I guess the first thing I should say is that it will come as a surprise to most of you that this is not actually an article about my love of pork products.
I’ve been fostering dogs for Bonnie Blue Rescue for about two years now. The first year went as I expected: I would receive a dog from the service, and, a short time later, the dog would leave me to go on a trial visit that inevitably became a permanent arrangement. A “forever home” in the parlance of the industry.
The length of time a particular dog stayed with me varied. Sometimes I would keep the animal only a few days if he were in transit. Sometimes it might be over a month, especially if the dog were too young to be adopted immediately. More often than not, each animal remained at my house for two or three weeks.
That was the first year. Things have been quite different in year two.
Whereas more than a dozen different animals stayed with me during my first twelve months helping Bonnie Blue, the second twelve months have been occupied by a single creature: A dog named Bacon.
Bacon came to live with me last February, when his name was still “Mick Jagger” for some unknown reason. He is a dachshund / beagle mix who stands about a foot off the ground at his highest point and tips the scales south of thirty pounds. “Bacon” seemed a more appropriate name for him.
Bacon traveled to Virginia after being thrown from the back of a moving truck by his previous owners. He not only survived the incident, but he miraculously suffered no serious injuries, possibly due to his unorthodox body type (he and I have that in common).
I believe in full disclosure, so allow me to mention quickly Bacon’s very few, very minor faults. He does shed a bit, but nothing on par with a breed like a German Shepherd. He also gets so excited when he first goes outside that he will sprint for a few seconds, so you have to make sure he’s on a leash if he’s not in an enclosed area. If he is, it’s not a problem. He has one other idiosyncracy, which is that he meticulously works on his paws upon returning from a walk. He cleans them with the diligence of a cat. This doesn’t bother me, but some might find it a little strange.
He is a very friendly dog who seems genuinely pleased not only to see familiar faces, but also to meet new people. He absolutely loves humans despite his prior mistreatment by a couple of them. He likes to be able to look people in the eye, notwithstanding his small stature. He won’t climb on furniture if you teach him that it’s off-limits, but he prefers it so that he can interact with people on a face-to-face level. He does love to give “kisses” if you let him near your face, but he’s not intrusive about personal space like some dogs are.
He is equally friendly toward his fellow canines. He’s always very curious about other dogs, but never aggressive. He is quite social and is also good with children.
I’ve been told that he’s kind to cats as well, but I’ve never trusted that information enough to put it to the test.
I can state definitively that he doesn’t care for at least two kinds of animal: Chickens and squirrels. He successfully caught, killed, and ate two of the former group during a short stint on a chicken farm. His affinity for chasing the latter speaks for itself. Were he ever to catch one, I have no doubt it would meet the same fate as the aforementioned poultry.
Bacon is a very low-maintenance animal. Among his many great qualities is his excellent bladder control. He has no difficulty whatsoever going 12 hours without having to heed the call of nature (not that I recommend that). However, on a day when I would work a normal 8:30 – 5:30 schedule, I had no fears whatsoever that I would return home to discover a malodorous “surprise” awaiting me.
We go on two short walks per day (sometimes three if the weather is nice). This is sufficient not only to allow Bacon to do his business, but also to expend enough energy to enjoy quiet naps for much of the rest of the day.
That leads me to my next point about this creature: He enjoys sleeping. He won’t provide much fuss or trouble at any time. He’s content to sleep if there’s not something else happening. I have literally never heard him bark while inside my house during the year I’ve had him. Not once. He does bark if he’s been in the backyard for some time and wants to come back indoors, but even that is rare. He will whimper a bit if he hasn’t been outside for a long time and needs to go, but no barking.
With a great personality, easy maintenance, and undeniable cuteness, why is this dog still with me?
The only real theory I can concoct is that he’s not a puppy (although he looks a little like one). As with human children, it’s more difficult for older dogs to get adopted. Bacon is referred to as a “senior” dog, which is a term of art that’s a bit of a misnomer. He’s probably at least four or five years old, but I don’t think he’s any older than seven. The point is that he is certainly not elderly. He has all of his mobility and senses intact and should have many more good years ahead of him.
The other thing working against Bacon is bad luck. On at least four or five occasions in the time that I’ve had him, Bacon has appeared to be on the road to adoption. All of the potential owners who submitted applications or offered to take him in pulled out for various reasons (perhaps highlighting poor character in a couple of cases, but I suppose I’m editorializing).
That’s one of the reasons why I’m writing this. Not only to talk about what a great dog Bacon is, but also because I know he deserves to have a good home.
You may be asking, “If he’s such a great dog, why don’t YOU adopt him?” I get this question all the time, even with dogs that I’ve only had a few days. The answers are very simple.
In general, I don’t want a dog because my goal with fostering has always been to help a lot of dogs, not simply help one dog for a long time. I accomplished that goal my first year of helping Bonnie Blue, but Bacon’s failure to be adopted has prevented that of late.
Secondly, although I think Bacon is a great dog, and he enjoys living here for the most part, I also know that HE would be better off in a house with another dog and/or children. He’s a very social animal who adapts easily to new people and dogs, and I’ve known him long enough to realize that he’s happiest when he has someone with whom to play on a regular basis. I make sure we go out a couple of times each day, but I’m no substitute for another dog or an enamored child.
There are more pictures of Bacon here. If you have any interest in Bacon, please go to Bonnie Blue Rescue to learn more about their process. Or, if you know someone else who might be interested in a great dog, please tell them about Bacon and send them a link to this article.
And, if you need one more reason to consider Bacon’s merits, imagine being greeted by this each time you come home: