Sunday, October 10, 2010

a year with banjo

A year ago today, we walked into PetSmart with one dog and walked out with two.

What were we thinking?

Honestly, we had it so good with our greyhound, Gravy - who we had adopted 51 weeks earlier. Gravy was the perfect dog - calm, relaxed, laid-back, easily trained - he was about the most chill and easy dog anyone could ask for. He never had accidents. He didn't bark. He took everything in stride. Easy.

Then we brought a coonhound into our lives. He had long floppy ears and puppy dog eyes. He had been a stray, in an animal shelter, on death row, rescued, adopted, returned, and was living in a rescue kennel at Lost Dog. He came from Georgia. We think he was a failed hunting dog. His name was Pablo, but we renamed him Banjo.
banjo's mug shot from the spalding county animal shelter
(Banjo's mug shot from Spalding County Animal Control in Griffin, Georgia - a high kill shelter. I recommend not googling that - I just looked at their website and nearly burst into tears at all the "This animal will be no longer available after..." dates under each dog. Also, notice that Banjo was lying next to a GIANT bowl of kibble and not eating it! These days, that whole bowl of kibble would be scarfed down in about 2 seconds flat.)
2010_06_14 e
Banjo barked.
He pooped in his crate. Every day.
He dug holes in the yard.
And in the carpet.
He ate our wall.
He tried to eat our vet.

What WERE we thinking?
bad dog
bad dog
bad dog!
Prehistoric Snow Beast.
For the first six months, I'm ashamed to admit, we considered returning him. We had it so good - the three of us - Larry, me, and Gravy, and then we messed it up.
gravy & banjo
But then we stopped putting Banjo in the crate. He stopped pooping in the house. He had a horrible ear infection. We got it treated and his personality changed. He became affectionate. He's a loyal (and fierce) protector of his family. He hates the mailman. He loves belly rubs and chewing on sticks...
really big sticks...
He groans with pleasure when he settles into his bed at night. He's 100% all dog and all boy - and unapologetic about it. He makes us laugh. He thinks someone should be petting him at all times. He's a momma's boy. His tail never stops wagging. He loves it here.
banjo by the fire
banjo & gravy
banjo & larry
banjo & me
I'm glad we stuck it out. Happy one year, buddy!



Larry said...

I'm glad we stuck it out too. He's a good boy.

Abby said...

I love this! And I love that dog. Something about his soulful face just gets me!

Jennifer said...

I LOVE the coonhounds! Congrats to your family and happy Banjo. :)


nrussell said...

So glad you stuck it out! That photo of him at the shelter nearly broke my heart. No way, no how was I going to google that place. I guess living in NH I'm always surprised there are kill shelters. We bus in so many dogs from other places. It rips my heart out. BUT. I do glad to see Banjo so happy! Life IS good! Your photos are stunning!

Funnelcloud Rachel said...

nrussell - That's amazing to me that you have to bus homeless dogs in to NH! I'm so glad that you all treat animals better in the north than they do in some places in the south. Our rescue group told us there are many many homeless hounds in states like Georgia, Tennessee, and West Virginia. The group pulls dogs from high-kill shelters in those states and adopts them out here in the DC area.