Two Years with Gus

Hello there. I know I haven’t been blogging much. I promise I have been reading everyone’s posts (and often commenting), but life has been a bit hectic lately so its been hard to find some time to sit down and write.

This past week marked two years since we brought Gus home with us. A little back story on Gus – he was about 6 months old when we got him. He is a beagle/boarder collie mix so he has the body of a beagle, the coloring of a boarder collie, and a personality somewhere in between! A friend of mine from high school had her own rescue group and got him from a kill shelter. He was so ill when she adopted him that the vet thought he had a ruptured bladder. It turned out to just be a very severe UTI and after an IV and a few rounds of meds, he was on the mend & ready to be adopted. My friend began posting pictures of him on Facebook, but we were only two months away from our wedding. She told me if we adopted him, she would watch him for free during our wedding/honeymoon. After talking it over a bit, we decided to go for it! His name was Charlie when we got him, but after the first weekend with him, we decided Gus was more fitting.

Riding home for the first time. You can just tell he wasn't healthy and was very nervous.
Riding home for the first time. You can just tell he wasn’t healthy and was very nervous.

It was a rough start for Gus. When we got him back to our house, it turned out he also had a parasite (likely flared up by the stress of moving again). What we also didn’t know was that he suffered from separation anxiety. We had a lot of people tell us that their dogs cried too when they left or put them in the crate. Let me be clear here, this was not puppy sadness, this was full-blown, vet-diagnosed separation anxiety. The vet explained to us that most dogs are separated from their litter in the first two months of their lives. Gus was separated until 5 or 6 months which meant he was old enough to understand that he was losing his pack. Every time we left, he thought we were never coming back! Poor little guy. So the first day he was left home alone, he broke out of his crate and trashed the house. He ended up staying with my parents during our wedding/honeymoon because he had been there before and we didn’t want him to think we were giving him back to where he came from. He is also best friends with my parent’s 70 lbs pit mix, Lucy.

Lucy & Gus, summer 2012.
Lucy & Gus, summer 2012. Unfortunately blurry 😦

Two years later, he is much better. He still gets a bit anxious if he’s left alone somewhere with which he is not acclimated (like my in-laws when we went to visit at Christmastime) and he is still terrified of long rides in the car. At home he has been crate-free for the past year and, much to our surprise, stayed downstairs visiting with everyone the entire length of Kevin’s graduation party. Generally he runs up the stairs, howls like a nut, and then hides under the bed when someone comes over.

Snoozing with his daddy.
Snoozing with his daddy.

It has been so fun to see how he’s changed over the past two years. I know that sounds silly since he’s a dog, but if you’ve adopted a rescue that’s a little bit older, you likely understand what I’m talking about. He makes me laugh every day. Sometimes it’s just sniffing random things in the house (like sticking his head in my purse) or walking around the house trying to find the exact right place to hide his rawhide. Every day coming home and seeing him looking out the slider waiting and then hearing his excited howls and squeaks when I walk in the door is a joy. He even recently learned how to lay down on command! I can’t wait to see what the next year brings for our adventures with Gus!

Me & Gus... and his coveted rawhide!
Me & Gus… and his coveted rawhide!
Looking dapper in his bow tie this past Christmas.
Looking dapper in his bow tie this past Christmas.
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