Otis has been with us a month now, and it seems like he’s always been here. Although he missed his foster parents and his foster siblings (including the cats) his first week home, he has settled in and loves his new cat brother and is making friends with the other dogs and cats in the neighborhood. His cat brother was a little skeptical at first, but is mellowing since Otis always shows the proper respect and distance – except when it is time for an ear wash. Otis is learning to be gentle with the ear washes – or at least how to be sneaky and get in a quick snuffle and lick before the cat knows what hit him.
Otis had his first official doggie play date last week at the local dog park. He had so much fun racing back and forth and playing with the other dogs that even after having to get a bath, he went back the next day for another round (and another bath) and then on to breakfast at a nearby restaurant. He loves walking down to the neighborhood coffee shop, primarily because he is the center of attention and gets lots of pats and treats because he is so sweet and different from the usual retrievers and little dogs in our neighborhood. He has become a wonderful representative for the Rescue because everyone asks about him and comments on how friendly and handsome he is. On several occasions people have come out of shops just to ask us, “Is that really a coonhound? I never see coonhounds around here!”
At home, Otis has become so comfortable that he’s started “helping” by taking on chores like holding down the couch, cleaning the tops of the kitchen counters, taking the recyclables out of the bin (he loves butter boxes and carries them around the house), and digging things out of the closets so that he can have space to bury his bones. We nicknamed him “Goatis” after we caught him with his front paws on the back of the stove. He has mastered the look of total innocence when he is caught in a compromising position.
Otis’s two speeds are “high” and “off.” Half of his day is spent playing hard. He has quite a collection of toys that he loves to throw around and fetch. His first encounter with the screeching gorilla toy almost did him in, as the noise startled him and he leaped 5 feet straight up in the air. That didn’t last long, and now he loves to hurl the gorilla back and forth and chase after it. He quickly mastered “drop” to keep us tossing his toys for him in endless games of fetch. He also quickly mastered “sit and shake,” which he does whenever he wants something. It’s up to us to figure out what it is that he wants. The other half of the day is spent sleeping on the couch or in his dog bed. He loves to snuggle, and every morning he hops into bed for some cuddle time before we get up. Unfortunately, he seems to suffer from a terrible affliction that makes his bones and hearing disappear if he is already curled up on the bed or couch and someone else wants to share the space with him. If we try to push him over to make room, he goes completely limp and unresponsive, he loses his hearing, and he clamps his eyelids shut tight. He must have some possum in his lineage somewhere.
As is probably evident, Otis is an absolute delight and he makes us laugh every day. We can’t imagine not having him and his bouncy, silly, loving personality in our lives! We are so grateful to Tine and John for taking him in and allowing his inner goofball to come out – and for getting us hooked during that initial phone call by describing him as “rambunctious.”
Lissa and Andy