So I introduced Butthead in the last post, not because she was the first of the two dogs but because she’s the one who drives me nuts. Don’t ask, it seemed right at the time.
This post will be about Le Moo in all her cow-colored, cow-shaped, baby-cow-sized glory. Behold…
I know it’s difficult to get a sense of her size, but she’s (on average) 95lbs. Sometimes we lose a little, sometimes we gain a little. I mean, why should she be any different than any of the rest of us. Anyway, Le Moo has been with us for 2 years. When we first adopted her (at 3 years old), she was very disconnected because of her sad past. She was moved from place to place, 4 times in total over 18 months, before she came to us. None of the changes were due to her but rather to circumstances beyond her control. We think that with each give up she just became more and more closed off. It took over a year for her to really start to open up with us. Even today, after two years, I think she is still learning to be herself and relax with us.
Le Moo does still remain aloof some of the time. Given the choice she is just as likely to sleep in a completely separate room from you. Other times she’ll be right on top of your feet or pawing you for attention. All on her terms, basically. One thing is clear, though, she is pretty much always likely to paw you in a region that, well, isn’t too pleasant. She’s been really consistent with this, especially with the men who come through our doors. We always warn people who walk into the house and go right for the dogs–because everyone we know loves dogs–to cover their privates and beware THE PAW! At her height and size, she really can reach even the tallest of our group, which basically is Hub. And man does she have great aim!
Le Moo is a fan of the cold weather. She’s pretty much a couch potato for most of the summer–indoors and outdoors–but bring on the cold weather and she does break out of her shell and play.
When the weather dips below 50 degrees, she becomes an outdoor dog. It’s really difficult to get her to come inside, which drives me crazy because I worry that her nose or toes or tail will get frostbite when it’s really really cold. Truthfully, she’s got a lot of, um, body to keep her warm. But I worry anyway.
We met Le Moo here at our house–the woman who was giving her up brought her to meet us–because we needed her to meet Cray-cray Lab. See, CCL has issues with other dogs and there was no way we could adopt a dog that didn’t get along with her. Based on the history we got from Le Moo’s previous owner, we heard that she was really laid back and had an aura of “don’t screw with me” which we knew would be good for CCL. When they met, all went well, which was one of many reasons we ended up adopting Le Moo.
Le Moo and Cray-cray Lab did play over the first winter we had Le Moo, but when the summer came Le Moo seemed less interested. Based on what is happening now (our 2nd cold-weather stint since we adopted her) we suspect that Le Moo will play more in the coming months. She’s already playing more with Butthead, and trying to play when CCL and BH are playing together, but she doesn’t seem to know how to tag in.
We really lucked out with Le Moo. She came to us–although disconnected–and integrated rather easily into our household. She never had an accident in the house and she never had an issue with any of my family or any of their dogs. She loves all dogs and is happy to talk to them, or not. She isn’t territorial of her yard or house or any of her things. The only big issue we have is her stubbornness. When she don’t wanna, she don’t. We were walking her (before we had our fence finished) on a leash around the yard, and when she didn’t want to move, she would plant her feet and lean away from you. And let me tell you, 95lbs of UH-UH is unbelievably difficult to move. We would also have a similar issue when we were walking her somewhere–say through the neighborhood–and she wasn’t ready to move. That’s eased somewhat with training, but we still can’t get her to “come” on command, despite repeated attempts at training. She has learned (and is learning) other commands, but there remains the stubborn streak…likely there forever.
Also, in case you couldn’t tell, she loves her food. She’s on a restricted diet but despite losing 8lbs shortly after we got her, she gained it all back. We just have no clue and neither does the vet. I suspect she’s at the weight she’s supposed to be at, despite our vet’s complaints. There’s no way I’ll starve her to lose a few pounds…and dammit if she doesn’t abuse us when food time is at hand (those big paws again!). Technically, an hour BEFORE food time is at hand!
When we decided to adopt a second dog–for the first time in our lives–we knew that Le Moo would not give us trouble. She’s so easy-going and unassuming that we had few worries. Little did we know that WE would have more issues than Le Moo did. Meanwhile, Le Moo kind of looks at Butthead like she’s a pesky gnat. But she never actually SWATS at the gnat. Butthead kind of bullies Le Moo, but true to her easy-going form, Le Moo just grins and bears it. Sometimes she looks at us like WTF though.
(sometimes it is difficult to tell in pictures, but that’s Le Moo staring up at me imploringly, trying to get me to move Butthead off her feet)
When Le Moo came to us, we had only lost our previous dog of 9+ years for about 2 months. I wasn’t sure I was ready for another dog and we’d just moved into our new house a month prior. We had no fenced yard and no stairs exiting our house to our back yard. We were woefully unprepared, but again I had seen pictures of Le Moo and I was drawn to her. However, I was still shrouded in grief at the loss of Sweet Pea and I cried for days straight after Le Moo came to us. And for months and months and months I kept Le Moo at a distance. Which, oddly enough, she was doing to me as well because of her past. But over the ensuing months, we’ve relaxed into each other’s lives and have learned to love one another. It wasn’t because I didn’t want her or didn’t like her, it was because I wasn’t ready to open up again to such potential heartache. And because I was traumatized at losing Sweet Pea. I think Le Moo understood, and as she adapted to me, I adapted to her. I cannot imagine life without her at this point.
Butthead, on the other hand….