Fletcher Curtis Skelley
And he is a hoss.
Why Fletcher? The Engineer named our other two bassets, Jake and Baxter - so this time I finally got to name a dog after one of my all-time favorite movies. A hint -
When my friend Allison saw that Fletcher was one of our choices, she posted this on my Facebook:
My vote is for Fletcher. But only if he can also go by Nostradamus or Don Corleone. Too bad he'll never be 6'5 or 6'9 with the Afro.
That's comment gold, people.
We have always had medium-sized bassets but this guy is a chunk of dog. We met his foster mom Brandi in Guntersville yesterday and Little Kid was so excited that she stayed home from summer camp. She counted down the hours … and then the minutes. When we pulled up at the meeting place, I took one look at him and told A., "That is a big dog."
But he is sweet and good and so friendly. Did not make a peep on the car ride home. I would not have known he was there if I did not see the white tipped tail wagging. He has taken a shine to the Little Kid, they already are very attached to each other. He went upstairs looking for her at 6am which was fun to get him down - looks like the baby gate will be returning to Casa de Skelley. I wonder if she will be closer to this dog since he will be here for her elementary years, versus her baby/toddler years with Baxter.
He's a Stage 5 Clinger right now, which we expected. Having lived with other dogs at his foster home for a whole year, we have been concerned about how he would adjust. At bedtime he tried to get in the bed with us, but luckily the big guy can't jump that high. I sat on the floor with him for a little while until 10pm and then informed him that it was time for bed. He got up once during the night and wandered for a little bit before going back to his dog bed and then got up with The Engineer. He seems to really like television, which I remember Baxter did too. He watched football and Law & Order. So far Fletcher is enjoying the Disney Channel and he will stop everything to watch a dance sequence. I think he will adjust well once he realizes that he is the #1 Dog in the Skelley household and does not have to share attention with any other fur balls.
Fletcher has yet to eat anything but pizza crusts because I am a sucker. However, I do think that he will need to be people food free. I think that he is carrying some extra weight and will need to be put on a fat pup program. We are meeting with our vet soon so we will get some expert advice.
Our neighbors the Bs left him the cutest welcome goodie bag with some sweet treats and a note:
Needless to say that he liked his treats a lot. You can tell he is used to being quick so he can get his - he will take your hand off when getting his treat. Now he is a drooler, Good Lord is he a drooler. It does not help that he completely submerges his head in his water bowl, which is hilarious to watch. I am wondering if Baxter's meds (which made him very thirsty) also dried up his drool because I had forgotten what it was like to experience flying drool. I need to stock up on my magic erasers again - I have found that they are the best way to remove dog from the walls. And the shedding … I look like I am wearing fur leggings. I guess as Bax got older, he shed less. Fletcher is the sweetest guy, though.
We have had a few small puddled inside - something else that I anticipated. Baxter never had accidents until the last week of his life when he had several. So we thought Fletcher would smell them and try to mark his territory - we will have to stop that before it starts. We let Bax slide on a lot of things, but we are trying to establish some better habits with the new pup.
Adjusting to a younger dog has been interesting. I didn't realize how our life revolved around our elderly dog. Baxter's days of long walks and dog parks were behind him, but once again, I find myself thinking of ways to tire out Fletcher so he will sleep well at night. He does not sleep as long or as deep as Baxter did. I also did not recognize how sedentary that we had become with Baxter. He was always our furry lump but I think that we were approaching human lumps. I see us spending more time on the patio with him and I am pricing dog stairs to get him into my crossover. I threw my back out picking up Baxter at his largest and The Engineer had a time getting him out yesterday so I know that if we are going to be mobile, we need an easier way of getting him my automobile. I think he will be a fixture at the soccer field this fall.
And I have been coming to terms with how taking care of an elderly, sick dog changed me. I find myself a little paranoid now (Now? Asks the Engineer). I watch him closely and worry about the effect of his extra weight on his health. I think about potential health problems and shorter life-expectancies. Worrying about Baxter took a bigger toll than I knew.
He has already met several neighbors and a couple of his new puppy friends and has taken one jaunt around the block. He will walk with us every morning to the kids' school so I think that will also get him some exercise, attention and maybe slim him down a tad.
He has the biggest heart - literally, he has a heart spot on his chest:
I am always nervous bringing a new dog into the home - I want everyone to love each other and be happy and settled. #neurotic I want everyone to co-exist in peaceful harmony. So far, so good.