Monday, April 30, 2012


Last week Cindy and I were on one of our regular walks with Gibbs & Sheldon when, on our way back, Gibbs started acting bored. Enough so that he started treating his leash as a toy. At first Cindy successfully kept him from it but then out of some twisted sense of play, she gave up and let him take it. He immediately started walking along like he was still being held by one of us but he was the one holding the leash cartridge in his mouth.

At this point, it was time to put Sheldon back on his leash, so what did Gibbs do? He dropped his leash and took Sheldon's. I let him have it, since we were not too close to the road yet. He did a fantastic job of walking Sheldon and Sheldon did a surprising job of keeping his cool for his brother's sake.

It was so cute/funny watching Gibbs proudly carry the leash. The road we were on is a one-way country road, badly paved, and perfect for dog antics (most times). A small pickup came up the road and while I was busy keeping the boys out of the way, Cindy was behind, seeing the look on the passenger's face. He looked, doing a double-take and then laughed quite joyfully when he figured out what our crazy party was about.
We have been letting him do this as his job on our walks, he has been very good at staying busy and walking his brother. When Sheldon goes off-leash, Gibbs carries Sheldon's leash for me, keeping him occupied so he doesn't stop and sniff and try to eat everything on the side of the road. There are lots of road apples that he's passed by with great success!

Sheldon has also learned that when Gibbs drops his leash, he has to stop til Gibbs can get it picked up again. This little fun adventure has turned into a pretty good deal all around!

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Smart Puppy

This guy has upturned our household. In mostly wonderful ways.

The challenges:
  • All dog food is for Gibbs? he doesn't know the difference. The upside of this one is that he's not aggressive. Luckily neither are the others.
  • Sheldon is surprisingly tolerant of Gibbs' obsessive attentions (to the point that he seems a bit withdrawn for Sheldon). We're doing some one-on-one with Sheldon, and some brothers time with the two of them to get to a place they can both be happy in.
  • There's a lot of growling by Mickey (very not tolerant). He's not sure about yet another puppy in his face... but he's mellowing day by day. He even let his need to nurture and protect overpower his need to dislike this pup. When we were walking earlier in the week, Gibbs was spooked by a horse one one side of the road and a cow on the other, and Mickey came running back to us and circled around (his Heeler half herding us) and protectively encouraged this extra large puppy to come along. It was a sweet moment we have to hang onto in the chaos of transition.
Anyone can tell, that these are small challenges we are taking in stride.

The wonderful?
  • He's a love!
  • He's silly!
  • He's sweet!
  • He's smart!

So smart, he makes games of everything. And anything can be a toy (like this dog-water bottle). Just the other day, while walking him and Sheldon (one of our brother bonding time walks), Gibbs spied and picked up a pine cone that was about the size of a tennis ball. He carried it with him and we played together tossing and retrieving it until it broke down. He really knows how to entertain himself and us.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Gibbs' Big Day

Today was Gibbs' first full day here at our house. We took our second walk, this time with Gibbs, Sheldon and Mickey. We got to the dirt road where the dogs usually go off-leash and though things started out well, blunderbuss Gibbs meandering along, Sheldon and Mickey bolting down the way, all of a sudden, Gibbs bolted back toward the street... I was afraid, but didn't panic, not wanting to frighten him into running farther and faster. I coaxed him to stop and sit... and managed to figure out what was frightening him as he skirted the fence and the horse behind it.

I tried to get Gibbs to follow the other dogs, with the aid of the leash but the cows crying and the horses hovering nearby were too much and he bolted again, this time the retractable leash bouncing behind and starting to entangle him, scaring him into running more, farther and faster. I managed, once again to soothe and coax him to me. Reassuring him, as I neared, gently placing my hands on his bottom (the closest part of him I could reach without startling him more). I got his leash again and didn't try going back again, instead getting Cindy's attention and encouraging the other two dogs to come along.

We managed to get back as a hailstorm was pelting us and the youngest dogs had a fun time wrestling one another as I tried to dry them both off.

Later, Sheldon learned from Gibbs just what it means to be that dog pillow Sheldon's always making out of Mickey. He was very tolerant of this large puppy snoozing and drooling on him.

In fact, Gibbs spent most of the rest of the day snoozing. Then when he wasn't fully asleep, he was sitting in by the door or by the dresser in a near-Buddha posture, with one eye open. Or trying to find someplace else to be comfy. He was one tired puppy!

Gibbs' info:
DOB 10/23/11
Vernal, UT
American Bulldog
Big sweetie, Buddha pants, Scared of horses, Noisy sleeper.

Meet Gibbs

It started about a week ago when Cindy's cousin posted that they needed to find a home for their American Bulldog. We waited a couple of days to see what would happen and when there didn't seem to be any action, we inquired. It was a bit of a roller-coaster from there, they weren't sure if they were going to give him up or not and after a few stops and starts, we found out yesterday that he would be ours.

His name was Chace. I wasn't sure how I felt about the name but I didn't know what else to call him either.

As we made our way home with the pup, after a detour to make a return of some purchase and to get some puppy food and a bowl and collar for our new large baby, I was less and less enamored with his name even as he, himself, was melting my heart with each "smile" and kiss.

By the time we got home with him and had successfully introduced him to Sheldon (not so with Mickey and Harlee. Mickey is still leery and Harlee is aloof), I was hopelessly in love and had no more idea what to call him but was certain Chace wasn't sticking.

While on an introductory walk with this new love and Sheldon, I started tossing out names from TV. Why not? We'd briefly discussed Doctor Who, with Rory... but it didn't seem to suit, when I pulled out my standard nickname "Sweets" for all of the dogs in my refusal to use "Chace", I started with Booth from "Bones" and that wasn't right, nor was Seeley. OK what next.... then "light bulb" GIBBS... why not, good strong name, easy to say quickly, sweetly, or gruffly... easy to remember and he seemed to be into it... bouncing and kissing at the first use and responding positively when called by Gibbs, Gibbers, Gibbsy... (morphing versions of Chacy, Chacers, etc., that I'd heard his previous people use with him).

It was a surprisingly good night with him, mostly he slept on the floor, but at some point he climbed up onto the bed, the other boys left him well enough alone, and he slept on me.

He's 5 months and 1 week, he's huge, weighing 69.4 pounds yesterday at Petsmart...and he's curious and enamored with Sheldon. He wants to be Mickey's friend too.... someday, Gibbs. Someday.