The Truth Comes Out

Today we finally received Royal’s vet records and needless to say, they were very enlightening and confirmed a lot of what I suspected. We didn’t get a pig in a poke but, some of the “facts” told to us were maybe a bit misleading. Not that it would matter, because as soon as Royal crossed the threshold, he became a member of the family, here to stay for the rest of his life.

The biggest fallacy was his age. I had thought Royal had led a rough life because he didn’t get around as well as Orso. His teeth are not in the best shape either for a “six-year-old” dog. One front fang is broken and the other fang is chipped, like a dog that has been living on the streets. We were told that Royal will be six years old this year, in actuality he will be nine years old this month. I guess they thought if someone knew his real age, Royal would become unadoptable. That makes him closer to Orso’s age now, who will be eleven years old in August.

Another factoid we read was that in 2013 he was diagnosed with hip dysplasia. That explained the way Royal would go up and down stairs. At first we thought he had never been exposed to stairs. That was the case with AJ, our black lab. When we brought AJ home the first time, he had no idea how to go up or down stairs, we had to teach him. We thought it odd the way Royal would lie down, either on his side or if he was on his stomach, he would adjust himself so that his legs stick out behind him, like a puppy does. But no, Royal just has hip dysplasia, another check mark against someone wanting to adopt him. Good thing I bought a huge bucket of joint supplements.

We had decided that Royal is a bit overweight, not having the stamina of Orso now two years his senior. But we know he is almost nine and has hip dysplasia, we can work on a better regimen, diet and exercise, to help him feel better. With the vet records in hand, we can work with our vet to get his shots up to date and a good dog food. We’ve already talked about this year we will be taking them swimming more. Another reason to get a kayak.

So for whatever time we have left with Royal and Orso, it will be a gift and a treasure everyday.

Taking the Leap

Well call us crazy or not, we took the leap and jumped off the cliff. After we received the reprieve from the woman asking for two weeks to try and work something out with her landlord, we breathed a sigh of relief. We told each other that it was for a reason that we didn’t get the dog. That maybe later on in the future, we would start looking for a dog. Guess what? Two weeks to the day, we received an email, asking if we were still interested in meeting Royal. We said yes, but now due to prior commitments, we couldn’t take him for another two weeks. We also said we would understand if they couldn’t wait for us.

Oh no, was the response, they would be more than happy to keep him for another 2 weeks. They just wanted to make sure he had a good home. I wasn’t sure how she “knew” we would be a good home, since we had only traded emails to date. We agreed to meet Royal the following Sunday, and see how he would get along with Orso. All week, I kept going back and forth, are we doing the right thing for Orso? If we take Royal, would that be the right thing for him? Talk about making myself crazy, I must have waffled back forth enough to have worn a groove in my brain.

Sunday morning, we loaded Orso up and headed out to meet Royal. We got there early and wandered around the school grounds that we had agreed to introduce the two on. Neutral territory, that way no one felt threatened or possessive of the space. A car pulled into the far side of the parking lot and watched as a man got out with a large dark brown dog. Nope, not Royal, we thought, because it was a Doberman and we were expecting a lab/mastiff mix. The man and the dog headed off in the opposite direction so we were pretty sure, they were just out for a stroll in the drizzle.

Another car pulled in and parked. A woman and a teenage girl got out of the car and the woman turned and opened the back door of the car. Out hopped a fawn colored dog with blackish brown ears. Royal came trotting over to us, quite unafraid and eager to meet us and Orso. He was as tall as Orso and a little bigger in the chest than Orso, maybe about five to ten pounds overweight. He was super friendly and just wanted to be petted. He was also a leaner.

After introductions, we watched the two get to know each other, sniffing butts, peeing on top of the other’s pee spot and running around the grass. Orso tried to jump on his back a couple of times and each time Royal would turn and give a warning bark growl, but never showed teeth. I was quite impressed with the dog, and ready to jump over the ledge. Mitch asked a few questions, did he have any ailments, eating issues, were his shots up to date, etc. All of our questions were answered quite positively, and I couldn’t help but wonder about his owner. It would take dire circumstances for me to even consider having to find a home for Orso and not keep him.

We asked if any others had responded to the ad and the woman said yes, she had gotten eight offers but only took one other offer seriously. After meeting the couple, she told them no they couldn’t have Royal. It seems the couple had a pair of pit bulls with them that were quite beat up and kept asking her what the mastiff side was capable of. She told us that she felt uneasy and worried about Royal’s safety.

I took the first leap, looked at Mitch and said that we would love to take him, but because family was coming into town, we couldn’t take him until the following Saturday. That seemed to be quite workable, so we said good-bye, loaded up Orso and headed home. Saturday morning, we picked up Royal and brought him home. We left Orso home for the pick up so that there was no tension in cramped spaces. As soon as we pulled into the driveway, I jumped out and leashed up Orso and the four of us went for a nice long walk.

We are now a week into back being a two-dog family and so far, so good. Maybe it’s because both dogs are older, Orso will be eleven and Royal is almost six, both are very calm sedate dogs, pretty much couch potatoes most of the time.

So for now, life is good, just a little more cramped on the couch, but quite relaxed. I’m sure once Royal gets comfortable and realizes the once he crossed the threshold, he was here to stay, things will get back to my normal chaotic life.