Thursday, September 06, 2007

Introducing Sir Lancelot Hunter

Yes, its been months since I've posted on our family blog - we've had a very full summer, including both kids' birthdays, our anniversary, the start of school, some big family saddness (death of a kind frined), but what do I post about in my first post back - OUR NEW BABY!

He's an adopted English Setter probably about 2-3 years old adopted through the amzing folks at Illinois Birddog Rescue and Midwest Canine Mutts - truly amazing people dedicated to a great quality of life for English Setters and English Pointers. Our boy's first rescue name was Hunter - he was rescued from a kill shelter in central KY. He was named again at his new rescue as Sir Lancelot, a fine name for an noble English Setter. We are choosing to call him Lance - he's also affectionately known as "The Boy" given that he's the only male in the household - oh, I take that back, apparently the hamster is male too, but it sure is hard to tell the gender of a dwarf hamster.

Of course this is certainly not the most elegant photo of this charming boy – it just cracks us up though. Do you think he’s comfortable here? (-: One of his favorite times of day is settling in on our bed while we read and watch a little TV. Lance still sleeps in his crate once lights are out, primarily to give our cats a break. They are much more likely to roam the house when they know he’s in his crate.

Suzanne, his forster mom, described Lance as being a sweet and noble boy. We think her description is 100% right on! Look at this proud and confident guy. He's very handsome too - though he still needs to put on some weight and we are anxious for his feathering to come in on his coat.

He’s doing wonderfully with other dogs too. Labor Day he joined many other dogs at the city’s first Dog Plunge at the city pool – a fundraiser for the police K9 unit. He loved the water and managed to wag his way in front of the TV cameras. He got prime footage on the 5:00, 6:00 and 10:00 news on Monday night. Silly us though we were so wrapped up in the festivities that we forgot to bring our camera. In addition to wading in the water he also figured out that he could go up to the vendors and work treats out of them.

Lance has also been swimming at the beach behind our house. Unlike his retriever buddies, he’s not interested in truly swimming and doesn’t like going above his belly in the water. Waves were an interesting thing to manage. We enjoy watching him attempt to leap over them or bite at them. Thank goodness he hasn't attempted to point them! He certainly loves to let us know when he sees squirrels, butterflies, bees and the neighborhood cats!!
He’s having fun with lots of new toys. He thinks sweet potato dog chews are very yummy!! And really nothing can beat a big ole’ soup bone!! He’s a fluffy toy destroyer – working the toy over until he’s extracted the squeaker and flung stuffing around. So, we’ve moved onto rubbery toys – the kong is a hit as is his “tree branch.” The best was his first interaction with his stuffed pheasant – wish we had that on video. He went on point, but couldn’t figure out why the darn thing wouldn’t fly! He kept circling it and looking at it from all sorts of different angles.

He loves his kids!! Both of our girls have their different ways that they each dote on him He walks with us to school in the mornings and would love to just run that playground with everyone – and oh my, all those ball toys the kids play with, how can any dog resist them!! He pays rapt attention to the happenings at both girls’ soccer practices too.

Our family will start doggie classes at Dog’s Best Friend in about three weeks. We think he’ll definitely be well settled and ready for this next level of learning by then. He’s done a great job of mastering “sit” this week and will do it pretty consistently indoors. We're working on good leash walking (which doesn't include pulling the person at the other end of the leash around the neighborhood!) and consistent potty outside. Hot dogs, chicken pieces and dog roll are very high motivators!! Now when we say "good boy" he salivates and looks for hot dogs. Yep, Pavlov could have used this boy to prove his theories.


Liza Lee Miller said...

Congrats on the new family member! He is beautiful. I love the description - sweet and noble. So cool!

Casey said...

What a cutie!! Looks like he is the perfect addition to your family. :)

Lora said...

I had the exceptional experience of driving Lance from Rensselaer IN through Chicago to Gurnee IL. I drove several legs of Lance's transport and was sorry to say goodbye when I handed him off to the next driver. Rescued animals frequently travel from shelter to foster home to adoptive home through a series of volunteers, each driving the animal about an hour - if anyone is interested in becoming a part of this amazing experience, contact a rescue group near you and they'll get you connected.

Lora said...

Please, please reconsider the soup bones. Weight-bearing bones of large animals are harder than a dog's teeth and can break them. I am a raw-feeder & have corresponded with numerous owners who learned this the hard way.

Draftnik said...

Welcome to your new family member! He sure is handsome. You've done a good thing adopting a rescue. Best of everything doggy to you all.

Ellen said...

Oooh, he looks just like my dad's English setter! Beautiful :-)