Friday, October 25, 2013

Building a Home for “Happy Horse”

About two weeks ago, I adopted a huge dog from the Belleville Area Humane Society, that I like to call the “Happy Horse” because of his size, and his personality. I mentioned him briefly in my recent guest post on Mike Moore’s blog, Canadian Atheist.

He’s a Black Lab/hound mix, between 85-88 pounds (it’s hard to tell for sure, he wouldn’t hardly sit still on the scale at the vet’s office), and is 28 inches tall from the bottom of his front paws to the top of his head. He is a gentle, but hyper (and very strong) dog, despite the fact that he is 5 years old, and you can see grey specks in his black fur. From the information I had received from the Humane Society, apparently at some time, he had worked around, or lived with special needs children.

Whoever had owned him previously had apparently trained him well, he doesn’t even try to chase squirrels or cats (though most cats are terrified of his size), and he had apparently been taught not to be confrontational with other dogs.

My neighbor has a old Dachshund that isn’t fond of him, keeps yapping at him along with another small dog that they have, and he usually just keeps on going, ignoring them as though they don’t exist Happy Horse went up to the fence once, and the Dachshund, as though he thought he wasn’t get his hatred across thoroughly enough, started showing his teeth, as usual, he didn’t respond, he just walked away.

Right now, since some work is still being done on my house, my dad has been letting him out to run in the back yard while I am on 12 hour shifts several times a week, but soon, the work on the house will end, and none of us wanted Happy Horse to be in a crate for 12 hours, or subjected to heat and cold outside for that long.

Because of this, work is ongoing on an enclosed porch, to make a space for him. The walls are up, siding is on the walls, and a door and dog door are almost finished. When completed, it will have the dog door, insulated walls, light, and I’ll have a heater out there for him now that it’s getting cold here in the St. Louis area (don’t worry, it’s one of the newer infrared heaters, far safer than small heaters used to be). He will be able to go in and out as he pleases, free to run the yard, or get inside into his giant dog house.

Apparently he is already happy with the results, though the dog door next to the door isn’t finished; the framing for it is on. I’ve watched him stand in the middle of the opening, look around and sniff, like it’s already his home, and he’s just checking out the surroundings.

Sheldon's note: If you can, I highly recommend donating to the Belleville Area Humane Society, they really were a great shelter to deal with, and I can tell the volunteers and staff really enjoy their work. If you live in the St. Louis/Southwest Illinois area, consider volunteering, and maybe even adopting a pet from them.

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