Monday, February 14, 2011

Week 5 with Frank

Before we adopted Frank, we had a long list of things that we were looking for in a dog.  They included, but weren't limited to:
  • good with kids
  • energetic but not maniacal
  • large enough to go hiking with
  • small enough to cuddle
  • specific facial proportions
  • short, low-maintenance fur
  • mutt rather than pure-bred
  • adult rather than puppy
  • good with cats
After we met Frank, we readjusted our thinking on the adult dog vs puppy factor, but otherwise, maintained our list of requirements.  The final adult size of our dog was one of the big considerations for us.  We wanted a dog who could keep up with us on outings at the local state parks but have no interest in bagging doggy do that rivals the size of our own wastes.  Great Danes and chihuahuas were both out.

When we met Frank at the shelter, one of the things we liked about him was that he was right on target for how big our puppy should be at the age they had listed for him.  We sifted through a lot of websites searching for calculators to help us determine how big Frank would be.  This was a key factor in our decision-making process because the shelter had him listed as a "hound-labrador" mix.  The shelter estimated that he would be a 50lb adult dog.

Based on the formula:

(weight in lbs / age in weeks) * 52 weeks = adult weight in lbs

We figured that 7.5lb Frank, at the 14 weeks they had his age listed at would be about 28lbs when grown.  Our vet agreed that at 4 months, or 16 weeks, a puppy ought to be about half of his adult weight if he's a medium-sized breed. 

"Great!" we thought.  25-30lbs was exactly what we were looking for.  35lbs would definitely qualify as larger than anticipated, but do-able.  We were certain we had our dog.  After being seen by multiple vets during our first few weeks, we were further reassured that he would be small as each and every vet said, "Hound/labrador mix?  Are they nuts?  This is a beagle."  Beagles top out at 25-30lbs usually.  Perfect!

Let's rewind now, to that first vet visit.  Remember how they held off on the rabies shot because the vet felt certain that Frank wasn't 14 weeks yet?  The vet said that when his front teeth become loose or are lost, that's when we'll mark 16 weeks of age.  Guess what.  Yeah.... Frank, 5 weeks after being adopted, STILL hasn't lost a single tooth, and more to the point, none are even the smallest bit wiggly.  So our dear little puppy is WAY younger than we all guessed or his teeth are WAY behind normal development.  The vet is still thinking that young is more likely than odd.

So let's run that math again.

(12.5lbs/14weeks)*52weeks = 46lbs of adult dog.

Are you noticing what I'm noticing?

Even if I run the numbers with a generous 15 weeks of age, I still come up with 43lbs of adult dog.  Um, Frank? Could you please start losing your teeth soon?  I don't want to end up with a 100lb beagle.  Thanks!

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