UPDATE: Copper found a wonderful family a few days after this post. He’s fitting right in and even has a sister teaching him the ins and outs of his new family.
On March 11th, my husband, our youngest son and I went to the Michigan Humane Society in Rochester Hills to, as my husband puts it, give some love and affection to the animals at the shelter patiently waiting for their forever homes.
In one of the cages, my husband met Copper (formally Alex) a beautiful, sweet 4 year old Redbone Coonhound. Even though there were other dogs, somehow he paid attention the most to this one in particular. When we left, Copper barked at him, kind of saying “are you going to leave me here?”… Of course, it broke our hearts, mine the most I admit. If it was for me, I would adopt them all!
On our way home we talked about how beautiful he was, what a great addition to our family he would be, and that last “woof” inevitably lingered in our minds for the entire weekend.
We kept on bringing the subject of the dog back the next Monday all the way to the following Friday. On Friday March 18, just a week after our first encounter, my husband wanted to check the dog one more time to see how he would interact with us. Having adopted many dogs and cats over the years, and having had hounds before, this is a practice I recommend before jumping on the adoption. So we went back to the Michigan Humane Society in Rochester Hills, just to find out Copper wasn’t there! One of the volunteers said he got adopted, but that there was another hound we could consider adopting and instructed us to check with the front desk. At the front desk, they told us that Copper had not being adopted, that he was moved to the Petco store near Lakeside Mall, where the Humane Society has an adoption center. So we made a plan, pickup Gabe at school and go check him out right after.
When we got to the Petco store, like little kids running to the candy store, we walked as fast as we could to the adoption center at the back of the store. No Copper to be found on any of the cages. We asked, and again we were told Copper was already adopted (you guys at the humane society seriously need to double check before giving any info 😉 ). A girl at the desk who was taking care of another possible family, overheard us asking for Copper and immediately said “Alex (Copper) is here! Let me finish here and I’ll take care of you next”. The man with his small daughter at the desk, were considering adopting Copper too, but in the end they didn’t like the dog. What’s not to like about a Redbone Coonhound?!
We were finally next! Having had German Brakkos (a hound) and Pointers (also hounds) we were very familiar with the breed and their liberal spirit but incredible disposition, so the explanation about the dog, wasn’t necessary and we stepped right into the kitchen, all three of us. Copper was brought in, and right there like in the movies I fell in love with this gorgeous, spicy and sweet boy. After about 15-20 minutes of interacting with the dog, I looked at my husband and asked him “do you want to adopt him?” with a large tong in his face and lots of slobber but a huge smile he nodded yes. That was it. We walked out, with a GORGEOUS new family member, a bag of food and smiles on our faces that seemed to have completely disappeared after we lost our beautiful daughter Daniela.
The next day, at six in the morning we woke up to take Copper for a walk. It was snowing, big snowflakes almost the size of cotton balls, falling completely vertically on the ground. The sky was dimly lit with sort of a pink/gray hue and complete silence surrounded us. That’s when I knew Copper was here to stay with us, ’til the end of his days. When we got back home we found Gabe not feeling well. He was sick with a soft but distinctive wheezing sound in his chest. Asthma… I took the nebulizer and the medication out and didn’t think much of it. The next day on Sunday, his oxygen level was low, very low so we rushed to the ER. After a few hours of breathing treatment the doctor asked “what’s going on at home? Is there anything new that could have caused this severe asthma attack?” I said “We just adopted a new dog on Friday, but he (my son) has been around dogs before, so that’s not what’s causing this attack, it’s got to be this crazy Michigan weather”, after I told him the type of dog Copper was because he asked, he said, “The weather could be a possibility but it’s most likely the dog” and he went on to give an explanation on how short hair dogs can be allergenic and all that. He instructed us to follow up with our family doctor. On Monday we went to the doctor, and he completely dismissed the dog issue and attributed this severe asthma attack to swimming, the weather and a myriad other things, but the dog. So home we went convinced the dog wasn’t the issue at all, but the thought was inevitably in the back of our minds. What are the odds the dog came home and Gabe got sick a few hours later?… Gabe thought that if the dog was the issue, he could stay away from the dog in his room, the basement or anywhere else but near the dog, so we could keep him, which sounded sweet, but completely unrealistic. Still I wasn’t convinced the dog was the issue.
As the hours and days progressed Gabe got sicker and sicker while at home, but improving a little while at school just to go back to feeling worse when back at home. Yesterday afternoon I had to bring Gabe’s inhaler to school because he couldn’t breath, and it hit me. Gabe played with Copper, before I drove him to school. The possibility the dog’s dandruff was actually making my son sick, became a reality. It was no longer a coincidence. And right there on the spot, with tears in my eyes and shattered hearts we had to make the horrible decision to take Copper back to the Humane Society for my son’s well being. I’ve never given back an adopted dog or cat before. I’m angry at myself, disappointed at myself, sad and devastated for putting this beautiful sweet dog through this. He doesn’t deserve this, he fitted right into our home like a lost family member who came back, and I failed him. I have failed Copper. He didn’t do a bad thing, but after loosing a daughter just shy of two years, I couldn’t risk it. Sobbing and with remorse I dropped Copper back.
After a huge cry last night, with a clear head and as determined as I am, I’m committed to find Copper, this so special, so sweet, gorgeous and eager to please majestic dog a forever home. So if with my rant, I got your attention, please keep reading, because now comes the serious part. We need to find Copper a Family ASAP!
All I Know About Copper
What I found about Copper in the less than a week I’ve had the honor of been with him:
. He was someone’s pet, I’m certain of it, but he was also mistreated, so keep that in mind.
. He’s incredibly sweet, well mannered pure breed Redbone Coonhound, so his nose is his worse enemy and yours too!
. He’s 4 years old.
. He loves food! So no food on the counter top because he will get it!
. He needs structure to thrive. In the few days we had him, the people at the Humane Society saw an improvement in his behavior because of the structure we provided him with. I was able to get him to sit, and he started to respond to the following commands: “Leave it”, “Stop” and “Go” both used during crossing streets, “Sit” he still needs to work on it, “Heal”.
. He MUST walk at least 3-4 times a day at least a mile each time, so if this is something you cannot do, this is not the companion for you. We walked between 5 and 10 miles a day. During the hot days, don’t forget to bring a collapsible bowl and a bottle of water. He drinks a lot of water!
. He’s not a couch potato, he’s not a guardian dog, and he’s not a hunting dog! If you’re looking for a dog with any of these three traits, Copper isn’t it. He will run the opposite way if he hears firecrackers or gunshots.
. He loves to play and will make you laugh. In the end he’s still a puppy.
. He’s not good with cats at all! He bit one of our cats and got into hunting mode several times when they were around, but I’m sure with lots of patience he might end up accepting them.
. Do not, I repeat, Do not leave the dog alone in the house because you will loose a shoe or two or all. We provided an XL crate for him, and even though he didn’t like it much at the beginning, he learned very quickly it was a safe place for him and our home. He also slept through the night in his crate. If you need a crate, please scroll down as I’m selling his for the same price we bought it for.
. He likes to chew, but doesn’t like hard toys, so I made him a few soft toys with old t-shirts. He loved them!
. He’s incredibly eager to please, and he’s incredibly sweet and mellow, so treat him well, and be firm but not rude. And I know I shouldn’t say it, but do not hit him.
. He loved our couch, and we loved sharing it with him, but if you don’t like him on the couch, then this is not the dog for you. He likes to be with you, no matter where you are.
. He’s very social, and does wonderful during walks, however he must walk with a harness and not with a collar. You will have more control with a harness, and he won’t pull much when he gets a scent. He pulls a lot when walking with a collar.
– Coonhounds like all hounds, are all about smells and scents. If he picks one on the walk he will fixate and follow it if you let him. A gentle pull on the leash followed by the command “Leave It” usually did the trick. At home be careful with leftover food and the trash bin.
. He will greet anyone he comes in contact with, including other dogs. We didn’t experience any jumping on people, he just approached them and let people pet him, however he loved his dad and did jump on him several times.
. NO SMALL KIDS around Copper. A couple of times we experienced encounters with small kids, and he was terrified of them. Something happened to this dog in the past, that made him react this way, and it probably has to do with kids. He’s apprehensive around school buses and we noticed he ran the other way when in the presence of one. Something to consider.
. He’s attracted to pickup trucks, which leads me to believe his previous owner had one?
. He needs space, but he’s an indoor dog, NOT an outdoor one. That also means no apartment. If you don’t want to share your home with him and are thinking about shoving him outside and pet him only when you remember you have a dog, then this is not the dog for you. He craves human interaction.
. At the end of the day, when he’s tired, he prefers an empty couch or lay down in his big bed right next to you on the floor, where he can stretch before hitting the crate.
. TV noise calms him down! Us watching TV was like a sleeping pill for him.
. He’s strong, VERY strong. He has very strong and powerful muscles on those legs, and huge paws, so his new mom or dad must know how to control such powerful dog, otherwise he will drag you around.
. He’s a people’s stopper! Because how beautiful and sweet he is, be prepared during your daily walks to stop and socialize. He loves it!
. Loves to go for car rides! Enough said on this subject.
. Hates baths, but he will put up with them if there is a yummy reward after =)
. He slobbers, and sheds a lot! Daily cleaning and vacuuming are a must.
. His energy level is high, very high! That’s where structure and training come in place. He would benefit from basic training, and he needs a structured daily routine, for eating, walking, etc.
. He doesn’t bark much, but when he does BE PREPARED because he’s loud and howls like a wolf.
. He snores when he sleeps, so cute!
. I don’t know if Copper is house-trained, but he did pretty good with us. Only had a couple of accidents, and I recon it was my fault for not paying attention to the signs. If he needs to go, he starts passing back and forth. When he gets desperate he whines and then complete silence, which you know what it means.
. Please do not change his name! Lots of thought went into picking his name, and he already started responding to it. Plus it fits him perfectly!
. If you or any family member suffers from asthma, do not adopt Copper! I would hate for him having to go back to the adoption center.
If you cannot commit to him after reading all this, please do not break his heart like we did. Just look for another dog and let the right family adopt him. Again I would hate for him having to go back to the adoption center.
Where can you find Copper
Copper is currently at the Michigan Humane Society in Rochester. For more info please visit the MHS website here. His ID in case you need to call is 845265.
I’m selling the XL crate for Copper and Copper only for $55. This is a heavy, metal crate with plastic floor and two gates for convenience. You would need to provide a soft XL large bed for it. You won’t find it cheaper than that on any store. Please contact me if you want to purchase the crate after you adopt Copper.
If you can…
I know it’s going to sound stupid and probably I am a bit, but if you adopt Copper and if you don’t mind, I would love to be a part of his life somehow. So please contact me. I would love for Copper to visit once in a while, go for walks and who knows, maybe we become friends thanks to him.
I’m committed to repair the damage I’ve caused to Copper. He didn’t do anything wrong at all and is probably puzzled and sad by what happened. He was actually the perfect dog for us, and I’m 100% sure, if my son wasn’t tremendously allergic to him, he would be sitting next to me right now slobbering my pants and leaving hairs all over the place.
If you reading this adopt Copper, don’t forget to keep me posted, as I want to make sure he finds the right home. If you have questions, please feel free to ask. Don’t forget to share! We need to find this amazing dog a forever home, where he can grow old and be happy.