A dear friend recently lost her senior Beagle to health issues. Sweet Belle has been featured here before.
The family took it hard. They were a military family for two decades and Belle traveled all over the country with them, helping the children transition wherever they went. I love hearing Belle stories. But two of the children are still fairly young, so mom and dad decided another dog would be good to have sooner than later. And since one of the children has dog allergies, they were pretty specific about what kind of dog they wanted. Enter Lola, the Schnoodle.
Lola, it turns out, is the perfect dog. Half Poodle, half Schnauzer, hypoallergenic.
First, Lola’s adoption story. Lola was an owner surrender at one year and one month. My friend saw her on the shelter website and was first in line at the shelter the next morning. The guy in line behind her offered her former Marine husband a hundred bucks for the dog. Hypoallergenic rescue dogs are hard to come by.
Second, this city run shelter – and I’m guessing plenty of other shelters around the country – gives a military discount. How cool is that? It’s a substantial discount. Considering how poorly our government treats the men and women who lay their lives on the line, it’s nice to know solid citizens and their organizations have their backs somewhere (end political mini-rant).
Lola came to the family knowing the command Sit. And that’s it for commands. But she absolutely adores every member of the family. Wakes everyone with slobbery kisses every morning. Sleeps with the oldest boy at night. Plays long and hard with the six year old every day. She’s perfect.
Except. Except as loving as Lola the Schnoodle is, she barks and growls at visitors. Not just the first few minutes someone new walks in the house, but for most of the time they’re there. This may change with time. When a dog is adopted, they frequently take at least a month, often more, to adjust to the new living situation. But the mom runs a business out of her home, so it’s a little frustrating.
I went over with some bones from Jones Natural Chews to meet Lola and see what a Schnoodle looks like. And see how long it would take to have her eating out of my hand. Not long, it turns out.
So I recommended a few things – and y’all please jump in here, since I don’t know nearly as much as I pretend to –
- Crate Lola initially when new people arrive, before they’re in the door – I put my own big dogs in my bedroom when people arrive, since they bark and snarl like fools, then let them out after a few minutes – once people are in the home, the dogs couldn’t care less
- Pet people who come through the door, telling Lola that the friend is nice – treat that person like a new dog that you like, basically, letting Lola know that the new “dog” is accepted there, patting the person on the head and back
- Have a basket of small treats by the front door for friends to snag and hand to Lola after the initial barking
If y’all have better ideas, please chime in? That was the best I could do.
A couple of things about Lola – she’s not food aggressive (HALLELUJAH!). The family, any of them, can take food from her at any time with no growls or issues. Her pretty coat is matted and will be shaved in the next week – three separate groomers told my friend that it will take shaving to remove the mats from her legs and bum. Darn.
Thanks for listening today. And I’d appreciate any feedback on the growling at strangers with Lola. I’m hoping to head back over soon and see if she repeats the growling, now that she’s met me and has my scent. Will let you know.
Until I write again …