Everyone, Meet Tux! He’s the newest member of our family, and we love him so much already!
Since Grumples passed a few months ago, I haven’t felt complete. I’ve had a huge hole in my heart, and no matter what we did to fill up our time, things didn’t feel the same. Kyle and I talked about the possibility of growing our family with another dog but didn’t want to actively look. We agreed that the right opportunity would come around when we weren’t looking for it. Two weeks ago, I came across a post on a rescue page, and I saw him and immediately knew that he would be my dog. My heart was pulling me so hard toward him. I knew this guy was going to be in our family, and we were going to give him the best life he could ever wish for, and you all have no idea how much he deserves it.
Tux’s coming home day just happened to fall on what would have been Grumples 10th birthday. It couldn’t have been more meant to be.
We learned a lot about his life this week, and while so devastating and heartbreaking, we also learned some really great things, like how much he loves peanut butter and how he likes to let out a huge sigh before laying down to go to sleep.
Tux is going to be three in November. He was rescued from a horrible breeding situation, and it breaks my heart what someone would do to sell puppies at the expense of this sweet dog. What is even sadder is that the people supporting this breeder’s business have no idea what is going on behind the scenes; unfortunately, I cannot speak too much more because it could ruin the possibility of having him surrender other dogs in the future. This breeder was making $21,000 off of his litters but still treating Tux like a prisoner.
If you ever use a breeder to adopt a dog, please go there and meet the dogs, meet the parents, check out their surroundings, and don’t just let someone bring you a dog. When Leo was adopted, we went out to the farm where he came from, met the parents, ran around the field with them, and their dogs that do have puppies are own by people and not imprisoned there. I’m not here to bash breeders; I’m here to tell you to do your research because after meeting Tux, I learned what we all fear. Tux was kept in a crate outside most of his life. He doesn’t know what doors are, what stairs are, and everything is new to him. Showing him the world is already one of my favorite things to do.
He’s extremely timid, and rightfully so.
He had his vocal cords taken out by the breeder, a serious surgery, and one of the cruelest things to do to a dog. He doesn’t bark, he doesn’t wag his tail, and he doesn’t know what love is. Taking away the main means of expression is unjustifiably cruel. I want to cry every time I think about this. I know this may offend a few readers, but there’s a special place in hell for people who abuse animals. There’s nothing that makes me angrier than someone mistreating an innocent animal. Our goal as his new parents is to help him learn to trust and become the confident dog we know he can become.
Tux is going to need a serious makeover, not for the cosmetics, but for his health. He currently smells like a Cheeto because he has a severe yeast infection and hair buildup in his lobes. The yeast infection makes some of his hair fall out in chunks, which makes me so sad. He still has a lot of mats and dirt buildup around his skin. I hate that we have to get him groomed so soon into his transition, but I can’t let his hygiene go any longer because it’s now harming him. We are working with a groomer specializing in rescues, and they get him groomed in a little over an hour and will do everything they can to make him feel safe. I will also be there with him the entire time.
I will pour all of my love and attention into getting Tux to become the dog he has always deserved to be. There are so many people in his corner rooting for him, and the amount of love he’s going to get will make up for all the lost moments. On Thursday of last week, I got a call from Tux’s foster mom. We chatted all about him, and we both felt like he would thrive in our family. We planned to head to Georgia on Saturday to meet him and let him get to know us a bit before we came back to pick him up.
Meeting him was love at first sight. He even came up to Kyle, which isn’t something he does to people. I loved him so much I could cry.
His favorite place to hide was under her desk.
We sat by him and talked to him for a little while, and then something incredible happened. He started to take treats from us. I know what you’re thinking. What’s so great about a dog taking treats? Well, he wouldn’t take treats from ANYONE. She would give him chicken, bacon, and everything a dog would want, and he wouldn’t touch it. He was eating treats right out of our hands. I couldn’t believe the progress we made with him just after an hour of being with him. I knew we were going to be able to change his life around. I’m confident we can do this.
Tux LOVES going on walks. It’s hard to get him outside for the walk because he’s still unsure how a house works, but once he’s outside, he walks so gently on a leash, and when he stops to look around at new things, it makes my heart so happy. Sometimes, when he stops, I like to go down and give him a big kiss, an ear scratch, and then he’ll continue to walk with me. He’s always looking around as if something will happen to him, but I’m working on letting him know that I’m his protector and that he’s safe with me. Kyle and I have been reading and learning a lot about things we should and shouldn’t be doing.
Tux’s real name will never be spoken in our house because we don’t want him to ever think back on his previous life. He deserves a new beginning, and that is what we are giving him, and that is what he’s giving us. Tux’s foster mom called him Gus, which is the cutest little name, but when we chatted with a trainer who specializes in rescue dogs, he said we should give him a new name to create a new bond and a name he can learn to associate with us. We chose “Tux” because he looks like he’s wearing a tuxedo, and it just fits him. He’s in his tux, ready for his new fancy life!
Tux was so lucky to have been at the foster house. She is the most incredible women, and has rescued so many animals. When we got there, she was nursing a baby racoon. She’s incredible and we are so grateful for her and everything she does! I told her I want to be her when I grow up. Give me a big farm and bring on all the animals.
We took him on a long walk around the farm at his foster house before we headed out. He loved walking to see the donkeys, and nothing ever phased him. Tux is one of the sweetest dogs and wouldn’t hurt a fly. There isn’t an aggressive bone in his little body.
We left him with Leo’s toys to smell that way we would be familiar to him. We made sure to fill him up with treats, and I told him everything he could look forward to next week.
Leaving Tux that day was one of the hardest things to do. I knew he would be in good hands with his foster mom, and it gave us time to prepare for his arrival. After learning about him and watching his behavior, I decided to make the house spotless with nothing in his way. I also worked with my dad to build his own little hideaway house (just like the desk!)
We stayed in a hotel on Friday night to be up bright and early to see our new son and bring him home. We had breakfast with his foster mom, walked all around the farm, and after a few hours, we headed home! I sat in the back seat with him the entire time. He liked when I put my hand on his back. He would lay down and stop panting when I did it. After a half-hour, he was curled up in a ball and sound asleep the rest of the way home. He perked up when I told him to look out the window at his new neighborhood.
Leo stayed with our neighbors so we could get Tux comfortable with his new house. We gave him a full tour, and my favorite part was watching him see his reflection in the mirror for the first time. He was so confused, and he went up and licked it. I was shocked at how curious he was inside our home. He wasn’t afraid and acted eager to see each new room. We haven’t brought him upstairs at all; he’s still not sure what stairs are. A few hours later, we introduced Leo to Tux, and it went perfectly. We did a little walk up the sidewalk and then took them to the yard. Tux doesn’t know what playing is yet, but I know Leo will teach him soon. Our neighbors made Leo the cutest shirt to welcome Tux home!
Last night, I got Tux to eat almost three plates of food! I made him grilled chicken, Royal Canin wet food, and some of Leo’s food for him. I was so happy that he was eating and had a large appetite because that meant he felt comfortable and wasn’t too stressed. I figured getting him to eat could take days, but nope. He was chowing down.
He feels really comfortable in our yard. He’s known for pacing, but he doesn’t pace or hide. He actually comes up to us. Today, he was following Leo around like he was the leader, and I was so proud! I spend a few minutes now and then petting him, but I’m trying to limit my time near him and give him all the space for the next few weeks. It’ll take a few months before he feels like this is his home. Every time he does something new, I get so excited I could cry. When I hear him drinking water, all I do is stare at him.
He has claimed his safe spot in the kitchen, which is great because he’s out in the open where we hang out and not hiding from us. We are cautious with our movements and noises. We don’t want him to get scared or feel unsafe. Now and then, I’ll drop a treat in front of him when I walk by, so he associates me with positive thoughts. Can you tell we’ve been reading a lot of Ceasar the dog trainer?
Last night, we took him out around 9 pm for his last potty and a little run-around. He went back into his kitchen corner, drank water, let out a big relaxed sigh (Grumples used to do this), and went straight to bed. I came downstairs around 3 am, kissed him, and went back to bed. He slept all through the night without any issues. He just looked so content when I saw him. He used to back himself into the corner, but now he’s laying down with about a foot of space from the wall. It’s the little things.
We took him for a short little walk in the morning, and then he had breakfast with Leo. Our first night with him couldn’t have been any better. This week, we are going to work on his confidence to walk to the door. He’s not sure what it is yet, so when we open up the door and go out with Leo, he takes three steps towards it as if he really wants to go outside but then walks back to his spot. He repeats this several times as we try to encourage him to go out the door, but then we end up putting the leash on him and guide him out the door. I know we’ll get there, and you can tell he wants to do it so bad. He gets closer and closer each time. I cannot wait to see him do it because I know he’s going to. Last night, I laid next to him, still keeping a few feet away, and just rubbed his belly. This was the first time he laid in a position where he was open. He lifted his paw and put it on my arm while I rubbed him. As his eyes rolled to the back of his head, tears came out of my eyes. I got emotionally thinking about how anyone could hurt this sweet boy, and I know it’s going to take so much to get him to feel happy again. I can’t wait for the day he wags his tail when he sees us. It could take years, but we’ve got nothing but time and love to give him.
We gave this bunny to Leo as a gift from Tux, and he is extra obsessed with it. He brought it up to bed last night and keeps taking it everywhere he goes. He is very much in love with his new brother, and I know he will be a big help in Tux’s healing process.
Today (monday) we are going to to get him groomed and then take him over to the vet for a full checkup and get him on some medication for his ears. I cleaned them out with vinegar yesterday and I had about twenty black cotton balls. He leaned his ear into me while I cleaned them out, so I know it felt good. This is the type of stuff that helps with bonding. I will keep you all posted on how his grooming goes and how the vet visit goes in this week’s recap post. If you follow me on instagram, I’ll try to do some updates there as well. ♥️
Questions for you!
- Do you have any advice for us?
- Do you have a rescue successs story?
- What are you most looking forward to seeing in Tux’s journey?