'The true Soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because He loves what is behind him.' -G. K. Chesterton

02 July 2011


Everyone, this is Angus. Angus, meet everyone.

I got into California on Thursday evening. I spent the night with Car Guy and his lovely spouse, Bike Nurse. Friday morning I headed to Gustine to pick up Angus. Car Guy decided to jump on one of his motorcycles and come meet and greet the new boy. Many of these pictures are his. We got there about 8AM local time. I called ahead and when we arrived Angus was getting his going home bath from Donna.

After his bath and some routine paperwork it was time to head home. I met Mom and his siblings and was pleased. She's beautiful and has a great temperament. Her pups were all fat, happy and fearless. Angus is calm, very sweet and trusting. He snuggled into my arms immediately (though, in the interest of total honesty Car Guy got first pets and first snuggles).

I borrowed the DO's van for the trip. After taking out the back seats and laying down a blanket (that turned out to be very necessary. Foreshadowing it's not just a literary device) it was the perfect vehicle for transporting a new puppy 625 miles.

A rare and much sought after picture of Car Guy in full regalia with his motorcycle in the background.

As to the foreshadowing. When we were filling out the paperwork on Angus Donna mentioned that he'd just had a Parvo shot. Now for those who don't know, Parvo vaccinations in puppies usually produce some fairly spectacular diarrhea. I stupidly assumed she meant the day before and assured her it wasn't a problem. Uh, no. It was actually that very morning, just minutes before we arrived.

About halfway through the trip he started nosing around and showing signs of needing to eliminate. I dove for the shoulder, jumped out and threw open the passenger sliding door only to be greeted by Angus leaving me a nice steaming pile of loose Puppy Poop. It was not to be the last. A quick clean up and we were on our way. Now, I stopped very often and even got him to pee outside several times. Still, he did take a whiz or two on the blanket before I could stop. It's tough to try and watch a puppy and traffic at the same time, which is why the blanket was there. I decided to limit his food intake to keep the 'gifts' to a minimum. A bit further on I suddenly noticed that he's crept up between the seats and had his muzzle buried in the food bag. He'd managed to eat a very healthy helping before I caught on.  Uh oh. The combination of the Parvo shot and an overfull belly, coupled with a ride in a car when he'd never so much as seen one before brought on a spot of car sickness. He managed 2 more squirts on the blanket before tuckering out enough to sleep. I brought him up into my lap and noticed he kept raising his head into the AC. I swept the passenger seat clear and plopped him down where he promptly fell into an exhausted sleep.

 At one point he had his head dangling over the edge of the seat. Um.... Turns out that wasn't a great idea. I saw him get up, drop his head down and upchuck all over the side of the seat and door (Sorry DO. I cleaned it up. I swear).

From there all the way home it was a contest whether I could spot what was coming in time to get pulled over or just pull over and do clean up. It was not Angus' fault. It was mine. I misunderstood what Donna was telling me and underestimated the effects of the shot and trip on his pretty untested system. Really, it was Ok. All said and done he did just fine. He's well adjusted and calm. When he wasn't eliminating he was playing or sleeping. He was really a good boy. We got through it and Angus grew to really appreciate the warmth and comfort of my embrace and lap. Call it an unplanned bonding session. Pooping, Peeing and Puking. The Big Three.

Still, we were both pretty happy to get home. Here's Angus checking out the new back yard. As soon as he got settled he started feeling better.

First things first. A nap is definitely in order.

The next day all was forgotten. We actually had a very good night. Angus sleeps in a crate next to our bed. He took to it with no problems and slept quietly, only crying when he needed to go out. He had no accidents in the crate. I'm a real proponent of crate training puppies. As I write this Angus is in the bedroom, in his crate, taking a long nap. It's dark, quiet and cool. He's adapting very well.

Angus is happy and playful. He's also trusting. He gave me his belly very early on and loves to wrestle from his back. A good sign of a puppy who is secure and unafraid. He's explored and played and learned where to do his business. I put a blanket on the floor in front of my chair and he tends to stay close and either play with me or by himself. He loves the knotted rope and his monkey.

Or sleep. He does love his naps.

Come to think of it, so do I. Especially with my new buddy.

I withheld food until this morning, just to make sure his system was working again before I added to his problems. He was still squirting out both ends Friday night but as of this morning all seems to be well. He's eating normally and stopped 'returning things' messily. His appetite is good and he's drinking frequently.

I am very happy. Angus is just what I hoped for and needed. A huge empty space in my life has just been filled and the Six household is now complete once again. My thanks to the DO, Car Guy and Don and Donna Shaw at Highland Labs. And to all of you who have supported me so long and so well. I'll be posting regularly about the continuing exploits and adventures of a sweet little dog named Angus.



Keads said...

Congrats on the new friend! Can't wait to here more about Angus.

KurtP said...

Hi Angus- welcome home!

Murphy's Law said...

Way cool. Glad for both of you. I expect great things from this union.

Six said...

Thanks guys. He's a great little dog with a wonderful personality. I already can't remember what I did without him.

Ed Rasimus said...

A handsome young lad and your tale shows him to be quite adept at doing what puppies do so well!

instinct said...

Very good looking pup with all the classic signs of smarts and trust. Congrats, Six.

One day I will add a dog to the mix here, but right now we are overrun by cats.

Six said...

Thanks Ed and Instinct. He's already begun to follow me around and whine when I'm not around. He's finding all the good sleepy spots in the house and yard. Now if we can only convince Chrisi he's fun to play with.

Scott McCray said...

What a handsome fellow - there's an Angus at my brother's house - and he said it's a good name choice. Welcome little guy - look forward to learning more about you!

Six said...

That's a good omen Scott. He's already beginning to respond to it!

LauraB said...

Love the new name and hope to soon read that Chrisi has turned a sweeter gaze upon him...

There is nothing like a puppy belly to comfort you, no? Well done and congratulations!

Six said...

Thanks Laura. He is truly a comfort even when he has a bad case of the rips! Chrisi seems to be coming around but she is The Princess and expects a certain amount of respect. He'll learn.

The DO said...

Hey, sitting here in a library on a base in Germany, excited to finally get to see the little man! He certainly has a Highland look to him, he reminds me of Trooper. I think that's a good sign. I'm also happy that he seems to have more of Troopies temperment, he was a lover that one. Can't wait to meet him!! And don't worry about the van, it's had the same done by human kids:)-

The DO said...

Actually, looking at the photos again, he seems to be a mix of Trooper and Chrisi. Huh. It'll be interesting to see how he grows up!

Six said...

His momma was lean with long, clean limbs. He definitely looks like her. His fur is very soft, like Chrisi. Your mom and I also thought he was a nice cross between the two. More Chrisi like but with Trooper's temperament and muzzle. Just what I hoped for, an individual. You really can see the Highland influence can't you?

Cindy said...

Aww, he is adorable! I am soo happy for you! I can see he's got you wrapped around his paw already. All is right in the world once again. I'm sure Trooper is looking down from his fluffy cloud, quite happy with himself for sending you a new little bundle of fur to love.