Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Awww Bruno I'll miss you!

So... Bruno, my first foster pug, Bruno has gone off to his "forever home"... His adoption happened really quickly. As many of you know I had to go home to Indiana for a week to be with my mom/family for my mother's surgery. My plan was to drop Bruno off at a PPRA foster's house and then pick him up again when I got back to NYC. He had a few people interested in him last week, but they fell through, and because it seemed like Bruno wasn't going to get adopted too quickly, I thought I'd have a least a week to think about what I wanted to do... I guess the universe had other plans.

As many of you know, I agonized about the decision of whether to keep Bruno or allow him to be adopted out. Here were the pro's and cons that I came up with...

Pro (keeping Bruno):
1.) He is SUPER sweet! He's never growled at me or showed any aggression towards me or anyone else (except an annoying Yorkie... but I don't blame him). He was always happy to be petted or picked up and he always wanted to be next to you.

2.) He was a VERY mellow pug. For the most part when I was at home he was asleep. He got very excited when I got home and was happy to go on our walks, but after he was fed and he would generally chew a little of his bully stick and then jump up on the couch with me or just go to his bed and go to sleep. This was good for me because other than feeding and walking him, he really didn't impact my life too much. I was able to work (transcribe), or play on the net or blog, etc etc without feeling like he needed me to play with him or needed a ton of attention.

3.) He had a lot of personality. Although he was mellow, he still made me laugh and had a defined personality. He was stubborn and smart and funny. During the 3 weeks he was with me, he learned 2 commands, "sit" and "down" and got VERY good at them. I always made him sit for me before I put his collar on for a walk or fed him and after a while he would just sit down for me without me having to say anything. Or he would sit and look at me expectantly.. .and then he would lay down and look at me expectantly.. and if I still didn't give him what he wanted he would sit back up like, "Damn! What you want woman!" heh heh... Another funny thing he always did was that he would throw little tantrums sometimes when I would tell him to sit... especially right before a walk. I would say sit, then he's start whining and walk around me in circles and finally he would sit down, usually behind me, with an audible "plop" and make a noise that sounded very much like he was saying "HUMPH". Heh heh..he was so cute.

4.) He was generally a good dog... I didn't have any issues with him marking or trying to show dominance. He liked everyone who came over. He didn't bark. He walked like a DREAM and people really liked seeing him waddling down the street. All in all just a super calm, chill dog.

Cons (reasons to have Bruno adopted out)
1.) The main thing that bothered me about keeping Bruno was that he had severe separation anxiety. Every time I would leave, or even start getting ready to leave he would get really upset, barking and howling to the point where it sounded like he couldn't catch his breath. That broke my heart. It made me really sad. I know I'm always talking about how I hate rescues because they don't adopt dogs to working people because the dog will get lonely, I have to say that I really would have prefered that Bruno go to a home with elderly people maybe, or another older/calm dog to play with.

2.) Bruno didn't really care for/about other dogs. Bruno was DEFINITELY a people pug. When we would encounter dogs on the street he would just ignore them. He wasn't agreessive or scared.... he just walked right passed them like they weren't there. He would let them sniff him, and check him over, but he just wasn't interested in playing. One of my plans for keeping my pug happy and occupied was to have a pug of my own and then foster pugs that he'd be able to play with. The fact that he had really bad separation anxiety AND he didn't really like to play with dogs made me worry about how his health while I wasn't home.

3.) Bruno was 7 years old. Maybe this sounds bad... (don't crucify me ya'll), but I just wanted my first dog to be a younger dog who had a little play left in him. Bruno was super calm and sweet, but he had no interest in toys or playing with people. He just wanted to be pet and then left alone. I want a dog that I can play with, and watch him tear the arms and legs off of stuffed toys and play frisbee fetch with. Bruno wasn't that dog. I would be completely happy adopting an older dog later in life, but at this point I really wanted the experience of a younger dog.

So after weighing the pro's and cons I decided that Bruno might be better off going to a home where there were more people or where he had at least another pug to co-exist with. I met his adoptive on Sunday morning. His adoptive parents were a young couple that live in New York (not in the city... I don't remember where they live). They adopted a 8 year old, blind pug a little while ago and wanted a calm black pug to keep him company. Essentially they wanted the black version of their fawn pug. They saw Bruno's add and were sold. They emailed the PPRA with a complete application, pictures of their house, and all their references. All the references checked out and they seemed genuinely excited to be adopting Bruno.

The couple seemed nice. The guy seemed like a guy's guy. He kept on talking about how he plays with Nitro (their current pug) but just hitting him on the face and startling him and then he'll start to play. Uh.. I don't really think Bruno would go for that, but who knows... He just seemed like a guy who talked a lot, a really nice guy, but a guy that talked a lot. :-) The woman seemed really sweet and loving towards her current pug and Bruno. She seemed interested in hearing what we had to say about Bruno and when she just seemed SOOO excited about getting him.

The only thing that I worry about is them keeping up Bruno's exercise regime. I walked Bruno twice a day for at least 35 minutes each and during my care he's lost a pound and a half. Their pug was extremely large. They said that while he was with them he's only gained about 2 pounds. 2 pounds is a HELL OF A LOT of weight on a 15-20 pound dog. Bruno's breathing had gotten a ton better during his time with me. Because he hasn't lost a ton of weight, the breathing improvement is probably a function of him getting more exercise, not necessarily losing weight. It worried me. I have to admit. I was worried about him getting fat. I was worried about them being committee to his exercise regime.

At the end of the day I think the Bruno will be happy in his new home. It was really hard for me to give him up, because I know that he loved me and was happy with me, but it made me really happy that the adoptive parents seemed so genuinely happy about getting him. I just kept on thinking how happy I would be if a rescue org. actually responded to one of my 40+ applications and actually agreed to let me adopt a dog. I know I would be beside myself, and I was really happy that she was so excited about Bruno.

So that's it. I'll always love you Bruno.. I hope you have lots of pleasant sleep and chewing time in your new home.

I might be getting a pug puppy this week.... stay tuned...

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