Well, the day we've been waiting for for many years finally arrived. We bravely entered the world of the dog owner. And not just an iDog like we had in Japan.
Say hello to Oji...
His origins are not exactly known, but the theory is that he is some sort of Terrier mix. We saw a picture of a Skye Terrier / Schnauzer mix that he resembles quite a bit, so that's what we're currently assuming for his parentage. He's pretty much all mutt.
We've been big dog fans for years, but until now haven't had the right schedule to have one of our own. So, we mooched off of OPP (Other People's Pets).
When we lived in Virginia, before moving overseas, one of the most enjoyable things to do in our neighborhood was to wander around and pet the neighbors' dogs. We knew more dogs names than those of their owners. There was Sal the Pug, Rhiannon the Fox Terrier, Kira the Basset Hound, Farley the Poodle mix, Lucky the ferocious Beagle / German Shepard mix (no joke...he hated my Army uniform and would try to kill me whenever he saw me in it...he ended up having to be put down because he bit a neighbor child), and our favorite, and God-Dog, Charlie. Charlie belonged to our friends' Colin and Melody, and he was lab/greyhound mix (we think). And just a sweetie until he'd jam his nose in your crotch.
Moving to Japan, we continued to mooch off of other people's dogs, and met John, the Chocolate Lab, who spoke English. Or rather, Engrish...His owner taught him to sit, but in order to get him to do it, you had to say it with a "SH" instead of "SI" since that sound doesn't exist naturally in the Japanese language (just sa, shi, su seh so) That made for some laughs, as what we told him to do had completely different meaning than what he actually did. Fortunately, for everyone involved.
Once we got here to San Antonio, and got settled in, we planned on getting a dog of our own. There are a lot of different shelters and rescue and fostering organizations. We actually had been surfing them online even while still in Japan to get a feel for what would be available. We visited the Humane Society shelter (a great place, by the way), and found a nice dog, but weren't ready to adopt at that time. So we just kept looking and chipping away at getting settled in.
Then, about a month ago, SNIPSA, the Spay, Neuter, Inject, Protect of San Antonio, which rescues dogs slated for euthanasia, had their monthly adoption day at the Starbucks down the street. We went to browse, but as soon as we saw Oji (then known as Noche), we made a beeline straight for him. We got ambushed by another dog first (who got adopted by a nice family), but finally got to meet. For me, it was love at first sight. There's something endearing about a scruffy mutt...probably why so many of them turn into movie-stars (Benji, et al). He was so sweet, and well mannered that we sort of made an impulse decision that this was the dog for us.
He was found by his foster mom (Katie - a SNIPSA volunteer) just running along the side of the road in her neighborhood. She stopped and opened the door, and he just hopped in. After making some inquiries as to his home, and coming up dry, she kept him with the intention of finding a family for him. When we met him, he had only been there for about a week. He was kind of scrawny, but otherwise in pretty good condition. He tested positive for heartworms and still needed to have his nerts removed (they euphemistically call it "altering"), so couldn't come home right away, which actually worked well for us, since we still had two shipments of household goods to arrive. We figured that that would be too disruptive.
So finally, yesterday he came to live with us. We can't believe how lucky we are to have him. He's (so far, and I hope I'm not jinxing anything by posting this) very well behaved. He doesn't bark or bite. He is really sweet and loving, and just likes to hang out wherever we are. He's house trained, and didn't even chase the skunk we saw yesterday. Or eat the cat we saw this morning. He's well-mannered with the other dogs he's met, but really we're just trying to keep him nice and calm while he's finishing the heartworm treatment. He's a great dog. He even knows "sit" and "down" (though his furry paws and hardwood floors usually mean that "sit" ends up as "down" within a few seconds.
Here he is. It's nice to have the pitter-patter of little feet around the house...