It’s been a week since I brought Jasper to his new home.
I’ve had some texts back and forth with the new owners, as they learn about Jasper and he learns about them. Pretty typical stuff. When you think about it, he hasn’t been away from us or the other dogs for any time in his life.
He’ll get there. He’s a great dog.
On some level I miss him. He’s like that great friend, the wingman, that’s really affable, loyal, and a lot of fun. The type of dude that’s really smart but has no common sense. A “Hey, y’all hold my beer and watch this” guy.
But the change around here has been dramatic.
First, I haven’t had to take allergy meds in a week. We got a robot vac, and there’s a lot less hair and dander around here. I haven’t had one moment where I’ve been choking up.
Aria came out of her shell like I knew she would. She’s become super happy and friendly. She spends almost no time in her crate now. Before, if she’d come up to get a head rub, Jasper would butt in and she’d go in her crate. Now, she’s the undisputed queen.
The biggest change, and unexpected, has been Jethro. He’s become super playful. Sort of taking Jasper’s place as the lovable doofus in the house. I thought he’d be bothered by Jasper not being here. Apparently not. I think the big guy tolerated Jasper to a point, but is happier he’s not around.
Things have settled into a really nice routine, and during the week I realized some things I missed:
- I miss a simple walk, with the dogs next to me, walking at my pace. At the worst, Jasper would be pulling ahead, and Aria dragging behind. She really didn’t want to be around Jasper. So she’d lag behind and be passive agressive, stopping to make a career out of sniffing this or that.
- I missed being able to walk past someone else with a dog, or a dog in a yard, without drama. This would trigger Jasper. He needed that trained out of him some kinda bad. Day one we passed a woman with a small dog, like a rat terrier, was going nuts and lunging on his leash. The whole scene was absolutely not on Jet or Aria’s radar. They couldn’t care less. It’s been that way every walk.
- I missed not being able to simply get in my car, open the gate and go or come back home without texting. If I were alone, I’d have to shut the dogs in the house to leave. If either of us were home, we’d have to text to have the door shut as we couldn’t be sure Jasper wouldn’t bolt out of the gate. Now, we can come or go as we please. The two older dogs may or may not come out when we return. But even if they did, they never leave the property.
- I missed not being able to leave for a few hours and leave the dog door open so they could come and go as they want. More often than not, I’d get a text from my neighbor complaining that Jasper’s been barking for hours. He’d do that to entertain himself or to get the other dogs out to play.
I’ve seen this on the cameras when I work. I’ll see him barking at the gate and I can tell the moment the neighbor opened his window to yell. Then I’d see Jasper hop sideways to bark at the neighbor in the window. It was a game to him. He was merely barking to get the neighbor to yell so he could bark at him.
He was bored. That’s why about every other day he’d cross a line and trigger the other two to chase him at top speed to deliver a beatdown. I thought they were playing. Now, I doubt that. I think he ran like hell, because he’s faster than both, and simply wore the others out to where they gave up.
Breathing better and a lower stress level helps somewhat with the feeling that we abandoned him. Then again, he’s a dog. They adapt quickly, and he’s in a home where he’s the top dog now.