Tomorrow, we’re picking up a new member of the family. He’s a 2-year-old schnoodle (schnauzer-poodle mix) named Galileo. He’s a bit of a mess, with dingleberries and mats, crusty eyes, epilepsy, and a weight problem, but a heart of gold.
I admit we didn’t have the most positive first impression. He didn’t look anything like his pictures. (Doesn’t that figure? It felt like online dating!) Galileo was much bigger than I thought he’d be. He wasn’t white, and he was clearly not a schnauzer. He was also younger (the posting on Petfinder said he was five) and very neglected. Ben shrieked, “What’s wrong with his butt!” and was convinced the poor guy was unable to poop normally. It was a dire dingleberry situation. We attempted to pull off some of them, but they were cemented on. He clearly hadn’t been groomed in a long time.
And, he barked. He was a stressed out little man and, as chaos erupted around him (we met at Petsmart at an adoption event hosted by the rescue group), he responded vocally. Bark! Bark! Bark! I looked at Ben and made a face. But, we committed to taking him around the block for a test drive.
Galileo immediately quieted down. Once he was out of the chaos, he didn’t make a peep. Even after we brought him back to the store, he was silent. Whew!
He was good on a leash and happily met Hank and Dougal. They got along great and acted like old friends. There was none of the usual puffing up or acting macho; the three settled into an odd familiarity. It felt like Galileo was already part of the family.
We tested him on some basic commands and he did pretty well.
Turns out, Galileo has been to shelters twice in his short life. He was first picked up as a stray in Los Angeles. He was adopted out to a family, but, when the mom got terminally ill, her kids returned him to the shelter. The local rescue transported him to Oregon six weeks ago for a better chance at adoption.
He only seems to have one bad (and funny) habit. After he pees, he grunts and kicks dirt everywhere! He goes absolutely bonko! It was hilarious, but something we definitely want to stop. He also has epilepsy, which seems to be well controlled with medication. We’ll be taking him to our vet soon to make sure his meds are at the right dosage and to learn how to care for a dog with his condition.
I’m nervous about bringing in a new pack member, but it’s a happy nervousness. Barley has been gone six months now and I’m finally at the point when I don’t think it would be an insult to him to bring in another family member. Barley had a great life. I loved him more than anything. If I can pass on a bit of that to another dog, give it a good, long life, then I’m honoring Barley the best way I know how.
Our first order of business will be a hot bath and a grooming. After that, we’ll settle on a name change. Right now, we’re thinking Otis, but we’ll let the little guy tell us what name he’d like.