My life was turned upside down recently when a new beagle strolled into my house. My mum and dad and I took our time to decide whether to agree to adopt, and accept, Lenny. He’s my new Beagle brother rescued by Cyprus Beagles. His presence upon a house which has gradually become quieter, more organised and less stressful, would have a lasting impact and we wanted to try and make sure we were doing the right thing by all concerned. We had read and seen too many stories of dogs being rescued and re-homed almost on a whim and it doesn’t work out for one reason or another quite soon after the adoption has taken place.
It was, as we expected, a little hectic when he first arrived. For the first week in particular things were really upside down and nothing was in any real order. We were all getting used to having a young, probably disorientated, very lively eight month old pup running around. To be honest I didn’t truly know what hit me. I have been an only “child” since December 2013 so the change for me was probably the greatest test. I am used to my own company, my own bowls, beds and which parent to snuggle up to when I feel a little blue. Now there was this young Beagle champing at the bit, and chomping on my ears. Adjustments were clearly needed however after being on my own for so long. The question is how would I adapt to the changes and how would he find his paws.
There are some rules which we all try to stick to with Lenny. Firstly my night time bed is my bed, so he doesn’t sleep in it. My bed on a chair also belongs to me so that is a no-go for him. And that’s it for the hard and fast rules really. Most other things are fairly flexible and I sometimes don’t seem too bothered by him trying to steal toys or food from me, for instance. In fact he tried it with some of my food when we were eating recently and I almost just stood back. We are being fed side by side and at the same time, as this is the clearest way to show that there is no favouritism between us in certain aspects of living here. On this occasion he just stuck his nose into my food bowl and it was only when he was unceremoniously stopped by dad that he got the message.
As soon as he arrived he stole a toy that was a present given to me by a friend. I didn’t seem too concerned by it. He has pretty much destroyed the toy now so it’s probably a good thing that I wasn’t too fussed. There seems to be some toy guarding which mum and dad will work on with him. It is lucky that I don’t really have many toys so the said guarding isn’t a huge issue for me.
He is removed from the big bed if he tries to get onto it for the night. He wakes up way too early for the rest of the house and we regularly play fight in the garden, until mum or dad steps in when we become over boisterous with each other. Again there is no favouritism when it comes to being sprayed with the water bottle.
I am getting used to having him around if truth be told and I think he is becoming more accustomed to living here and having some structure to his life now.
We can see the subtle changes and these are becoming clearer each day that passes. When we were first together, there was quite a large amount of bitey face play fighting. This still takes place however it is becoming less common and we are learning to break off from playing without being told to by mum or dad. We are becoming more accustomed to one another and can walk past and lay down near to each other in the garden or in the house more often. We are able to eat side by side fairly well albeit with a parent standing between us.
He arrived without basic training and has been booked onto a course for beginners in a couple of weeks. Whilst awaiting the start of his training course with the professionals he is learning to give paw, sit, stay, lay down and to wait. All of these are being applied fairly vigorously so he learns quickly and can take these manners on with him for later in life. Another part of his training is to walk properly on a lead so that, one day, he will be able to go off lead in certain areas where the scents aren’t too great to override commands. I won’t be able to go off lead outside of my garden and I know this. It may be difficult for me watching him run around free as a bird at first but it is something I will just have to get used to. Given my early escapes and escapades when I was rescued and arrived, I am thinking it is better to be safe than sorry. I hope for Lenny’s sake that he can be trained and then trusted to go off lead in some places. I do think it would be a bit rotten luck for him to be shackled for the rest of his life here.
We are getting along more as buddies now. When I wrote the blog about his first two weeks, I tried to express what happened day to day. As he’s been here for three weeks now I can try to provide a wider appreciation about how we have adapted to each other in a situation which is very new for both of us, of course. We didn’t know what to expect of each other at first. This isn’t surprising. We were quite rough with some of the playing and it seems there was an element of trying to sort out the hierarchy. This was resolved by mum and dad stamping their authority on the situation. We were antagonising each other from first light when he arrived but now we can stroll around the garden together without nibbling each others ears or neck. We can go out on lead walks pretty much side by side although this is most likely because my prey drive is very high and I don’t know he’s there half the time. Slowly, slowly the changes are coming. I hope for his sake that the changes continue and we can live together peacefully. I am adapting too, this is a big change for me. I think sometimes that people forget that the biggest challenge is for the incumbent dog who’s life alters immediately when they’re being asked to accept another dog into their life.
He will make a good brother. He’s gone up in my estimation since he arrived. The best part is that he will be a good brother to me.