In case you missed yesterday’s post or don’t follow M&M&NK on Facebook, Sargent was officially adopted by the Mr. and I this weekend on his 14th Birthday.Pretty much since we got him in April EVERYONE asked, “Are you going to keep him?” I’m pretty used to this, especially since I started the blog. I try to write about everything that happens with our fosters, but it’s mostly slanted toward the positive aspects. People never really see the struggles and the behavior issues that we deal with. With Laynie, I knew she would get adopted, so answering the question of keeping her was easy, no. With Anna, she had SO many issues I wasn’t sure she was going to be adopted any time soon, but I knew that she was NOT a good fit for us long term. Thankfully her perfect family found her. And then there was Sarge.
The questions began the instant we pulled him from the shelter, I think mostly due to his age. And, I couldn’t say that he would definitely get adopted. He was by far the most well behaved and easiest foster we’ve had, but his age was a tough thing for people to get over. We had an applicant almost immediately after we got him, but her financial situation changed right after she applied and just didn’t think adopting him would be the responsible thing to do.
As time went on, and there was no interest in him, the Mr. and I started seriously discussing the possibility of Sarge being a ‘long term foster.’ Then, a few things came up that made us think this was the right time. First, when I reached out to BURN about the possibility of adding Sarge to our family, my contact told me she was getting ready to send out a marketing blast about the available dogs so I should try to let her know sooner rather than later. Then, when I went back into all his paperwork from the NHSPCA and found that his birthday was July 20, it made me think we should make that day one big celebration and make his adoption official then. I’ve known for a couple weeks now that this was the plan. Some of you probably were clued in when I stopped posting about why he should be adopted. I also stopped putting his adoption information at the bottom of my posts. I wanted to wait to announce it after it was official, but it was really hard to keep a secret!
Now I’ve crossed off three items from my rescue bucket list with one dog! He’s a very special guy and we’re happy that he is a member of our family. I worry a little about Nola because he’s not the ‘ideal’ second dog for her. We always said that we wouldn’t add another dog that she wasn’t in love with. But, she’s not in love with him the way she was with Zeus, or with her BFF Payson. He’s big, pushy, and more dominant than she is and sometimes she just wants to be away from him. He means well, and tries to snuggle with her, but she doesn’t want anything to do with him. I hope that with some management on our end, and lots of special Nola time, she will be ok with him long term. Having two permanent dogs also means the end of fostering for a while. I have loved each dog we’ve fostered, but I am happy to take some time off. The only time the Mr. and I seriously fight is when we have a foster in the house. It’s stressful and a lot of work, and extremely rewarding all in one. I don’t regret anything, and the fact that now Laynie’s mom is fostering (she has TWO fosters, plus Laynie and her sister Daisy!), it feels a bit like a ‘pay it forward’ situation. I still plan to be involved with BURN, and possibly do some foster holds and transports. I can’t imagine my life not being involved with dog rescue in some way. So, there you have it, the full explanation of Sarge’s adoption. We love him tons and are so happy to give him a place to live out his golden years. We hope we still have a good amount of time with him, but should that not be the case, we are happy that he will know nothing but love in his final days.
Saturday we celebrated Sarge’s 14th Birthday. Because we have no children, dogs in our house get full blown birthday parties. Sarge was no exception. Nola has had two so far, so I’ve learned some ways to make the day special for the four legged birthday boy.First, we started off the day with a walk on the beach. It’s been so hot and humid here lately that the dogs haven’t had much time outdoors. Sarge seemed to enjoy the release of energy running in the sand and wading in the water. When we got home, the dogs had breakfast and then enjoyed some of the Mr.’s breakfast ham. It was still really hot on Saturday, so Sarge and Nola napped most of the afternoon. I officially gave him his cupcake stuffie (I gave it to him for a few minutes when we did our pre-birthday photoshoot) and he chomped on it and then fell asleep. Dinnertime marked the real celebration. I decorated the table and laid out Sarge’s presents. (You’ll notice two of each present. That’s because with two dogs in the house, I felt like I couldn’t get Sarge something and not get Nola something too, except collars…Nola has a million of those and Sarge only has one so it was time for another!)
He got a three foot bully stick (bullies are his fave!)…the aforementioned cupcake stuffie….and a new collar! The bully stick was by far his favorite thing. Instead of starting at one end, he decided to start chewing right in the middle. It was so cute seeing him try to walk through the door with it! He eventually gnawed all the way through and then had two! He, and Nola, also got Frosty Paws and the Mr. and I enjoyed some cake. Sarge was too busy chewing his bully and didn’t want to come outside to blow out the candles, so we brought the cake to him.(Notice the photo-bomb by Nola in the pic above.)
All in all it was a great day. The Mr. and I just wanted to make double, triple sure that Sarge knew this was a special day and that we love him very much. And so, the best way to accomplish that was with the one present that I didn’t lay out on the table:Sarge’s adoption contract! July 20 will now be his Gotcha Day and his Birthday! We are all very happy to add Sarge as the 4th member of the family. It was a great day of celebration for everyone!Well, except Nola, who didn’t seem impressed by any of it (except the parts that involved food) and spent most of the time like this:More on the adoption tomorrow!
The shelter told us 12. His adoption profile said 13. But, the paperwork from his previous owner had vet records with the birth-date of 7/20/1999. That means tomorrow the big boy turns the big 1-4.
I’ve got a few of his favorite things to give him as presents and we’re of course going to have cake and Frosty Paws! Check back on Monday for photos of his celebration and to check out his loot!
One thing we discovered very quickly about Sarge is that he certainly does not have the energy level you would think a 14 year old dog should have. We started by only taking him for short walks around the block but when he was easily keeping up with Nola we decided to try walking them together. On weekends Nola usually gets at least an hour of off leash running time, either at the beach, the Eastern Trail, the disc golf course, or Fuller Farm. We weren’t sure Sarge could take that much, but we tried anyway figuring he would at least trot along with us while Nola ran her heart out.
What we discovered when we went to the disc golf course was that Sarge likes to chase discs too! He does this adorable run where he throws up both front paws and sorta hops. It’s like he gets a burst of puppy energy!
He does not have a soft mouth like Nola, so we made sure to use a disc we didn’t care if he chomped on.
Although he can’t run with the speed or chase the disc the distance that Nola can, he had so much fun and looked so happy to be out playing. This guy is seriously amazing. I have looked over his paperwork multiple times since we picked him up from the shelter to make sure he was actually 14. Judging only on his disc chasing, I would say he wasn’t a day over age 6!
I have declared this the Week of Sarge in celebration of his 14th Birthday on Saturday. Getting to age 14 is a pretty big accomplishment for a dog his size. Every post this week will be about the big boy, so you can all get to know him a little better. To start, here is an alphabet full of things that make Sarge the big love he is.
Age is just a number with this guy. He is young at heart and has the energy of a dog half his age!
Big ol’ head means there’s more of him to love.
Car rides are his fave!
Drooly…I think more water gets on the floor than in his mouth.
Ears are one of his cutest features. One up, one down, they are adorable.
Farty McFarty Pants is a fitting nickname. Although he doesn’t act like an old man, he sure farts like one!
Good boy. He is so obedient, it makes me believe he must had had a decent life before us.
Hump-y. He doesn’t understand that other dogs don’t like to be sniffed like that. Maybe it’s due to the fact that he got neutered at age 13.
Impossible not to smile when you see just how cute he is in person.
Joker. Not only is he silly, but the Mr. thinks he looks like the Joker because of his smile, white face and black eye-liner. I think he looks more like a member of Kiss. 🙂
King of the couch. The chaise has officially become his spot.
Lap dog. Sarge loves to be near his people.
Male. It’s an obvious thing about him, but he is the first boy dog we’ve ever had in the house. And boy, does he pee on everything.
Not picky. This guy will eat anything.
Out going. I have never met a dog that was more friendly around strangers.
Poop eater. Yeah, it’s gross.
Quiet. I have never heard him bark. The most noise he makes is when he snores.
Really easy-going. He’ll go anywhere and is great in new situations, in crowds, and with loud noises.
Sleepy boy. His other favorite thing to do is nap, especially on our bed.
Tail wagging, always.
Un-aware of his body mass. He is a bull in a china shop for sure.
Very healthy. For age 14, he has no major health concerns.
Wonderful, no other explanation necessary on this one.
X-cellent leash walker. He is a joy to take out for walks because he just happily trots next to you.
Youthful. Did I mention he is in great shape for his age? He keeps right up with Nola on our walks!
I could list a Zillion more reasons to love and adopt this guy!
While we were at the beach last week during our time off for the 4th, the Mr. noticed something floating in the water not too far out. He tried to get Nola to swim and get it, but she just looked at him like “You want me to go where?” Nola loves to be in the water, but she doesn’t really swim unless someone goes in with her. So, I took off my shoes and rolled up my pants to try to coax her to go retrieve the mystery object. Once I got in to about mid-thigh she swam out, grabbed it, and swam back to shore. It was a message in a bottle!
As Nola investigated the bottle, I couldn’t help but think of what the message would say. Would it be a love note from someone searching for their long lost love? Would it be an SOS message from someone on a deserted island? Would it be from somewhere far away? My mind was filled with romantic and whimsical possibilities.
We opened the bottle once we got home, and this is what it said:
Date: June 29, 2013
This bottle was dropped off near Prout’s Neck, Maine in the United States. If you find this bottle please send me a letter stating where and when this bottle was found. This is a science project that I came up with for school to study the ocean currents so that you for your help.
It certainly wasn’t any of my romantic fantasies, but instead was just a science project. Turns out, we found the bottle only one day after it was dropped off. Prout’s Neck is the name of a peninsula in Scarborough, Maine. We were at Ferry Beach on the left side of the map (where is says beach) when we discovered the bottle. So it seems it didn’t travel too far before we found it.
It was still a cool thing to find, and it made our day feel a little more adventurous. When I send a response back I am going to include a photo of Nola and a note letting him know that she was the one who discovered the bottle.
The Mr. has been wanting a hammock for a while now. I have had my eye on an L.L. Bean one, but when you add the stand and shipping costs, it had a price tag of over $400 and I just couldn’t pull the trigger. As luck would have it, a couple of weeks ago when the Mr. took his mom to Christmas Tree Shoppe (not his favorite place to go, but he’s a good son!), he found one with a stand for only $99! After we set it up and tried it out, Nola decided she would like to test it too.
Turns out, it has now become her favorite place to lay. It takes a little bit of work to keep the hammock still when she gets up, but once she settles in, she falls right asleep!
I think she also likes that it is high off the ground, which means Sarge can only get so close.
Of course, we only let her up on the hammock when we are around to supervise. We wouldn’t want her to get hurt jumping on or off!
I was never a big hammock person, but after sharing one with my favorite pup (shhh, don’t tell Sarge), I couldn’t imagine a better way to spend a summer afternoon.