This is Teddy, our newest family dude, which is slightly significant because I'm tired of being the only boy around this joint. (Click to bigger the picture) He's a little over a year and a half old, at least physically, but more on that in a bit. Teddy is about average size for a German Sheppard, which is to say that he's a sizable animal, and quite a handful.
I know that the picture isn't the greatest, but then Teddy isn't easy to photograph. I think we've discovered a perpetual motion machine, here. He's constantly moving, one of the many things we're working on. So, so far I have a wealth of images of blur'. I will post more pics as he progresses. (And for the record, I have *GOT* to get a digital SLR.)
About a month ago, I told my beloved that I was missing Mara and was thinking that we might want to start looking for another large dog. BIG MISTAKE. Chris dove right in, and started looking. She focused on German Sheppards, because of her fond memories of her father's dog, Maverick. She found Teddy online about 3 weeks ago, and the adoption process began. He was turned into the Humane Society of Western Montana (in Missoula) last December, presumably because the family which had him couldn't deal with him. That served to make the adoption for us just smidge harder, but we had success, and we drove to Mizzou yesterday to pick him up.
Now, Teddy has a few issues. His former family didn't train him, at all. Again, some of this is assumption but it seems to fit the facts. Teddy was kept outside, and his socialization with humans was limited to rough housing. Essentially, he exhibits arrested development, a puppy brain in the body of an adult dog. He is constantly curious, thinks everything is a toy, has a problem focusing on humans, and has little to no sense of boundaries. So, we have our work cut out for us.
Lest everything sound bad here, I should point out that we've made really good progress even in the last day. He's a smart dog, a very smart dog, he just has a lot of learning to do. We got head start because he has been boarded for the last several weeks with Sarah Gibson, a certified dog trainer. Even with Sarah's work, we have a long way to go. The greatest challenge at this point appears to be socializing him to ourselves, (the "mine and not yours" phase), and then getting him attentive to the other animals as "ours", and not for him to play with. Smokey Bear (our 13 year old Sheltie) is helping. She's already teaching him that there must be rules, she knows them and he doesn't, so that's one small hurdle over. Today, I'm going to start working on "Heel", though I think it will likely be more like 'Hell'. ;-)
I'll probably be blogging more about the dog for a while. I seriously want to give deep thanks to Nicole at HSWM and to Sarah for working with us to get Teddy.
Finally, to Mike. That crazy guy in front of you waving and trying to get you to pull into the Wal-Mart parking lot? Yeah.