Wow, it’s been 2 weeks since I posted on the blog! Work and life have been busy. September is so full of extra activities with the transition to fall and the return of school schedules, there haven’t been many free moments to conceive of blog ideas, let alone time to write!
Dennis and I have been thinking and talking about adding a dog to our family for several months. The kids have been asking for about a year, but we were taking our time and thinking through the changes to our life and routine. Since this summer, Dennis was ready to take the plunge and I was the holdout. I knew that most of the dog care activities would fall to me, so I told him I really needed to “fall in love” with the right dog.
Yesterday we made an impromptu trip to Michael’s for Halloween decorations. We have plans to craft a bunch of black bats and put them up in our tall living room walls! Afterwards, Dennis suggested we stop by Petco to see if they had an adoption event going. Sure enough, they did. Second Chance Dog Rescue was setup out front with around 10-12 dogs. The bio for each dog was posted around the pen where the dogs slept and played with about a dozen volunteers.
I read the bio of a terrier named “Claira” and thought I spotted her in the pen too. When I inquired, they told me the dog I noted was actually her brother. Claira was bigger (although still a small dog) and was sitting next to her brother, on the lap of a volunteer. During this time, Dennis and Sienna were quite taken with another little dog. But, I only had eyes for Claira! We asked for Claira to be brought out so we could play with her.
The woman who was fostering Claira was at the event. She told us that Claira was pretty shy and timid. They were originally weary of placing her with a family with young kids, particularly because Mateo is still young. But, luckily for us, Teo was tired (it was nap time) and just about asleep on Dennis’s shoulder for most of the time we were there. Sienna sat calmly and petted Claira, until she started to demonstrate behaviors that showed the volunteers that she was comfortable and happy.
Sienna must have asked me twenty times, “Can we get her?!” When we finally said, “Yes, we’ll get her and see how it goes.” She was thrilled! She said, “This is the best day of my life! I can’t believe I’m finally getting a puppy!” We were all pretty excited.
Through this rescue there’s a 2 week period called “Foster to Own” where they’ll take the dog back if it’s not a good fit for your family. Fortunately, we seem to be a perfect fit, Claira and us. She has warmed up to all of us quickly and easily. She slept great in her doggie bed in our bedroom last night and waited to “go potty” until she was let out this morning. When we returned from our morning at church (she’d been alone in the house for 5 hours) we were met with several accidents (all on the laminate flooring since the doors to our carpeted bedrooms were all closed). So, we have to work on our routine for long days left at home.
Claira is a 7 month old puppy. She’s a terrier mix, with West Highland Terrier being the most obvious breed. She’s calm and happiest curled up next to us on the couch. She’s currently watching the Dolphins game snuggled up next to Dennis. She’s fiesty though, barking at our neighbors much bigger dogs; already protecting her family.
Reflecting on this experirence, it’s been another great example of how much better it is to trust that things will work out for the best, instead of planning and controlling big decisions. We did our research and discussed what we wanted out of a dog, but rather than plotting, planning, and forcing the process of getting a dog, I let go. Several weeks ago, I said a little prayer of surrender: “Lord, let us know when the right dog for our family comes along and just let it all work out.”
So far, so good.