It started with an intense desire to have a second dog. I tested the waters with Odin, who we rehabbed for a few months and rehomed. I wanted a dog that Loki could play with, and always have around so he was never totally bored. My heart had already been set on a pit mix, since the dog I had growing up was a pit mix. Knowing that black dogs are overlooked, I knew I had to seek out a black colored pit (though I wasn't really going to select on color if it came down to it). With a lifestyle like mine, a dog needs to fit a certain set of criteria to make the cut. They must be friendly, with dogs and people! They must not be protective or possessive, and they must be accepting of horses. Having three cats at home only complicates the matter more.
How We Found Him
I heard of a dog in LA who was going to be without a home due to the owner going into assisted living. The dog lived with three cats so I thought it must be perfect. After making the long drive, we immediately discovered this dog was not going to be our Thanos. There was a rescue group present who was originally going to back the adoption, so I asked the lady if she had any dogs she thought would fit my lifestyle. She did, in fact, have the perfect sounding dog. He was in a foster home almost an hour away, but was described as a black lab/pit mix puppy who was almost a year old and full of love and energy. Most importantly, he was 100% with other dogs and showed no aggression in the 6 months they'd had him. He was originally found tied to a pole as a 6 month old puppy. Brought to Forever Fido, he was neutered and cared for and placed with a foster home in the hands of a dog trainer. For 6 months he was overlooked, due to his adorable pittie face and glossy black color. 6 months of being overlooked, that's something he had in common with Tucker already!
We drove out to meet him, and as soon as we parked we could see him playing in the yard. He was a 50 pound bundle of floppy puppy energy bounding around the pen as we approached, so excited to see us and giving Loki kisses. It wasn't really a question of whether we would take him, but we asked lots of questions about him to make sure he would be happy with us. And that was it! We loaded him up and quickly discovered his biggest flaw: his fear of riding in cars. He got in the car fine, sat in the car fine, but once we started driving he had to scream to the gods to try and get someone to come save us from the torture that is driving. Over 3 hours and it never ceased. Of course I would figure it out and deal with it, but oh my goodness it was a terrible drive, not knowing if he was in pain or just scared or confused. I've never heard something so dangerously loud while driving! The crying never stopped, not until a couple days later. He cried all night and constantly the next day, he was so distraught and clearly a high-anxiety type. Gradually he started to understand that this life we were offering him was actually pretty good.
In the mornings, we go on hikes, to the dog park, or to the horses. Then we spend a bit more than 8 hours at the office where there are other dogs to play with part of the day, and big brother Loki to pester all day. There is a back yard, with a pet door that he figured out within a couple days. He also has at least 3 beds to choose from, and tons of floor to take up during naps. In the beginning, he mostly took to sharing whatever bed Loki was sleeping in. It was very upsetting for awhile when people would pack up to leave (it still is towards the end of the day) but once he realized that people always come back, life got easy really quick.
Thanos loved the horses, and until he was shocked by the electric fence it was a perfect time at the barn with him running the grounds with Loki the whole time. Hopefully he realizes that the fence is the source of his misery, and can avoid them! Until then he'll just hang out by the tack room, run around the perimeter of the arena with Loki, and lounge in the sun or shade, eating grass and horse poop. When he gets scared, he runs back to the cars which we're working on changing to be the tack room. He desperately tries to get into my car, and will hide under other people's cars when he cannot fit under mine. Not a good idea, mister!
Car rides are still a challenge, but getting much easier. In my cars, he generally rides quietly though paces and will start to cry if too much is going on. In Tyler's car he still cries a lot, but that's probably because he usually rides in mine! Change is NOT fun for Thanos, but that's okay.
He's never changing homes again 😉