Gandalf: Our Foster Fail

This is Gandalf (so named because he has a grey tuft of hair on his back, like Gandalf the Grey). AKA Gandy. AKA The Goose (which I think of as his dog mafia name, which is derived from the nursery rhyme, Goosey Goosey Gander).

Gandalf, like Storm, was a rescue from Uitsig Animal Rescue Centre. I wasn’t very keen on him (you will see that this is a bit of a theme when it comes to getting new dogs), partly because his one half blue/half brown eye freaked me out… But husband-man was, and so we made the trip to meet him.We brought him home (as a foster, because I was adamant that we were not adopting) on 16 November, 2013. It was a cold and rainy day, but despite how wet it was outside, Gandalf wouldn’t follow us inside when we got home. He just stood at the threshold and stared at us. It took him some time and quite a lot of coaxing to understand that ‘inside’ was okay. However, once he did understand, there was a lot of exploring to be done!

Gandalf Day 1
This is Gandy on the day that we got him. That is me in the background taking over his leash. The beginning of a journey…

In general, he is a loner. And it also took him some time to understand that giving and receiving love is okay (even encouraged). When we got him, we couldn’t touch his back legs, or his neck, which has lead us to suspect that he endured some abuse in his previous life. Even today, he still isn’t a fan of hates us going near his back legs for any reason.

However, when he decides that he wants attention, he is quite capable of demanding it. Whether it is from us, or from Nanuq (who is definitely his best friend out of our other 3 babies), when Gandalf wants to play, you need to take advantage of the moment! And if he decides that he hasn’t had enough scratches, he thinks nothing of pawing at your arm until you begin again. To this day, we still feel very special when he chooses to come and sit or lie with us (and we try as hard as possible not to make any sudden movements that may spook him away). Love is always given to Gandalf on his own terms.

Partners in Crime 2
Nanuq & Gandalf: Let us in!
Partners in Crime 1
Gandy & Nanuq: Partners in Crime

Sometime after we got him, husband-man and I were hiking with the furchildren in the forest. As we were stopped next to a river, watching them swim, I said to him that I was going to be heartbroken if we ever got the call to say that someone had adopted him. And that was when he told me that he had signed the adoption papers the previous month, but was waiting for our birthday (husband-man and I share a birthday) to tell me (needless to say I ruined the surprise). And so, despite my initial adamancy that Gandalf was ONLY going to be a foster, he became legally ours. And we have never looked back.

Here are seven things (that you need) to know about Gandalf:

  1. He loves chocolate. I don’t know how he knows, but when husband-man or I have chocolate of any sort, he appears (often seemingly in a puff of fur) and stares at us as if to say “giiiive me the chocolate… GIIIIVE me the chocolate”. To be honest, he usually ends up with a block…
  2. He is a talker. If he had a career, he would be in PR. He is always very serious when he tells you a story, and he definitely expects you to take him seriously in return. He is also very good at telling off his siblings when he thinks they have done something wrong…
  3. He does NOT like horses. We discovered this one day when walking him (and Gordon and Nanuq) off-leash on the beach. Some horse riders rode right up to us (even though they could see we had dogs with us) and he went berserk. Husband-man had grabbed the other two dogs, and I was trying to catch Gandalf, but of course it became a game and he had one eye on me, and one on the horses (which led to him getting kicked in the chest). Eventually one of the horseriders managed to sneak up behind him and grab him, but I definitely gained a few grey hairs that day…
  4. He HATES being brushed which, given that he is a husky and needs brushing often, is a bit of a problem. We do it as often as we can, although when he sees us pick up the brush he is gone. And if we do manage to sneak up on him, he screams blue murder. I swear that our neighbours are going to call the SPCA on us one day…
  5. He is a farter. My goodness… I don’t know what he eats when we aren’t looking, but the smells that he makes are so bad that our eyes water… Once or twice even he has vacated the room…
  6. He is a lazy eater. Eight times out of ten he lies down in front of his bowl to eat his food. The other two out of ten times he will pick up a mouthful of food, just like a hamster, walk away from everyone, spit it out, and then proceed to eat it (one of those two times it will be lying down).
  7. He likes hiding his nose underneath the covers, or behind your back, or under your arm. We aren’t sure why he does it (possibly for protection?) but it is super cute.

Ultimately, Gandalf is a very unique creature, and I cannot understand how anyone could have treated him badly or let him go. He has brought a huge amount of love and joy and laughter to our lives, and what is someone else’s loss (even if they don’t think so) is very definitely our gain!

*~*~*

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