If Murphy’s the Cutest Dog in the World…

than Kota’s got to be the best behaved.


I adopted Dakota, a7 year-old, 85 lb. chocolate lab, this past weekend from Carolina Area Rescue and Adoption. He was abused as a puppy and then adopted by a man who now can no longer care for him due to a broken hip. He’s been in a foster home for a while now, and I’m so excited to have found such an amazing buddy for Murph.

He clearly has been trained before, as he responds to sit, down, stay and we’re working on wait. He wanders around the house, but despite being as big as he is has never once tried to get anything off the counter. Monday, the first full day I had him, I headed to work with Murph in his crate and Kota just loose. I returned to find the apartment looking exactly like it did before I left. Seriously did not touch a thing. Didn’t go to the bathroom anywhere, didn’t get into any of my cabinets, and didn’t chew up ANYTHING. I don’t even want to think about what would happen if Murph were left alone for the day. So his daytime house manners definitely earn a 9. I’m hoping this rubs off on Murph, as when he’s around big dogs he tends to just follow them around and do whatever they do. This could be excellent…

When we’re hanging out in the apartment he’s just as quiet as Murph, which is perfect. One thing that’s great about Murph is the lack of barking. Occasionally (but very rarely) he’ll bark when he hears other dogs outside the door, but for the most part he’s pretty quiet. So I definitely didn’t want a dog who barked. Dakota most definitely doesn’t.

He wasn’t crate trained when I got him, but I picked up a crate yesterday to help him and Murph socialize, and he went right in and laid down. Stayed in there for a while even with the door open! Took literally no adjustment, and I can leave him in there with Murph roaming around and he just lays there silently. He has an extra bed on the porch, and when I put him out there he just hangs out, occasionally sitting at the door letting me know he wants in, but never a bark. When he’s in the apartment he tends to just crash right next to wherever I am. Doesn’t get into anything, doesn’t drag my underwear out in front of guests, and doesn’t get into all my bags. Definitely a 10.


When we walk, he walks right beside me, and doesn’t flatten himself against the ground trying to pull away like Murph does. He’ll run if I want to, but is just as content walking next to me. Only downside, he pees about 8 times per walk. He is most definitely a territory marker. But overall I’d rate the walking an 8.

That being said, he does struggle with other dogs. He’s fine once he takes a while to get to know them, but right off the bat there’s definitely an instinctive fear (they believe it’s a result of the abuse). While definitely making the socializing of the two pups a bit difficult, one of the things I liked most about getting Murph as a pup was the training. I don’t know if it’s the teacher in me or what, but I really enjoy it. So I see this as a challenge, but definitely not something we can’t work through. Already the two of them are getting better, although they definitely have some room to grow. Right now I’d rate their friendship a 3. They’re alright when one of them is in a crate, and they’ve even gone on a walk together (with two people- each of us holding only one dog) but unfortunately there has been some growling so I mostly keep one of them contained at a time.

I’ll keep you posted on their status towards becoming BFFs!




  1. i was waiting for you to do this!!! so excited for your cute little family!

    i am, however, disappointed that your newfound love of pitbulls did not make the cut on the rating scale 😉


  2. Oh my gosh you already got to bring him home! It sounds like things are off to a wonderful start 🙂 I’m so excited to meet him. This totally makes me want to get a second dog.

  3. E-mail I received from my sister today… (and her point is well taken)

    I’m glad that he is so well trained and easy mannered because I’m sure it makes what is already a hard adjustment with two dogs somewhat easier. I think you should change your post though because the whole time you are just describing Dakota and saying how murph would never do those good things or listing all the bad things murph does. Murphy called this morning and said he is a little upset about how he is portrayed in that post because despite his occasional bad behavior he is still a loving, adorable dog and keep in mind he is only about to be two and Dakota is 7. Murph still has some growing up to do.

    Have a good day.


  4. Murphy is indeed an AWESOME dog, largely a tribute to his Mom! Good going, Janice. I cannot think of many dogs Murphy’s age who are so well adjusted and so perfectly behaved. He’ll be a good influence on Dakota 🙂
    Thanks for being there for Dakota. He is a lucky dog to be a member of your family. And, yes, Dakota is a very good boy who is trying hard to grow beyond his scarey distant past.

  5. Janice, thanks for giving Dakota a loving home. I guess I would be his sister as my brother is the man with the hip. Because of his lousey beginnings, he has no reason to trust people and yet he does. I would love to have had him as an addition to our family, but one of my three makes Dakota look like a kitten when new dogs come around. It just wasn’t safe.
    I’ll be watching for updates, it’s like having him near.

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