He's absolutely fabulous. He's sweet and gentle (even has an amazing soft mouth). He is warming up to us very quickly. For the first two days, he was almost completely immobile (as in, we had to put a leash on him to get him up off the dog bed for any reason), but now he wanders around and follows us from room to room. He has shown no signs of aggression or fear. We're bonding. Mark and I are both in love with him already.

So far, things have gone better than I ever would have even dared to hope. There are no behavioral issues to speak of (he doens't know any commands, so I suppose that is something, but given his personality it barely matters). He is house trained. He's a dream.

His age and health are a little bit of a concern, but not too much. Dr. Julian (our vet) is estimating him to be about 6, which is senior for a dog his size, but he's in good shape. He has a bit of arthritis in one hip, but a few days of anti-inflammatories have made a world of difference, so it may well be something we can control with natural means (as well as exercise and taking some weight off him) and then just use the anti-inflammatories for flare-ups. That's the hope, anyway.

One decision we are facing now is whether or not get a preventative gastropexy for him. The surgery would make it all but impossible for what happened to Chance to happen to him. However, it could be a major procedure (they try to it orthoscopically first, but sometimes have to go in if that doesn't work) and any kind of anesthesia for a dog that size can be dangerous, especially given the advanced age. It's also spendy (about $1,400). So we are thinking about it and will talk to Dr. Julian more about it on Saturday when we take Mr. Leo in for his vaccinations.

I thought having Leo would make me miss Chance less, but it doesn't. It is better, though. Having him feels right.

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April 2012

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