Tycho: The First Eight Weeks

Photo by Jonathan Lambert

Well, we finally did it. We got a dog!! (Ok, we got engaged and married, too, but back to the exciting stuff…)

I’ve been pining for a dog for at least a couple years now, with a precipitous moment last summer when I chanced upon an adoption fair in a downtown street market coming out of the optometrist’s. His name was Monty (short for Monterey), and he was perfect: a black Lab mixed with enough other things to give him the tuxedo chest, the barest of white points, and that je ne sais quois. It helped that despite being 14 weeks old he was friendly without being excitable — a good personality for a dog.

We didn’t adopt Monty because the circumstances weren’t right, but it got the gears turning with fresh vigor. For the next few weeks I stalked the rescue organization’s website for dog listings and tried to coerce my dog-loving co-workers to adopt Monty in my stead (so I could visit him, or maybe steal him from them later).

Then nearly a year later we had another chance dog meeting. We were at a friend’s house for dinner and she had just started fostering a dog named Spencer for another rescue organization called Copper’s Dream. Spencer was another black Lab mix (probably with Shepherd) and was very sweet and tired out from a long day.

We arranged with our friend to have Spencer come over to our house to meet our cats the next week because that was a big question mark in this whole dog adoption concept. That didn’t go so well; Spencer was much more energetic this time and was very excited by our cats (and our cats were not so happy). It made us realize that the best option was probably to adopt a younger, smaller puppy that the cats wouldn’t feel threatened by.

After several more weeks of looking at dogs we got word that Copper’s Dream was getting a big litter of Shepherd mix pups, about 7 or 8 weeks old, from the SPCA in Fresno. If we wanted to, we could pick one to foster-to-adopt, but we had to choose from among the litter with only single photos to go on. Our first choice ended up being euthanized by the shelter for being sick and the whole litter would have suffered the same fate if Copper’s Dream hadn’t intervened and paid for the testing needed to show that the rest of the pups were healthy. One week of quarantine later the litter arrived in San Francisco and Chris came home with Boomer, now Tycho.

Tycho — Week 1: 9 weeks old, 11 pounds

I’m a little amazed at how well he, a rescue dog, fits all the things I wanted in a dog. He has big soft ears that alternately flop and stand up, and go in different directions. He’s well-proportioned, with long legs, slim withers, a strong chest, and a balanced head (except for those ears!). His coat is mostly black brindle but his chest, throat, and paws are white, with one taller sock on his left front foot, and the tiniest tip of white on his tail (just like Monty!). His white is spotted, and he’s got some fun chimerism going on in his feet, with some of his nails pink and some black, and some of his foot pads pink and some black. As an adult he’ll probably be just under 50 pounds.

Week 2: 10 weeks old, 12 pounds


At work with Shirley
First time at the vet!

Besides being outrageously cute and just a beautiful dog, he’s also got one of the sweetest puppy personalities I’ve ever seen. He’s pretty calm for a puppy, responsive, and smart — right away he learned “Leave it” and “Drop it” and he learned “Sit” in one day and since then has learned “Down”, “Up”, “Stand”, and “Shake” (in the last few days). He’s also getting the hang of “Roll over”. He loves toys, especially gigantic plush ones.

Week 3: 11 weeks, 13.5 pounds
Tycho goes to the beach

Week 4: 12 weeks, 16 pounds
Tycho goes hiking

Weeks 5-6: 14 weeks, 19 pounds
Tycho gets neutered

Week 8: 16 weeks, 21 pounds

No more cone! He’s a real ___-magnet — men, women, and children all think he’s the cutest thing ever. Older dogs, not so much… but we’re working on it!

More updates to come intermittently..

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6 Responses to Tycho: The First Eight Weeks

  1. Gillian says:

    Yay for Tycho!! And I’m sure the older dogs will play with him eventually :)

  2. Sally says:

    Shirley, thanks for documenting. He is a total looker (these are to die for: http://shirleywho.files.wordpress.com/2012/06/img_20120509_074209.jpg and http://shirleywho.files.wordpress.com/2012/06/img_20120603_132025.jpg) and sounds like a well-mannered sweetie too. Congrats on your great choice.

    • shwu says:

      Thanks, Sally! Well-mannered… mostly :) Chris has offered to let coworkers borrow him for walks since he attracts so much (female) attention..

  3. MikeMac says:

    Wudda cute boy!

  4. Emily says:

    Thanks for posting! These photos will tide me over until the live Tycho is no longer banished from work. We miss you Tycho!

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