Sherman (Part Two)

… SO I left off my last post having picked up the dog once called Gandolph, once called Pochoco then named Sherman… taking him to the rescue, being evaluated and then happily sent home to join the Ranaldi Family….

At the rescue he got along well with all the other dogs. He ran and played ball with our Hanna and a few other’s, jumped in the water bins for a refreshing swim and laid under the shade trees panting with satisfaction.  He was worn out by the time we loaded him in the car with Hanna and Bailey and drove home.

….or so we thought…. halfway home he was standing up panting, coughing, gagging, whining, choking, squealing… there are no words to describe it to perfection… he eagerly jumped over the backseat and climbed onto my lap.  He smelled like dirt and pee.  His face was caked with mud and spit. He clumsily rotated his position on my lap a few times and then suddenly he went limp, so heavy my fingers tingled with the sudden lack of circulation and then I heard it… he was snoring.
A few minutes later we were home.  As we pulled through the gate the rooster was crowing, the goats were bellowing, Hanna and Bailey began to perk up and Sherman jumped into excited, obsessively sniffing GSP mode.  Eric was in heaven…the obnoxious suction nose from a eager young GSP sniffing the daylights out of the air was like music to his ears.

We jumped out of the car and introduced him one by one to our other animals here at the “farm”.  Eric was eager to show him to the chickens and bunnies, the animals that seem to be the most problematic for our GSP Foster’s to get along with… However, a soft high pitched squeal coming from the old dog kennel near the lemon tree brought us in a different direction.

Our 140lb pot belly pig Geezer was snorting and squealing with delight, begging to be let out so he could greet this new friend.  I was worried but Eric opened the door without hesitation and Geezer happily trotted right on out.  Sherman seemed happy to greet this large hairy animal, who I am sure smelled quite lovely… they sniffed each other (both of their tails wagging) then moved on.  Geezer wandered off to sniff and rut around the yard as we walked Sherman over to meet the rest of the gang.

Greeting the chickens and our two bunnies went smoothly, no real over productive “prey” drive, which was a concern for me considering his hyperactivity… he was very curious about the large animals prancing around on the other side of the fence burping and kicking their feet in the dirt.  He slowly crept up to the fence sniffing at Maxine, notorious for slamming the fence with her large horns if a dog gets too close, however this time the slow creeping worked to his advantage.  He did not bark, he did not make any swift movements they stared each other down for a few moments… Sherman’s gaze much more confused and intrigued than predatory, and then Maxine turned away and walked off.

The dogs then played in the back yard, trampling our pesky weeds down to the ground (yay). We tossed a tennis ball for what seemed like hours.  Poor Hanna is only 7 years old at the most and is having trouble keeping up with this pup.  We came in the house around 4pm and got comfortable.  Sherman sat directly on top of me and immediately began to snore.  Maybe 30 minutes later Eric got up to get a drink and Sherman jumped up ready for whatever it was he thought he needed be prepared for. I petted him and talked gently to him but now that he saw his surroundings he wanted to play.

Eric laid down on the floor with him and they wrestled happily over a plastic Dr. Pepper soda bottle he had finished earlier that day.  Sherman was in heaven!  They played with it until the top popped off and he began pulling chunks of plastic off the bottle and trying to eat it.  We assumed he would then lay back down, but instead began to pee on a blanket on the floor.  We quickly brought him outside…waited for him to go potty and then placed him calmly in the laundry room…our equivalent of a crate. (literally it’s the same size).

The howling and barking began…he sounded pathetic. My heart was breaking. He coughed and howled and cried like he thought he was being left behind by his new family.  This was the begining of a VERY long night for us.

Later in the evening the kids were introduced to Sherman and again we went out in the back yard to play, run, exercise and get the wiggles out.  Sherman ran and ran and ran and ran.  Finally when I thought he was ready to come in we got settled in the living room to watch a movie before going to bed.  The kids were asleep now, the house was quiet yet every time Eric or I moved our foot, sniffed, shifted our soda on the coffee table… Sherman would jerk his head up in a panic.  Upon seeing that we weren’t going anywhere he would immediately plop his heavy head back down and resume his snoring.  Eventually he ended up laying direcly on my lap as I sat on the floor and feeling my hand on him reduced the frequency of his startled jerks.

When the movie was over, despite our talk of having him sleep in the laundry room (aka crate) we let him lay down with us in the bedroom. He laid down happily next to me and we slipped quickly off to sleep.  Eric sat up on the computer for a while and I remember being woken up every time Sherman jerked becuase Eric’s chair creeeked or he shifted papers on his desk.  Later that night the dogs began to get restless so we let them all out to go potty.  When they came back in, rather than getting settled on the bed again, Sherman wanted to pace the room and explore.  We agreed with it being approxamately 2am, it was time to put him in the laundry room.

The crying, howling and barking began again.  He cried off and on with about 30 minute periods of silence until 5 am when we decided to finally let all three dogs out.  He happily ran around entertaining himself until Kaelob came in a few minutes before 6.  He was more than willing to put shoes on and run around with the pup in the back yard and keep him company (becuase Hanna and Bailey, although happy to be outside were not so eager to play).  Haylee and Peytne woke up shortly after and before we knew it it was barely 7am and all three kids and dogs were running around screaming, barking and playing happily in the back yard…

Happy Father’s Day dear neighbors. 🙂

Exhausted from our lllloooonnnngggg night we began to prepare for our morning.  We had a nice outdoor brunch planned with my in-laws and I hoped that Sherman would behave because nothing makes an outdoor meal worse than a howling pesky puppy 10feet away.  I was impressed.  There were a few moments he got excited and barked a little too much, but overall he did much better than I had expected.  When the kids came in the house he ran from door to window to door whimpering and making a low coughing noise trying to convince someone to come out and give him attention.  Eventually though, he DID calm down.

Understandably, when he saw someone walk through the yard he began to bark and whimper again and at one point I had to put him in the laundry room to quiet down.  He actually did!! it took about 30 minutes, but he quieted down on his own!!!  When I noticed he had been quiet for a while I went in and praised him trying to keep his flailing body from jupming in my arms and knocking me over. I let him into the back yard, tossed the ball for him for a few minutes, then sent Kaelob in the back yard to wear him out.

Later that evening we had a BBQ with some members of my side of the family and again we ate outside.  This time he did WONDERFULLY!!  A few whimpers and barks here or there but guess what?? This smart handsome little guy was curled up in a happy little ball comfortably sleeping in the back yard before our dinner was half over!! We praised him verbally and he remained laying down peacefully.  I was so proud.

We left the dogs in the back yard until it was almost dark.  When it was time to come in we went out and tossed the ball for a bit again hopefully tiring him out…as if all the energy spent during the day wasn’t enough lol.  Anyway, I am happy to report that since bringing them in the house around 6pm he has been peacefully snoring by my side on our living room couch.  He still jerks his head up when he hears some movement in this room or the next, BUT overall he has made tremendous improvements showing moments of being relaxed and comfortable.

We are hoping and praying tonight goes MUCH smoother than the last.

Wish us luck!! 🙂

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