Tuesday, March 16, 2010

New Dog. . . from Taiwan

First, people have asked to see Teddy, so I will post a picture of him here. We don't have any great pictures yet, but this will give you an idea.

You can't really tell how short his little legs are here (very). He is a compact 17 pounds.

The strange thing about Teddy is he is from Taiwan. I still feel a little strange about this. A rescue group in Edmonds imports dogs into rescue. . . small dogs, of course, because they are in demand. To save myself the heartbreak of visiting multiple shelters (there aren't a lot of small dogs in shelters around here), I went to Petfinder to look, and there I found Teddy (then known as Duke). The only other small dogs were a couple of Maltese (deemed too small by Judy - yay! - I would have constantly worried about stepping on them), a whole bunch of Chihuahuas (not a candidate for either of us), and an older Shih Tzu. The only local dog was the Poodle/Bichon mix who took a chunk of hair out of my dog Nestle when they met. So that left Duke/Teddy, and the way things fell into place (the phone call inviting us to meet him came during the only 5 minutes we were home and indoors that day, we had just seen and rejected the local dog) made it seem fated.

But it still feels strange to have a dog from Taiwan. His Chinese exportation papers are fascinating. A veterinarian asked about the possibility of importing disease (as the post-Katrina dogs helped spread heartworm around the country). But the papers list a variety of diseases/parasites not seen in Taiwan, plus other diseases/parasites for which Teddy tested clear. So it doesn't seem like a problem.

I spoke the few phrases of Chinese I know to him, and he did seem to perk up. But he is fitting in well, and appears to be quite happy with his new digs. Yesterday, when he came home (Judy is still in class, so is taking him with her, leaving him crated in the car, and taking frequent breaks to walk him) Nestle and he greeted each other with nose licks (Teddy has to stand on his rear legs to reach Nestle's nose), and then they had their first indoor play session, and Teddy grabbed a fuzzy squeaky toy for the first time. So it seems like a good fit all around. I regret not helping a local dog out of rescue, but there just isn't much choice. In fact, I took a look at ALL the local dogs on Petfinder and only found one that would suit my own less-stringent requirements as far as size and type. Rescue seems to be inhabited by Chihuahuas, Pit mixes, Lab crosses, German Shepherd crosses, and perhaps hounds right now.

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