Monday, May 16, 2011

Going to the dogs....

I have been a lax blogger lately. I haven't posted anything since last Tuesday. In my defense, however, I have been preoccupied. Ruanita and I decided last weekend that the time had finally come to get a dog. Every waking moment since then has been spenting perusing dogs online. Looking at pictures. Reading about breeds. Mentally preparing myself for another household member.

Saturday, the day finally arrived and Ruanita, the kids, and I drove all the way to Maple Grove to attend an adoption event through Homeward Bound Animal Rescue. We expected a lot of people and dogs there, but we were not at all prepared for the utter chaos that unfolded around us. We had a dog in mind already. A yellow lab/shepherd cross named Lila. As were were standing around watching wire kennels being set up before the dogs were brought in, we began chatting with an older couple waiting near us. As it turned out, they had also come with the intention of adopting Lila. My heart sank. What happens when more then one person wants the same dog? It's not like a dog is the latest toy at Christmas that we can wrestle for. How does one respectfully decide who gets the dog?

When the dogs were eventually—finally—brought in, we recognized Lila right away. She was larger and furrier than she appeared in her picture. However, she was extremely friendly and sweet. We both stood there awkwardly petting her through the kennel cage, obviously unsure how to proceed. When they removed her from the kennel, I offered to let the other couple take her to play with her first. We would look at her second, and then decide. They walked away with Lila, while we waited patiently. As we waited, we began looking at other dogs. We played a bit with a super sweet black and white mutt named Wyatt, who was described as “pillow-like” and “not very smart.” He lounged on the floor lazily while the kids petted him. Kind of a big old marshmallow dog. Ruanita liked him. The kids liked him. I liked him, but wasn't sure that a lazy, “dumb" dog was the right one for a rowdy house full of kids. As we were putting Wyatt back in his kennel, amidst the constant barking and yapping from the 60+ other dogs in the building that was beginning to give me a headache, I noticed a small yellow dog in the kennel behind his. She looked like a lab, but was much smaller than I would expect a lab to be. Perhaps a puppy?

I asked if I could see the little yellow lab, and we brought her over to a quiet (somewhat) spot to play with her. She immediately began kissing on the kids. She laid down to be petted. She snuggled and hugged us. We were smitten. We read her information and found that she was not a puppy. She was full-grown at about thirty-five pounds and about a year old. She was a perfect sweet little yellow lab.

When the older couple came back with Lila and offered to let us "take her for a spin," we told them that we had already found the dog for us. They could have Lila. We paid for our new doggie and waited around for what seemed like hours. As a matter of fact, it was hours. The entire process took us about two hours. In the end, we got to take our new puppy home.

We named her Stella and she is just about perfect. She is sweet. Loving. Eager to please. Not at all hyper. Not a jumper. Not a barker. She thinks she is a lap dog. She weighs about the same as Nicholas, but that does not stop her from trying to cuddle up in his lap. She is just about the perfect dog.


Our cat, however, is a different story altogether....


Madgew said...

The photo is adorable. I hope this is a true love match. A calm steady companion is a winner for you and the kids. Have fun until they want nothing to do in the care of the dog. Then it will be all yours. :) That's when I went crazy. I am not an animal lover so I was with the dog when everyone else disappeared. Not good.

Barb said...

Awwww.... great story. She IS adrorable. This makes me miss having a dog but I know I don't have the time or energy for one right now... maybe when the kids are a little older. I look forward to reading stories about your newest family member. Congratulations. She looks perfect!

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