted it or mentioned it out in Cyber world, but our dog Grady went missing last month. We had a bad thunderstorm one night and we never saw her again. We think that she got scared and took off to hide somewhere. We did an extensive search and posted signs all over this area in hopes that someone saw her. Jennifer put ads in the paper, on the radio, on Craigslist, PetFinders, and we checked all the pounds and shelters around here numerous times... Nothing. While it was a hard pill to swallow, we gave up on her last week and started searching for another dog to adopt. :(
We are a dog family and really like their companionship. If Grady is out there with somebody else, I sure hope that they are treating her the way she deserves to be treated. I'm sure she misses the girls and I know for a fact that our girls sure miss her. They talk about her ever day. Jennifer and I are heart broken that she got scared that night. I wish we would have brought her in the house and let her sleep inside that night. I still hope she comes back one day. She loved it here; she fit here.
Grady was a diamond in the ruff. Really! We got her for free at about 6 months old from some family that couldn't take care of her. She showed up shaking and scared. She had never been taught any commands, but it was just "IN" her to be a good girl. She loved our girls and protected them at all costs. She was always bringing us dead rodents and placing them on our back step; those were just little gifts that she could give us to show her love. We never had any behavioral issues with her, ever. The only thing that she required was that you pet her and love her the way that she loved us. It was almost as if she had a huge St. Bernard body with a human brain. Sometimes you could just tell what she was thinking. She sure loved us, and we had a very simple, effortless relationship. She was (and will always be) a Hardbarger. Man, I miss her!
So fast forward to last Sunday: I went out for my weekly epic run @ 8:00 am and somewhere between the time I left and the time I got back @ ~2pm, Jennifer had woken up and taken the girls to the far west side of Columbus to meet a Bernese Mountain pup. She drove over there with very little hopes that this puppy would be a good fit for us. I mean who could replace Grady? Grady set the bar, and we were looking for a dog that was laid-back, kinda big, well mannered, and most importantly great with the kids (tall order, huh?).
When Jennifer first showed up at the house, she was immediately impressed with the puppy. The people that had adopted her were dog rescuers themselves. They adopted other dogs that were neglected or abused and would re-home them. However, they had adopted this puppy to be one of their own. These people knew how to train dogs enough to understand basic commands and this pup (even at 4 months old) knew good manners. It's great to see a puppy that knows how to sit, come, back up, lay down, and take treats without CHOMPing at your hand in excitement. We've tried training dogs in the past and it's a very involved process.
She has been in our house for almost a week now and she's doing great. She's had a few accidents, but that's to be expected. Luckily for us her accidents have either been on the concrete in the basement or on the linoleum in the kitchen. The girls love her and she loves us. She's very protective of the girls already. Therefore, she's a keeper. :)
Our Dog History
Diesel : We got our first St. Bernard as a puppy before we got married back in 2000. We took him everywhere with us. Once he had reached about 180 lbs, we realized that he was getting to be a little ornery. We tried to take him to doggy school, and he did great until he got out of class, and then he was back to his rotten self and we didn't know how to teach him differently. Our biggest problem with Diesel was that he saw the family blossom and with the birth of our girls, he wasn't getting as much attention any more. When we moved out to the country, he took off as soon as he got the chance and we would always have to go find him. He was so big that fences didn't stop him either. We butted heads a lot, but I loved that dog!
Grady : We got Grady as a companion dog for Diesel (tears welling up)... Ahem, and I told you how good of a girl she is...
Kool-Aid : She was given to us by some close friends and she was a middle aged woman-dog by the time we got her. Our friends did a great job with her and she knew LOTS of tricks. She was a very good girl and fit right in with our family. I know she had a great life out here on the farm for her last couple of years. Our friends even buried her up on our hill and it's great having her doggy-spirit out here now. For about 3 months Diesel, Grady, and Kool-Aid were the three musketeers out here on the farm.
Rocky : After Diesel died, and Kool-Aid went back home, we got Rocky as a companion dog for Grady. One day Jennifer and I took the girls to town or something and when we got back, we found that Rocky had chased and killed 2 baby goats. He thought they were chew toys or something, but we broke him of that habit the old fashion way and then had to get rid of him. He had the taste for them and we couldn't afford to take the chance of him doing it again. He went to a family that had two other big dogs to romp around with. We haven't heard from them since...
Camp : After we got rid of Rocky, we realized that Grady was kind of lonely out here for a few months with only a few cats to play with, so we did some research and found Camp. He was an immediate success, as he and Grady paled up real quick and things were great. However, as he got bigger, he got crazier. He was a jumper and a biter. He wanted to bite everything, even the girls legs, arms, and faces. He was a complete spazz. The bigger he got, the more he drove Grady absolutely crazy. Grady put up with him and she was trying to train him in her own way. Jennifer and I saw it many times. One time he chased our car out of the drive way and Grady jumped in front of him and somehow made him sit and watch us drive away. Again (going back to Grady) she was an amazing K9. It goes without saying that Camp didn't stay here long. It got to the point that our girls were afraid to even go out the back door to play in fear that Camp would tackle them and maul them thinking they were big puppies too. It wasn't fair to Camp to tie him up while everybody else was having a good time, nor was it fair to our girls to be affraid of the puppy that we got for them. We do feel good knowing that we gave him to a great family up by Cleveland who has another dog that he romps around with now. I remember when Camp left, Grady was so happy to just have things the way they were: chill.
Valley : She is our newest addition and is doing great... She's chill, protective, cute, fluffy, and (kind of) smart. We'll see how she does as she gets bigger. So far things are looking good and we're already talking about taking her to doggy school.