This is the second part of our Pug adoption story. Click the link below to see read part one first.
I had heard that bringing home a pet usually goes one of two ways. Sometimes there is a “honey moon” period where the pet is really well behaved for a while and then starts being naughty. The other thing I’ve heard is that when dogs struggle with the transition, they might act out and have potty accidents at first and then things get better. Neither of these seemed to happen with Frank & Beans. They never had any potty accidents or showed any aggression while transitioning into our family. Neither of them were very interested in eating for about two weeks. They did eat, but not very much. I didn’t think to weight them early on, but they were both overweight when we got them and showed physical signs of weight loss by week three, but then they began to maintain their weight after that. They could still each stand to lose a pound or two but their body shape suggests that they are at a healthier weight now. Frank lost his big belly and now has a slight waist, and so does Beans.
At about day three, Beans was completely glued to me. If I went potty, she sat on the bathroom floor. If I took a shower, she stared at me. If I checked the mail, she came with me. If I made lunch or did the dishes, she came along too. Frank bonded to Ryan in the same way (though even early on he’d trade to being my shadow if I were cooking – his true loyalty is always food!). I think it was about two weeks after that that Frank also came to bond tightly with me and Beans began to bond more with Ryan at that time as well. With us both working online from home, we spend a lot of time on computers. After a couple of weeks of both dogs wanting to sit on our laps while on our computers, we broke down and bought a used recliner that we positioned in front of the computer desk. It looks absolutely crazy but the dogs were so much happier once they were able to have “laptime” for hours a day every day. They are such true lapdogs.
A few weeks after getting the dogs, I checked the previous owners Facebook and saw that she tried to get rid of them in March of 2012, 15 months prior to when she gave them to me.
Working from home means we get to be with the dogs a lot and only leave when we run errands or go to birthday parties or to meet with friends, which is maybe once or twice a week for a few hours at a time. Even just a few weeks in, it was obvious that they experienced pretty severe separation anxiety. Ryan’s mom loves them and she’s home most of the time so we’ve been blessed to be able to have her ‘dog-sit’ when we do go out. She tells us that they cry while we’re gone. They cry a little bit when we take them for rides to the vet or on the drive to Ryan’s moms house. When we moved to our new apartment about a month and a half ago, they whined LOUDLY the entire drive, almost a sob-like whine. Of course, they had seen us move our belongings out of our old place piece by piece. It really felt like they thought we were about to go drop them off and just leave them. It haunts me to think of how they cry when I leave or when they think I am leaving but they didn’t cry when we first got them from their previous owner, or in those first few days at our place. I hope that isn’t a sign of the lack of a bond that they had with that owner but instead is just a behavior that they didn’t feel comfortable showing in front of strangers. Yet, they cried in front of Ryan’s mom right away. I don’t know. I just try not to even think about it.
The first two months or so that the dogs lived with us, they showed no interest in any toys. I had actually came ot the conclusion that they didn’t even like toys and then one day, we had a dog toy come for review and they went crazy for it. While they love to play with Ryan & I now, they don’t play with other people. They have come to know various family members including my kid sister, 3 year old nephew, Ryan’s mom, step-dad and brother, etc but if any of them try to get the dogs to play with a toy, they show no interest. Even if they try using one of the dogs’ favorite toys. So clearly, they take play to be a very intimate thing that requires a great deal of trust.
After learning that they do like toys at about two months in, we haven’t really seen any changes in the dogs since then. They sleep in our beds, beg for our food and they prefer to be physically touching us at all times. Beans is definitely still more bonded to me, though she absolutely loves Ryan as well. Frank adores Ryan and wags his tail every time Ryan even glances at him. When Ryan talks to him and tells him things like “You’re such a good boy” or “You’re a sweet boy” his curly little pug tail wags so quickly that I think he’s going to liftoff the ground like a helicopter. I barely ever get tail wags from Frank, but we have a special bond as well. Sometimes when I wake up at night to roll over and get comfortable, I (intentionally or by accident) wake Frank up while moving and he will wake up groggy. Every time that this happens, he does the exact same thing – he walks up near my pillow, sniffs my face, licks me and then goes back down to his spot and gets comfortable again. It almost seems like he has to come sniff me to see if its still me and then once he realizes it is he has to show a little affection before heading back to sleep. It melts my heart every time.
Last week I listed some things online that I had gotten for the dogs but they never liked or used (including their old kennel) I had someone ask me if I had gotten rid of the pugs.
My answer was “I can’t imagine that I could ever do that.”