Meet The New Dog On The Block

I don't normally dedicate a post to something other than DIY or projects, but it's dog week at Bliss Ranch and I've got a new right hand man.

Right around Mothers Day life around here got a little more energetic.

No I haven't signed up for a marathon, although I might argue that chasing a new puppy around should certainly qualify.

Honest Abe

Meet Abe, the new dog in the yard. 

Some of you might recall that I sit other peoples dogs, and you also know that about a year and a half ago our 12 year old mascot Mo moved on as dogs do.  I said I'd give it some time to see if I wanted the responsibility of another dog living here full time.

Well I guess I do.

I have had a dog in the yard my whole life which would obviously include all of my married life as well, and without one lounging in the grass something was missing besides my husbands head in the photos below. 

Honest Abe
Picking the puppy up day

Outside was quiet and still, and I didn't like that.

Every noise I heard was of course an axe murderer coming to cut me up, and with no dog to spring into action I was starting to get paranoid.  The final straw was when I heard the big overhead garage door open, and saw the neighbors two big dogs on the garage side yard. Was it the neighbor in my garage scavenging for our own axe to use on me?

Scared as I was did I grab my cell phone to dial anyone?  No.  Do I lock the doors and cautiously peek to see who is thieving the treasures that are waiting for paint from my garage?  No.  Instead I go put on a bathrobe, and start to march right out the front door because there is nothing more threatening than a woman in her bathrobe in the middle of the afternoon.

The man that lives here had stealthily and unexpectedly come home to rob his own garage, and also happened to inadvertently park his truck out of my direct view, while it was just a coinkidink that the neighbors dogs happened to also be roaming our yard at the very same time.

But it was a perfect storm for a paranoid wife.

Honest Abe
The long ride home

There were lots of things about having a dog I didn't miss.

I didn't miss sweeping the dog hair.
I didn't miss the puppy biting and jumping stage and all the house training.
I certainly didn't miss picking up dog stuff in the yard, but then again that task was in our wedding vows proclaiming I wouldn't be doing any scooping.

Honest Abe
Bliss Ranch Gate Sign

Our 18 year old cat had also departed a few months ago, and I liked the freedom from pets and being able to get up and go without making feeding plans for a canine.

But I did miss the companionship during the day.

Honest Abe

A dog makes the place seem alive and a puppy brings out the soft side of the menfolk.  It feels like a home again, and even though I gave up some freedom I think I'll survive.

Our shoes however may not.

Honest Abe

Now there are Monday night puppy classes to attend for one of our sons, moving dog stuff off the grass before it gets flattened from mower tires, and searching for the best and safest dog toys to save each of us from being a human chew.

Top priority is teaching him "down".  He is still a puppy but he is getting tall with those long lean legs, and jumping on the little folks around here isn't cool.  He has razor sharp puppy teeth and claws, and is tall enough to knock down anyone under the age of five, because of course he thinks everyone is here just to see him.

Honest Abe
The humans getting caffeinated on the ride home

I want to tell you what my puppy/dog criteria was and why I didn't end up with a rescue.  Let me clarify first by saying I'm pretty sure all puppies are cute, but I do have a few preferences, and gone are the days of entering the grocery store where cute kids are giving away even cuter puppies.  I put more thought into finding what I want with this last dog then I did for starting a human family.

Honest Abe
He's gonna get too big to be a lap dog!

The Criteria
I like hound ears.  The longer the better.  Not all of our dogs were hounds nor did they have floppy ears, but I love dog ears, and I decided I'm old enough to have what I want.  We had Great Danes with cropped ears, and looking back I sort of wish they didn't come to us with the cropping done, as un-cropped Danes have long lovely ears.  But a Great Dane looks a lot less threatening sprinting across a yard toward a stranger when their ears are running with the wind, and our Great Dane had a houseful of children to protect.  Mission accomplished, cropped ears and all.

Honest Abe
His ears are as soft as silk

I am funny about dog hair.  I don't mean the ones that fall to the floor.  Their fur, as in the length.  As a child my family had beagles.  When I got a husband he came with a black lab.  Great Danes have a short coat as well as the Rhodesian Ridgeback that lived with us for 14 years, and before the new puppy there was Moses my daughters puggle.  All those dogs have short or medium coats, and I realized I had a preference.  Don't be thinking short coats mean no shedding, uh uh not the case.  It just means when a dog is roaming through our woods if they pick up burrs or ticks, those things are easy to see and easier to remove than on curly or long dog fur.

Color.  This criteria wasn't really important, but I kept seeing dogs with a mahogany coat that I thought was nice.  With the exception of our two black labs, our other dogs were fawn colored.  Again, the lighter colored coat made it easy to see what they picked up in the woods, which can include ticks.  I thought if I can find a dog with a mahogany coat and long floppy ears I'd have a home to offer.

Honest Abe

Temperament.  Any new pet at our house had to first and foremost be good with small kids and other dogs, and I wasn't going to budge on that.  Bonus if they were any sort of a sport dog, liked the water, were inclined to play fetch and equally as happy with long afternoon naps.

Barking doesn't bother us.  We don't have any close neighbors for howling at the moon to annoy.  A quiet dog was not a preference.... remember I want a dog that alerts me to husbands coming home in the middle of the day and stray dogs on the property, so a bit of barking is a good thing in my book.

Now as far as bringing home a rescue, I tried.  Minnesota has a ton of animal rescue places.  If we were to adopt a rescue dog I had to know it's history.  There are children of all ages and sizes here and I won't take a chance that something in a dogs hidden past involves aggression toward kids.

Honest Abe

I wasn't opposed to an adult dog that had been surrendered, where the work of house training had already been done and we would know the dogs past, or puppies that came in young to a shelter.  Like I said, I tried!  I filled out applications, but for any dog that fit my criteria I wasn't the first applicant, and they went to other homes.   In the long run it was meant to be.

I was even willing to travel to find a pooch, make an adventure out of it.  I had a puppy reserved next door in Wisconsin and it seemed like the perfect dog for us and to roam our property.  I was on the list last summer for one of a litter, but the litter had less dogs than expected and another family that had reserved after me was more specific about wanting male or female so I let them have my puppy.  Again.... it was meant to be.

Honest Abe

Finally I found a rescue shelter only about 30 minutes away who had 10 puppies born while at the shelter needing homes, and they were ready to go.  The pups were a lab retriever mix and cute as all get out.  I started reading through the adoption requirements - most rescues have very strict rules for adopting - and I came to a part that I had not seen in any other rescue applications which read; we will not place dogs in any home with a dog door.

Huh?  I thought that was unusual and having a dog door was a good thing, so before I spent time filling out their pages and pages of application, I sent an email asking about the dog door.....
I am reading over your web page as I prepare to fill out forms for adopting, and I have a question.... It says "no doggie door".  We have a dog door from our past dog.  It goes from the house to the garage and outside from a second dog door. Before I fill out an application, will this be a problem?  It would be a shame to be excluded over that, we are a good family with a wonderful home for dogs.
Here was their response;
Thank you for your interest in adopting one of our dogs and your question about dog doors.  

Unfortunately this will be a problem as we do not adopt out to homes with dog doors regardless where they are placed on the home/garage or how a dog can access them.  

Even if your intent is to not allow your dogs to access it while you are not home,  we have had many applicants tell us they wouldn’t use it or their dog’s couldn’t access it and we find out later, the door was indeed getting used and dogs were being left outside or in the garage while owners were away.  This is against our eligibility guidelines for adoption.  Since this had happened on many occasions our rescue had to put a policy in place that no dog doors are allowed.

If you are willing to remove the dog doors or move to a new home, we’d love to consider you at that time. 

Thank you for your question; please get in touch if you have others.

Now they didn't know me from Adam.  They don't know we have 25 acres, a big safe fenced yard that the dog door leads out to, lots of people to give attention to any animal, and both humans and pets love it here.  And that is exactly my point... they don't know us.  It seemed a little narrow minded to rule out anyone just because they have a dog door and their reason about having one was pretty weak in my opinion.  I'm home during the day, any dog that lives here isn't crated for 8 hours while I'm at work, and the point of a dog door is to be able to also come back in.  Do they think some pet owners simply don't just put the dog outside and shut the house door?  I guess they think only pet owners with dog doors are irresponsible, what about the people without pet doors who just stick their dog in the garage for the day for the rescue to never know about?  They wouldn't find out about those pet owners since apparently they only do random checks on people with dog doors!  But.... it was meant to be, and Abe loves the dog doors and freedom to go outside and come inside when he chooses, and the dog doors are equipped with the ability for me to keep the dog in if I choose.

Does this look like a dog who is getting locked all alone in the garage for hours at a time.....

Honest Abe
He's part kangaroo

I'm going to end this here, but the next post will also have gone to the dogs.

In an effort to not waste money I took to the web and determined the best pet products for this pooch based on other peoples trial and error, and I'm going to share those new puppy products with you.  So stop back in to see what Abe's breed is, along with his favorite and our favorite, products.

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  1. ok well now i need another puppy. not really, but SOOOO cute!

  2. Aww Abe is so cute!! I loved reading his story. That is so strange about the doggie door rule. I'm glad you found your puppy!!

  3. Abe is adorable and I love how he's positioned in the last photo.

    Our dachshunds have the best ears. Hubby and I say they h.g.h ave perfect head to ratio ears and soft as can be.

    After nine years I finally found toys that will last more than one minute. Dachshunds destroy toys in ou ne minute no lie. It's the hunter in them. Hugglehounds work for them. Momma has to change them ever couple of days. Dachshunds are very smart and in two days they get bored so I have switch them with ones they haven't had for a few days.

    I could never be without dogs. Being brother and sister it's definitely like having twins.

    Can't wait to hear more.


  4. Your stories are touching, yet hilarious! You know what else is menacing with a fluffy bathrobe? Wasp spray- hubby's answer to keeping loaded weapons away from me.

  5. He is adorable! We brought home our new addition mid April - a 10 week old chocolate lab, border collie mix. We lost our 14 year old golden a year ago Easter and I too felt the same as you about both the pros and cons of getting another pet. I work from home and had really enjoyed the ability to come and go without the responsibility... but alas the house was too quiet and too clean and we started the search for our new sidekick. The days are certainly full now and it seems as not much "other stuff" gets done for now. I question my sanity for getting a puppy! But he is a cutie pie and keeps me laughing. We did end up with a rescue, but I can certainly relate to your arduous search! It was a process that took several months of finding a puppy we were interested in, applying, and then being told the puppy had already been adopted. Finally, after several months, the gods apparently aligned and we were notified that this little guys was ours if we wanted him.... I understand that they are only looking for the best homes for their dogs and want them to be safe and cared for - but they also need to look at the individual situations. But it looked like all ended up well for your family! Enjoy your little guy, doesn't look like he will be that way for long!

  6. Oh yes...a definite heartstealer! Abe looks like a wonderful dog!

  7. He is absolutely adorable! I lost my boy 2 years ago and still miss him terribly. I've started to want another but not sure I have what it takes for a puppy. 😉 I look forward to learning more about Abe!


  8. Awww, he's so adorable!

    As for your quote, "I'm old enough to have what I want".... yes, I laughed. HARD!

    You dog door rebel you!

  9. He is a real cutie, and I know the small people are having a blast with him!

  10. Awwwww...Abe! I want to scratch your sweet little belly! Even if there is a hidden pouch in there somewhere! :)

  11. Congrats Bliss!! He is adorable and oh so lucky to have found you. ❤️ We have a new little girl at our house... a toy Aussie. Busy but cute. LOVE your sign... I see one in our future. xo

  12. I agree, they make it so difficult to adopt a rescue. It's overkill sometimes. We have a cat door and our guy loves being able to go in an out at his whim. Abe's quite the lucky pup and he looks it.

  13. Anonymous1/07/2023

    My puppy Benny is also a Vizsla English Setter mix and he looks So Much like Abe!


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