L. to R: Layla, Crombie, Jude
Well, actually, an old dog. Oldest dog we've ever had.
Crombie is seventeen, a Cocker Spaniel, and they average 12-15 years. She is pretty much deaf, eyes are cloudy, though she can still see; she's very thin, and has a couple of age-related medical problems.
She belonged to my nephew and his wife, in San Francisco. They have a two-year-old son and a newborn boy, and keeping track of a terrible-two and breastfeeding a newbie takes a lot of energy, not leaving much for an old dog who needs attention.
When my wife went to visit, she saw the situation, realized that the dog's quality of life was not what it could be, and offered to take her.
We were worried about integrating a new critter into the household, what with two long-established dogs and a cat, but we've be able to do it before, and figured we could manage it again.
We collected Crombie at the airport yesterday. Set up the baby gates and fences and kennels and introduced her to Jude and Layla and Balou.
The reaction so far?
The dogs looked at her and shrugged. A dog? Yawn.
The cat came round, hopped up onto the counter, looked at Crombie. Another dog? Yawn ...
We have been careful with food, since Jude will eat anything he can get his teeth into, we don't want him running Crombie off. When we put food into her pen, he gobbles his and then stands at the fence staring longingly at Crombie's dish. She doesn't eat as fast as he does.
A starving grizzly bear doesn't eat as fast as Jude does. We had to get in a special bowl with little knobs in it to slow him down so he didn't accidentally inhale his supper. Plus he's on a lower-calorie diet, because we have let him get too big. So he's hungrier than usual.
Crombie seems to be adjusting okay, though she's not used to as much space, nor to spending much time outside. We have a fenced-in back yard; the SF branch of the family lives upstairs in a one-bedroom apartment.
Um. Anyway, so far, so good. We'll see how it goes, and we'll be sticking close to home for a bit to make sure things stay on an even keel.
Never a dull moment.