Well, much to our surprise, we are considering adopting Ace. We weren’t really contemplating another dog, but he’s such a nice little guy that we are thinking he might be a good choice.

In his favor: He’s the kind of size we had already decided we would look for after Bodhi is gone. We are old enough that we want a dog that we can pick up to take to the vets and such if needed. He is a good size to travel with us and Gracie too if we choose in the future. He doesn’t chase cats. (Are you watching and listening Gracie??) He gets along with everyone in the house, and doesn’t need to play, which suits Gracie and Bodhi. He loves walks, and is really easy to walk with Gracie, which is good since Gracie isn’t a huge fan of walks, but does really well when she has a walking companion. At 4 years old, she should still be doing lots of good walks. He loves his crate, and goes there often to rest and relax. He’s housebroken. He rarely barks…though I suspect he was debarked, and will ask the vet about that tomorrow when he gets a wellness check. Remembering that he is a beagle/jack Russell mix, his bark is muffled and the kind of bark you have when you have a sore throat…so not a beagle sound . He’s only been here less than a week and I haven’t done any training with him yet, but I suspect, given how much he wants to please people, and how food motivated he is, that training won’t be difficult. Since he already walks beautifully on leash, the rest of the stuff is easy. He sleeps quietly through the night and gets up when we do. In general he’s a very happy little dog. And so cute when he carts his stuffed toys around in his mouth – he loves his hedgehog especially.

Marley and I are both aware that Bodhi won’t be with us tons more time. He now has a growth on his gum that the vet checked out today. It is sizeable and we won’t know what it is unless we do a biopsy, which means general anesthesia. Bodhi is slowly deteriorating, losing more muscle tone and some ability in his legs, and we are contemplating our options. We may watch it a couple weeks and see if it grows at all, and if not, will probably let it be. Quality of his life is what matters to us now, not quantity. So, Bodhi’s shorter time left with us is part of our thinking about Ace, sadly.

And, adopting Ace means we wouldn’t be fostering dogs anytime soon. Maybe that’s a really good thing. 10 foster cats/kittens at the moment is more than enough.

Cons: Not a lot. We would have three dogs for awhile…that’s a lot, but we’ve basically had three dogs in the house most of the last two years, and survived to tell about it. It isn’t really a con, but he will need a little bit of work/help on relaxing…he is easily startled. Part of that may be that he was given up by his original family a little more than a year ago, ended up in a high kill shelter, was transported here to Castaway last April and placed with a foster, was adopted in June, and then returned 11 months later landing in a kennel for a few weeks, before coming to our home. There will be a little repair work on all of that. I have also seen him sort of duck and run when he thinks he might get hurt, and I would not be surprised if he was punished earlier in his life? He doesn’t get aggressive or difficult, but he is a little scared and he will need some time and help coming to a new understanding that he is safe now. He will also need to get with the program that table scraps are not on the menu here!! Given that he is a few pounds overweight, I think he was quite successful in his begging efforts in the past. Ignoring him seems to work, and he gives up quickly and goes to lie down elsewhere, so there’s great hope for him. I can just teach him to “settle” if we start a training program.

He seems to be a little afraid of cuddling, though he loves pets and belly rubs. He jumps up on the couch to sit with one of us, but jumps down quickly. Maybe he wasn’t allowed on furniture in the past…who knows. But we hope he will get more comfortable sitting with us as time goes by. Marley especially misses that Bodhi can’t jump up on the chair with him anymore, and would love it if Ace decided that suited him. As it is, when Marley came home from a client today, Ace’s tail wagged wildly and Marley gave him lots of belly rubs, and everyone was happy.

So, we shall see. Ace has a vet visit for a thorough check tomorrow (Wednesday), and a test or two, and we’ll see how many pounds he needs to lose…somewhere around 5 would be my guess. He’s close to 30 lbs now, I think, and 25 would probably be better. And we will continue to contemplate…

21 thoughts on “The Fosters: Is Ace a Keeper?

  1. I’m happy to hear this – Ace is so darn cute and a nice size dog to “handle”….especially good that he gets along well with animals and people alike. I just bet he would relax over time once he realizes he doesn’t have to start over somewhere else – again. I’ve often wondered what goes through pets’ little minds when they are moved around all the time instead of given a chance to feel “at home forever”. Anyway, I hope things work out for you all AND Ace. Sorry about sweet Bodhi but what a great life you’ve given him!

    Hugs, Pam

    1. Thanks for your kind thoughts about Bodhi. He’s a truly wonderful dog. And I agree that Ace will begin to feel at home at some point. He’s had a rough haul and is due for some stability and TLC.

    1. Thank you. I think we have more time with Bodhi yet, but will focus on here and now for the time being. As Rebecca said in last night’s finale of This is Us: I wish I’d spent more time enjoying the moment instead of worrying about when it would end. Good advice.

  2. I’m sorry to read about Bodhi. I know how much you and Marley love him. It’s so hard watching them struggle.

    As to Ace, I’m sure Pam is right that he will start to settle in once he starts feeling secure.

    1. Bodhi isn’t struggling unduly at this time, which is nice. He’s slow and quiet, but I don’t think in any pain, which is good. And I agree that Ace will begin to settle once he knows he is staying somewhere for good this time.

  3. I’m not surprised. I am sorry about Bodhi but you gave him such a great life he never would have had. Do you know why Ace was returned the last time? I’m always curious about that. Happens with cats too. Mollie was surrendered to the shelter with a litter. Her first night out of quarantine she hopped on the bed and staked her territory for the next 16 years so she was obviously a house pet and beautiful too. I never did figure out why someone would surrender such a great cat. Sounds like Ace ticks off your boxes. As a weak person myself, you won’t get any argument from me. What is debarking?

    1. First, this is debarking, a barbaric practice: Devocalization (also known as ventriculocordectomy or vocal cordectomy and when performed on dogs is commonly known as debarking or bark softening) is a surgical procedure performed on dogs and cats,[1] where tissue is removed from the animal’s vocal cords to permanently reduce the volume of its vocalizations. . (From Wiki). Ace was returned from the person we adopted him to last year because she became incapacitated and was unable to care for any dog, so no fault of his own. We don’t know why his original owners surrendered him, but if they did debark him and punish him, we don’t like them very much!! As for Bodhi, he is a wonderful gift in our lives, and we’re glad there’s still more time. He has given us as much as we have given him, and then some.

  4. It sounds as if deep down in your hearts you know Ace isn’t going anywhere, and from what you’ve described, that will be a wonderful fit. imho 😉 All your pets have touched our hearts, and Bodhi especially. Life is hard no matter what, and Bodhi came to you and Marley with it already stacked against him. Give him hugs from me.

    1. Hugs passed along to Bodhi…he always appreciates them! And yeah, unless the vet says something totally unexpected today, Ace is definitely a keeper.

  5. I am so happy that Ace will be a part of your family. He has landed in the best possible place. And the debarking…gosh, that sounds awful. Dogs bark–why did someone even get a dog in the first place?! Poor little guy. Bodhi…such a sweetheart he is. Ace might have come to you for a reason. 💕

    1. Debarking is very cruel. Folks who do that shouldn’t have a dog! But we are glad Ace is home finally, and someplace safe.

    1. I don’t think your pup would have appreciated your adopting Ace!! But he is a cool little guy.

  6. He’s a real cutie and it sounds like he would fit in just fine. Seeing pups like Ace blossom from timidity to BFF is such a joy. I’m sure he doesn’t realize he’s hit the Dog Lotto with you, Marley, Gracie and poor sweet Bodhi. I hope his remaining time with you is filled with loads of joy and happiness. Sending ‘pawsitive’ thoughts your way.

  7. I am so sorry about Bodhi. I know one thing though, he just has to have had a wonderful life with you. I know he was and is loved and I bet he had a lot of fun. I know he has had a happy life. It’s good to know that Ace will get to experience happiness like that and will spend the rest of his life with your family. I can tell as you wrote this post you were maybe sorting out some thoughts. I hope the vet appointment went well and look forward to your final decision.

    1. Vet appt was good, though Ace has Lyme disease, which we are treating. And he is now our newest family member.

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