One year ago today, we went to pick up our special little guy from a Loyal Rescue foster carer. I can’t believe it’s our one year Jake-iversary! It’s been the best time having him in our lives. We still have some ways to go for his behaviour to fully settle down (and we’re still doing training with him) but we’re getting better at working with who the little guy is and what he needs. He’s been a real trooper with adjusting to our new apartment, and going into the summer with his sporting new hairdo I reckon he’s got another excellent year ahead. If you are able, please adopt a dog (or cat, or small critter!) who needs a home, just like Jake did, and your life will be better for it, as well as theirs.
You can read other updates I’ve written this past year through the Jake tag, too. Now, onto a slew of adorable photos (and a video!) because.. well, because Jake. ❤
6 months ago, we were settling in to our first evening at home with Jake. I am so happy to have this little dude in our lives, words can’t describe. Even though he’s sometimes a bit of a butt, I can’t help but look at that face when he crawls up beside me in bed for a snuggle and melt into a big softy.
So I end the year with my two dudes, and I couldn’t be happier about it. Give your loved ones – furry or not -a big cuddle tonight.
We’re coming up on our three month anniversary of Jake coming to live with us! Since we last spoke, he’s settled in with us a lot more. He’s definitely playing a lot more (and that’s for sure his favourite thing to do with Adam) and it’s so adorable to see how giddy with excitement (leaping up in the air and bouncing off our legs being just the beginning..) he is to see us. My favourite new thing is how he has to come over to say good morning to me after coming out of his kennel before he’ll happily go out for his morning walk with Adam. Aw.
The visit to Winnipeg was fine as far as travelling with him goes. The flights were a little stressful, but he dealt with it by mostly napping. While we were there we stayed with Adam’s parents, and Jake got the run of their beautiful big backyard. Lots of running about and sniffing, exploring – and eating raspberries right off the bush. Hanging out with friends’ dogs was tough, but he eventually started to benefit from the socialization. Still really bloody hated seeing cats though 🙂
I’m not sure it was the greatest to have such a break in environment and routine, however. He’s been terrible with walking beside us on walks because we didn’t get out so much in Winnipeg. His response to training commands has taken a hit also, and that’s really our fault for not maintaining the homework with him. He’s also started to have occasional accidents in the house which is tough – he’s an adult dog after all, so we’re not sure what the cause of that is. We think we’ve narrowed it down to him perhaps doing it as retaliation when our attention isn’t 100% focused on him at home – if we’re in the kitchen or something like that. It’s tough to know how to curb that behaviour, because we simply can’t focus on him constantly!
Something else that’s been worrying me, but i’m sure will settle down over the next few months, is his often random reactions to people. He’s fine one minute and then leaping and barking the next at someone. (This happens with some dogs too.) It’s hard to know what sets him off. There’s also workmen in our building constantly at the moment and their boorish behaviour is not just tiring for us humans, but they often antagonize Jake when they see him barking like mad. (He seems to have an aversion to any and all workmen, possibly all men in some sort of service uniform? He’s reacting like this across the board without anything other than the sight of them to set him off.)
For now we’re trying to get him to sit calmly before meeting another dog on a walk (which sometimes helps) and socialize more generally with other dogs (he’s going to hang out with some friends of ours with Corgis while we’re in Montreal this upcoming weekend which is really good for him). And having to carry him when our lobby and elevators are busy is easier and definitely better for my peace of mind right now knowing he won’t step over the line to bite anyone. He did really well at a big outdoor festival I took him to at the start of the month, though – with people, no problems, and with dogs only some. Well, it’ll be a process to watch.
I tell you what, though. The bonding is well and truly set in for me especially.. Now I’ve gone back to work I find myself missing this little guy’s company throughout the day, which means packing in extra snuggling in bed in the morning when I can!
It’s been almost a month and a half since Jake came to live with us! It’s kinda flown by. Things aren’t quite as overwhelming as when we were first adjusting to having him in our lives. All’s been well with vet visits, and the animal hospital we take him to has been great so far (Dr. Ibey is great with dogs and was really lovely with Jake)! He’s waaaaay less fussy with food now, we’re past the point of accidents in the house, he will play quite a bit (loves tug of war and fetching a couple of toys in particular, but not every sort of toy), and he’s really good about knowing his boundaries in the house (not allowed in the kitchen, he can only come up on the end of our bed if invited). A big help was that he’d been previously crate trained so once we got him a small kennel for our room he had his own space to be in for naps and sleeping at night & a safe space for us to know he could be in while we were out.
The main challenges we have facing us now are just behavioural/training issues. We’ve been taking him to obedience classes at A Leg Up training here in the Annex which is run by Lisa – she’s really fantastic, patient & knows her stuff. She’s really understanding of the fact that Jake’s new to us & also has a lot of ingrained behaviour seeing as he’s almost 5 years old. So although he may have struggled to stay focused in the classes (especially when intimidated by other larger dogs there, or distracted by late arrivals to the class), he’s learnt a couple of good things and it’s been just as important for me learning about how to properly deal with training him!
So far, he’s about 70% good on “sit”, “down” & “stand” and maybe 25% on “stay”. (We have gotten him to the point where he won’t start eating the food we put down for him until he sits & waits til we say okay though!) Walking was a very being dragged along situation for me and Adam for a while, but around 75% of the time Jake will walk in the heel position beside us which is a huge change! He’s still easily distracted by people/dogs/smells though. He seems to startle easily – unexpected people will set him off barking especially – so that’s going to be a big task to work on.
We’re off to Winnipeg for a vacation tomorrow & Jake will be flying will us in the cabin in a soft-sided carrier. I’m nervous about travelling with him, but excited for our friends and family there to meet him, and for him to get a little vacation to live in a house for a bit & have some play time in the backyard at Adam’s parents house.
It’s nice to see how fat he’s come in this little amount of time, so we’ll revisit his progress in another month or two for comparison! Until then, you can follow on Twitter or Instagram for all the cute pictures of him you could possibly handle!
On Sunday, Adam & I drove out to Peterborough to pick up this little dude (formally Jack, now Jake) from Loyal Rescue. We met him at Woofstock & learned he’d been in a shelter and then at the rescue for his whole life – he captured our hearts, so we applied to adopt him! Having a dog is a pretty big adjustment life-wise for us, but I especially feel like a newbie as I’ve never had a dog as a pet before, just been a dog-sitter/walker for friends.
As he’d been with Loyal since August 2011, it’s expected that he’ll take a little time to settle in – so we’ve had some accidents, some mis-steps with behaviours (ours & his) and the like. It’s been especially tough to get him interested in different kinds of treats, and any toys (considering he’s a Yorkie/Jack Russell cross he should be play-play-play!). But overall he’s a sweetheart – happy to be out for a walk, well-behaved with other dogs, and is friendly to people.
We’re trying to just be the best parents we can be to him in this adjustment period and hope things settle down to a norm soon. We’re also hoping that mild allergies are only due to adjustment for us, and not indicative of a larger problem 😦 It’s a huge change and a huge challenge, but we’re ready to take it on. I have a lot of reading to do about training! Any suggestions are more than welcome.