Christina decided to place Roy in a family home. As Roy is getting up in age, we were both concerned that this magnificent dog that has been part of our lives for seven years was going to grow old in the kennel. Unfortunately, not every dog can be in the house and when you run a commercial operation, it is a numbers issue. We were able to find a great situation for Roy and he will now have a life that is more relaxed and it makes us very happy.
As a background, we will tell you a little about Roy’s new home. After that, Wyatt was kind enough to let us know how the transition from the kennel to the house has gone. This is a great letter, as it addresses some of the most critical questions we get when people consider getting a dog from us.
Beth works as a manager for a jewelry store in downtown Chicago. She is also a Captain in the Illinois Army National Guard and has served for over 17 years. She grew up in the jewelry industry and loves her job and serving in the military.
Wyatt is active duty military, working full time for the Illinois Army National Guard in Machesney Park, IL. He has been active duty for the Army for 9 years and is currently at the rank of Major.
In Wyatt’s Words, How They Acquired Roy
Beth and I are both huge dog people, as we both grew up with dogs. I got Bindi (Boxer – 3 years old) when she was 8 weeks old near Fort Hood, TX when I was stationed there. I had always heard how great boxers were and that they had wonderful temperaments. No one ever told me there is no “on and off” switch on them though – as they are always “on”, but that’s Bindi and that’s why I love her….and why she drives me crazy. Beth got Mollie (Chocolate Lab – 7 years old) as a puppy as well. She was a super easy dog to train – and has always been nothing but sweet and loyal to anyone she encounters. We both had our dogs before we met. While we both loved Chicago – we always talked about moving somewhere in between both job sites – and something more ideal for us….and the girls. So we started looking for houses.
It’s about this time that Beth was contacted by Steve, her brother, about two black labs from Craney Hill that were for free to a good home (Steve had done business with Craney Hill in the past with his dog, Woody). We had talked about a third dog….and a black lab at that…for some time, but thought we would just wait until we got a house with more room. But we were getting close on a house, so Beth called to inquire about one of the dogs. Unfortunately, both were already spoken for, so that didn’t work out. So we were both a bit bummed when we found out – but also thought that it was meant to be. However, a day later, Todd called and offered us something else. That’s when Roy came up. Todd talked about Roy and how he was getting too old to be out in the field every day. He said that you were looking to “retire” Roy from the field and move him to a house where he would give loved and spoiled, that you didn’t want him to grow old in a kennel since you still traveled so much. After speaking with Beth previously, you two had thought she (we) may be good candidates for a family who would like to take Roy. Beth called me and explained what was going on and asked if I thought it would be a good idea. We both agreed that though it may be a challenge, it was something we were very interested in. So we drove out to Craney Hill to meet Roy. It was so great to meet him and see his temperament. We spent about an hour there, then got in the car. I don’t think we had even pulled out of the driveway and we had already agreed we would be back to get Roy as soon as we had a house.
So we continued our home search over the next month or so and eventually settled on a nice 3 floor home with plenty of space and a large fenced in back yard, just big enough to toss and retrieve and let the dogs sprint around if they wanted. We called you guys and said we’re ready when you are. A few weeks later, we picked up Roy. It was a great visit, and hard for you both I’m sure. I know Beth and I both understood how hard it must have been for you guys, and we even felt bad about it. But we knew you had thought it through very thoroughly and this is what you wanted. So we spent an hour there playing with Roy, learning how to do a few things with him……like have him hold my beer, lol. Then we opened up the back of the Jeep and Roy jumped in.
I hope all is going well for you and Todd, I know you miss Roy but I can assure you that he’s living the high life right now 🙂
I know Beth has emailed you some photos and what not, but I had a few minutes this morning before I hit the road, so I though I’d share a few of my own.
Roy is doing amazing here, he’s actually laying underneath the kitchen table now fast asleep as I type 🙂 Beth and I were amazed at how the meet and greet went with all three dogs. It’s like they’ve been pals forever. Bindi and Roy love to wrestle. I actually have to stop them, let them go outside and finish because they are so in to it that they need more room. It’s hilarious because Roy will come in after their done and his head is completely soaked from Bindi’s slobber….gross, but funny. There hasn’t been any fighting incidents or bathroom incidents to speak of yet. Roy seems like he totally understands the difference between peeing/marking outside and living inside. Though I’m quite sure we’ll have a few incidents sometime, it’s to be expected. There was one downstairs, but we aren’t sure if it was Bindi or Roy, either way it wasn’t much and it wasn’t a big deal.
This morning Roy decided he would take every single dog toy, one by one, out of the wicker basket and bring it into the main room. Within about 10 mins we had all 30 dog toys spread around the room, with Roy in the middle. I failed to get a photo, but I’m sure I’ll have more chances….he loves the toy basket. Though he isn’t much on putting his toys back after he’s done 🙂
Yesterday I went upstairs with Bindi and Mollie (stairwell runs up the middle of the house) and I kept calling for Roy. He’d hear me and come running around the corner but never looked up to see me in the stair well. So I kept calling and he’d keep running in circles around the house trying to find me. Mollie and Bindi looked up at me like “seriously?, does he not see us up here?” After about 4 laps, Bindi decides to go back down to the bottom. When Roy turns the corner this time, Bindi bumps him and heads up the stairs, as to say “follow me Roy”. But Roy didn’t get the message. So I keep calling Roys name and he keeps doing laps in the house looking for me. This time Mollie decides to head down with Bindi, they do the same thing and try to get Roy to follow them. Roy is so excited that he keeps running around and doesn’t come up the stairs. About now I’m laughing so hard I’m crying. Bindi and Mollie both look up at me like “are you kidding me? We’re 5 feet away, I thought he was a hunting dog?” After about 15 laps around the stairs, Roy sees me up top and sprints up (he’s good at stairs now) and is very excited 🙂 It was so funny. I’ve never seen Bindi look at another dog like that. They were both so confused why Roy couldn’t figure it out.
We’ve got plenty of Roy stories already. He’s great and he’s fitting in very well. I’d say he’ll be worthless for a hunting dog very soon. I do go outside with just him every now and then just to do some retrieves. He seems to really get into it and likes the refresher training. We’ve got a ton of photos as well, I guess Beth is putting them on the Walgreens site. We could also put a picture of just Bindi and put a sign underneath it saying “will trade for a case of beer, straight up”. Just kidding, Bindi’s great, and I wouldn’t want Roy to lose his wrestling partner.
All in all, everything is going great and we love having Roy and he loves being here. We took Roy by the condo in Chicago first, just to see how he would react. He marked his territory very quickly all over the condo. Beth and I both thought “this may end up being a lot tougher than we thought”. But we weren’t discouraged.
We took Roy to the new house in Lake in the Hills that evening but we didn’t do a meet and greet with the other dogs, we figured it was too much of a day for Roy and he probably just needed to sleep. We put him in his new kennel in the garage and let him sleep for the night. When we came inside, both Bindi and Mollie sniffed us all up and down, trying to figure out where this new dog was. We did a lot of this that night, letting them smell Roys things so that they would know him when they met him.
Then next day we let Roy in the back yard and left Bindi and Mollie inside. They could see him back there through the glass door and they were very excited, though they didn’t bark at him at all. Mollie is pretty territorial, so we thought to just let her out first and see what happens….we most expected Mollie to snap at him and bully him around, it’s what she does on her property when a strange dog shows up. But she didn’t. It was like she was just reunited with her long lost pal 🙂 She ran out to him, sniffed him up, and pranced around. Blown away with how that went, we let Bindi out. Bindi did the same. Next thing we knew, we had three dogs chasing each other in the back yard. They all got along wonderfully, and it was a huge relief to us.
We left Roy’s kennel in the garage for the next few days, we didn’t want to rush the integration into the house, so we would let him walk through the kitchen to get out back, but that was it. They would all play in the morning and evening, but other than that, Roy stayed in the garage. We let him roam the garage and he never marked once….which was strange based on what he did in the condo, though we didn’t have confidence he would be as good inside. So for the first week Roy stayed in the garage and played outside in the back.
Then one evening, we said “hell with it, let’s see what happens now”. So we let Roy inside, fully expecting numerous marking episodes….but he never did. He ran all over, sniffing like mad, but never tried to mark one time, and he still hasn’t. I’m not sure why, but it’s like he figured out very quickly, that indoors is different than outside, and this is where I live. He understands he can do what we wants in the back yard, but there are rules inside….and it’s like he’s known them since he walked in.
Now Roy roams the house as he wants, still sleeping in a large wire kennel, but that’s indoors as well. He loves chew toys and treats, and him and Bindi seem to do about an hour of wrestling everyday. He’s part of the family now and we all love it. I’m sure we’ll have some incidents in the near future, but nothing is nearly as difficult as we anticipated. Roy is an extremely intelligent dog, and he understands. Most of the mistakes he’s made are simply because he’s never been inside. Once he’s told no, he stops and for the most part does not repeat the action.
All three dogs are still getting along wonderfully and we look forward to the day in the near future when Roy won’t even sleep in a kennel, but we’re realistic and we aren’t in a hurry to do anything. He’s smart, but too much change too quickly could cause a lot of confusion. So we’ll take it slow. But for now, it’s perfect.
Thanks again Christina and Todd, Beth and I hope your as happy with Roy’s new family as we are. You’ll hear from us often, and you’ll get some great photos. I hope we don’t bug you too much with updates.
Talk to you soon.