Weekend Shenanigans: Meet Leroy


On Thursday night we got word that Leroy was ours. We began making lists of what we needed to make our apartment ready to bring him home and completed our home organization to make sure that the apartment was dog-friendly. We woke up early Saturday morning and headed out to Princeton, New Jersey to begin our day with breakfast at Pj's Pancake House, located across the street from the Princeton campus. It's clearly a popular place for breakfast, given there was a line of folks outside waiting for a table. (There's no waiting list, you just stand outside in a line and wait for a table to open up.) D and I opted to sit at the counter when two spots opened up. D had a half-order of buttermilk pancakes and I had a half-order of banana pancakes -- a great filling breakfast to start the day.

Following breakfast we headed into the main town of Princeton and began our dog shopping extravaganza at Petsmart. There we picked up a crate, crate mat, and toy for our new friend. We then ran into Wal*mart next door to grab a cheap towel, as it was scheduled to rain all day long, and we wanted something to use to wipe down the dog if necessary.

From there we drove to Hillsborough, where we headed inside the PetValu pet store (where weekly dog showings are head by Small Animal Rescue on Saturday afternoons) to finalize our adoption of Leroy. After filling out the paperwork we began our second shopping excursion to pick up food and water bowls, dog food (key!), collar, and leash for our little guy. The volunteers with Small Animal Rescue were super-friendly and had plenty of advice to give; we ended up spending over three hours in the store. Leroy was a little nervous when we first got him, but soon warmed up to us, his tail wagging away.

Leroy's backstory is that he was found tied to a pole in a park in Brooklyn. He was taken into custody by Animal Care & Control of New York City on March 13. On March 25, he was taken in by Small Animal Rescue of Princeton, NJ. The Small Animal Rescue was founded and is run by Dr. Emmett Wilson, a retired child psychiatrist. The rescue is home to over 100 dogs, who spend their days romping around on the property's 53 acres. Most dogs live in the sanctuary's climate-controlled big red barn, though some also are allowed house privileges. The rescue is largely funded by Dr. Wilson; his is clearly a labor of love, and it's very important to him that each dog is matched to the right family and vice versa.

Though our hope was to take Leroy out to a park to run off some of his energy before driving home, the weather did not cooperate. So, we leashed him up with his new leash and collar and hightailed it in the rain to the car, where he rather easily found his way into his crate. I opted to sit in the backseat next to him in his crate as a little added encouragement. He was fine for a bit, then began complaining. We pulled off on the side of the road so he could have a potty break -- though he just romped in the puddles and didn't do the deed. Back in the crate, and back on the road. Not too long after he began whining once again, so we decided to let him out of his crate and I held him on my lap. He's super curious and couldn't stop looking around and trying to escape my arms to explore the insides of the car.

Once home and the car parked, we were ready to get him out of the car and into our apartment. However, he had no desire to get out of his crate. I ended up taking our other purchases to the apartment, then came back out to help. D decided the easiest way to get him home would be to carry him in the crate. We brought in the crate, opened it up, and let him out to explore his new home. Our first evening was pretty low-key. He had a couple accidents in the house (housetraining is top on our agenda!) -- and of course, managed to find the two soft things (rug and pillow) on which to have his accidents, rather than on the more-easily cleaned wood or tile floors. We took him for a walk later in the evening (in the pouring rain!), but he apparently had no need to go.

That evening, we first set him up in his crate in the main room for bedtime, but his whining and howling quickly made us move his crate into our bedroom, where we could at least reassure him that we were still there. He whined for a few minutes, but then quieted, and we all got a good night's sleep.

Sunday morning we were again up early, and, after taking him out for a potty break, we packed him back up in his crate in the car and were back off to New Jersey. Turns out he hadn't been neutered yet, and Doc hadn't had the chance to get it done prior to the adoption. So we opted to take him ourselves to Animal Alliance in Lambertville, which performs low-cost spaying and neutering. Leroy was a rockstar on the way to the vet and chillaxed in his crate. After we dropped him off, we headed into the (cute!) small town of New Hope for breakfast. We ate at Sneddon's Luncheonette; D had blueberry pancakes and I had scrambled eggs and hashbrowns. Hunger satiated, we headed back to Princeton to complete another round of dog shopping at Petsmart. This time around we got Leroy a brush, some treats, a stuffed mallard squeaky toy, a cone of shame for post-surgery just in case, and a pet gate.

We picked up Leroy around 1p from the vet and headed home; about 10 miles down the road he began to complain rather loudly (whilst turning around in circles in his crate), so we stopped off at a park to see if he was in need of a potty break. No such thing; but he did enjoy walking through the grass in the sunshine. Back into his crate, and down the road once more. Unfortunately, he used his confinement to lick at his stitches, so we stopped once again and I held him in my arms in the front seat so that I could keep my eye on him. Leroy was in heaven and was sniffing like a maniac. Back at home we brought Leroy back in and set up the pet gate, which I think will come in handy while I'm working, since it'll confine him in the room where I am and will prevent him from getting into trouble elsewhere in the house. We also gave him his mallard toy, which he promptly placed in his crate.

The evening ended with a long walk for him to the dog park; he's a bit skittish around new people and other dogs, so socialization will be key. Since he's not allowed to run or do any vigorous activity for the next week due to his surgery, it'll be a while before we'll let him off the leash to play in the dog park. (Plus, I think he'll need a bit of encouragement just to be in the park in the first place.) He loves stoops and makes it a point to walk up as many steps as possible. He's got quite a bit of personality, and we're already working on his commands. He also seems to be fairly content to lie down and hang out on his own; currently as I'm typing this he is lying near me on some blankets on the floor, taking a snooze. His other favorite activity thus far is looking out the window at all the cars and pedestrians that pass by, as pictured below.

Comments

  1. I met Doc Wilson this past Thursday (5/18) to see how he's doing. I hope Leroy is still with you, thank you for this lovely story.

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    Replies
    1. Hi Greg! Leroy is doing great. I think he was pretty happy when we left our own bedroom Philly apartment for a 60-acre farm in Wisconsin.

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