Meet Captain. He is now 11.5 weeks old, and joined our family at 10 weeks. His dad is a beagle, his mum half beagle and half cavalier. Other than the usual puppy pooping, chewing, peeing routine - which is to be expected, of course - he has been pretty easy-going and absorbed into our family fairly well.
Captain is still working out ways of escaping the backyard fencing - which I spent many hours concocting with 1.8m chicken wire, galvanised staples, a hammer, a heavy-duty stapler and staples, plus some tent pegs. The tent pegs haven't quite made it all the way around, so whenever he finds a spot that can be breached, he does, and then I know where to fix next! When he gets out, though, he just finds his way back to the front door to be let inside. While he is now a member of our family, and everyone helps, Captain is really here for Ash.
A 7 year old boy with high-functioning autism heading into year 2 of primary school can really do with a best friend.
Ash has always been drawn to dogs, though he likes all animals, and the unconditional love offered by a dog is ideal for bringing out the empathy that doesn't always come naturally on the spectrum. Plus, beagles (or, in our case, a beagle-heavy cross breed!) are very clever. In addition to that, there is a beagle on board in Star Trek Enterprise, which makes them surprisingly appealing to the sci-fi loving cat loving geek of the house. Bonus ;)
With Minecraft obsessions reaching a high around here, Captain has also been a welcome reason to get outside, which I'm glad of! Our back yard is sprawling and hilly, and great fun for all the pets. And now we have four chooks, as well, which completes our menagerie of 5 people, 2 cats, 4 chooks and a dog.