And to think someone GAVE HER AWAY!

When I came home from work tonight, Mark had Lucy in her kennel. The furnace repair man was here to make sure we had heat again before night fell, but Lucy thought he was here to visit her. Since she doesn’t know enough to stay out from underfoot in situations like this, her kennel was the best place for her.

But she heard me come in the door. She heard me speaking. That’s when the whining and wailing and gnashing of teeth began. How could we possibly expect her to stay locked up when Mommy had just arrived home? She protested her inability to love me to death as is her habit when I come home for the night. She protested loudly and pitifully.

Finally, I could take it no more. I found the baby gate and positioned it in the family room doorway so she could be a little more free, but still out of the repair man’s way. I let her loose and she charged me with reckless abandon, her little doggie butt swaying from side to side with the force of her tail wagging as she tried to wrap her body around my legs.

When I stepped over the gate to go upstairs for just a moment, I heard a crash. She had charged the gate, not even bothering to go see the repair man. No, she came sailing up the stairs and plastered herself to my legs as if I’d been gone for months instead of moments.

This is why I needed a dog. Not just any dog. I needed Lucy. She loves her people fiercely! I’m not gonna lie. I love the fact that I seem to hold the most loved position in her eyes. Could have something to do with the fact that I’m mostly the one who brings her for her double-u – ay – el – kays. Could have something to do with the fact that I spoil her like a baby, constantly bringing home new toys, rawhide chews, bones and a pretty red doggie jacket that she tried to chew off her own body when I put it on her. Maybe not so much love over the jacket…

She’s cuddly. She’s got personality. She just loves life! Every time she goes outside and sees the snow still on the ground, she runs to it as if to say, “SNOW! YOU’RE STILL HERE! Let me run through you and sniff you and eat you and come to the door with little ice crystals on my nose looking all so cute and adorable!” (Okay, maybe she doesn’t say that last part. I do.) I needed someone like Lucy to fill in the empty spaces in this sometimes empty house.

She loves to sit below the deck and catch the falling snow as it is shoveled over the edge. She loves to chase the snow shovel you might be using and show it who is boss. She’s scared of snowman decorations and scared of Jake when he’s wearing his bulky black Carhardt jacket. She’s so cute. She’s so cuddly. She’s so easy to love. She makes us laugh.

Especially when she barks …

… at the toast as it pops out of the toaster!

I’m so glad she found us!

Wait a minute…

I swear this blog is not going to become a total dog blog! But something struck me as odd after Rock Chef made a comment on my last post. I had written that at four months, Lucy is still a baby. RC remarked that if she is only four months, we are going to have a fair-sized dog on our hands soon.

Something was nagging at me as I thought about RC’s remark. I’ve had a dog before. We brought Shelby home when she was maybe eight or ten weeks old. (And dang, was she CUTE!) So I have some experience with puppies and how they grow and develop. I started thinking about Lucy, her behavior and such. She doesn’t seem to know her name very well, but I’m thinking she’s only had that name since she came to her foster family just a few weeks ago. She walks fairly well on the leash. She gets rambunctious and pulls a lot, but she does what she’s supposed to do when I tell her to heel. She understands “NO” and stops when she hears it. And she is amazing at sitting! Someone worked hard on “SIT” before she came to us. She sleeps all night and is mostly house trained. She definitely has some puppy habits, like trying to get away with chewing on Mark’s shoes and she still sleeps a lot and loves to cuddle.

But could she really only be four months?

I decided to look through all of the paperwork that was left with us when Lucy arrived. There are two veterinary forms in the folder. One is dated October 1st and shows that Lucy had a microchip implanted. That report states that her birth date is March 21, 2011, which means that Lucy is really seven months old, not four.

A second veterinary report, from a different clinic than the first and dated October 10th states that Lucy’s age is three months. That report also states that she is a Bloodhound, not a Boxer/Lab mix as we were told. But it clearly describes her markings, so I’m sure the two reports are for the same dog.

My gut says that Lucy is closer to seven months than four. What do you think?

I plan to take her to our own vet soon, just to have her checked over. Maybe our vet can clear up this mystery. And as for her breed? Well, that was always just a guess anyway. At this point, it really doesn’t matter. Lucy is a member of the family now, regardless of her bloodlines.

A Little Bit of Everything

So just in case you were wondering, the tin can telephones were a big hit with my boss. I had them set up on his desk when he arrived and he immediately blamed one of my coworkers, telling her, “No one but you would actually spend time putting these together just to play a joke on me.”

She insisted it wasn’t her and by this time, she and I were laughing so hard, my boss knew who was the culprit. He was a good sport about it and immediately ran the other end of the “phone” to another office. He left it out all day and various other people would come by and have a good laugh while my boss demonstrated how his new gadget worked.

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A parade of Kacey’s friends came through this weekend. Everyone wanted to meet the new puppy. Some of the kids ended up just hanging out for a while. I really like these kids. They are all so polite and they’re just good people. They are all unique in their own ways and they are so accepting of others. They all affectionately refer to me as “Ter” which started out as a joke with Kacey. You know… it’s funny to call Mom “Ter” instead of “Mom.” But it sort of stuck and I didn’t mind, so that’s what they all call me.  Kind of eliminates that whole question about whether they should call me Mrs. Kacey’s Mom or Terri or what. It’s Ter.

On Saturday night, one of the boys came to hang out with Kacey and Connor since his girlfriend had to work. The three kids sat with me in the living room and talked to me about college and life and their friends and the future. Normally, I would make myself scarce when Kacey’s friends come to hang out. If they are upstairs, I go down, or vice versa. But they chose to be where I was that night – with Lucy – so we all hung out together. I recognized it as a very rare occurrence and felt so honored to be welcomed into their conversations. I just love those kids!

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We’re having a blast with Lucy. The rescue group asked for a family picture for the website. (Yes, minus Brad. He doesn’t come home often enough so he’s missing from the family photo. Bummer.) But look how happy we all are!

Lucy’s foster mom also asked that Lucy get a Facebook account so she could see pictures as Lucy grows. So Lucy has her own Facebook page! (I know. This is sort of ridiculous, but it’s way more fun than updating my own Facebook page.)

And remember how Mark was hesitant about the idea of getting a dog? Yeah… look how hesitant he is now!

We go for daily walks and spend time playing in the back yard and after all that, Lucy is so worn out she sleeps like a baby! Well, because she is one!

And she’s still sleeping through the night.

In our bed.

Yep. Our bed. Even though Mark said she couldn’t sleep in the bed. He’s a sucker. So am I. And Lucy is one happy puppy.

At four months, she’s really still a puppy and she’s reminding us of all the things we’d forgotten about having a puppy. Like when we go for a walk, she thinks that everything of interest needs to be in her mouth. She’s been good for us for the most part. Mark has learned to put his shoes in the closet instead of leaving them in the foyer, lest Lucy decides to munch on them. I bought her some rawhide chew bones tonight and now she is happily chewing away on one of those instead.

The cat has established his dominance. He’s happy and all is well for now!

Lucy’s Home

It’s amazing what happens when you tell your family, friends and coworkers that you’ve taken the leap and you’re going to get a dog. Those people divide into two camps. First there are the non-dog people. They raise their eyebrows at your news. They ask things like, “You know dogs are a lot of work, right? You know they shed all over your house, right? Who’s going to pick up the poop?” One well-meaning cousin even felt obligated to warn me that when I might want to go out after work and have a drink, I won’t be able to because I’ll have to go home and take care of my dog first. I assured her that I could count on one hand the number of times I’ve gone out after work for a drink, so I was pretty sure I could manage.

And then there are the dog people! Their faces light up with joy at your news. They hug you. They squeal with delight and tell you how happy they are for you. When you decide to become a dog owner, you suddenly become a member of a vast and varied group of people who suddenly have so much to talk about with you.

I like it!

Lucy’s arrival felt like the most anticipated dog adoption ever! All week long people asked about her. “Are you getting her? When do you get her? Are you excited?” One person even marveled at how I was able to come to work on Friday. When I asked why I wouldn’t, she said, “Because you’re getting your puppy tonight!”

She made me laugh. As much as I was looking forward to Lucy’s arrival, I certainly didn’t feel the need to take an entire day off work to wait for her. She wasn’t even coming until the evening anyway!

After work I did begin to get anxious for her to come. And she arrived right on time with her foster mom. She was smaller than I remembered and I was surprised at how mellow she was. I expected her to come bounding up the stairs from the entryway and begin to sniff out all of the new smells. Instead, she creeped slowly up the stairs and cautiously explored her new surroundings.

Lucy’s foster mom and I talked. She filled me in on all of Lucy’s immunizations, the fact that she’d been spayed and that she already has a microchip. She apologized when she gave me the rules about what to do if I decided I didn’t want her after all, telling me that I would be obligated to return her to the rescue group. She said she didn’t want me to think she expected such a change of heart but that she was obligated to make me aware of the rules of the adoption agreement. While we went over the particulars, Lucy got to know Kacey and Mark. And when all the business was taken care of, Lucy’s foster mom told her she was all mine.

I’m sure Lucy wondered about her new surroundings. After all, for the past couple of weeks in her foster home, she was surrounded by five other dogs. She checked things out while we followed her around the house and told her what was okay and what was not.

We told her the new bed was for her,

and so were the toys,

but that the kitchen counter was a big NO-NO! (She understands “NO” and listens well.)

Lucy also quickly figured out that there’s a cat in the house (who is none too thrilled with the new addition to the family.) Lucy really wanted to meet Tigger, but Tigger was having none of it and hid under my bed.

Before we called it a night, Lucy also got to meet some of Kacey’s friends. We were so happy to see that Lucy just wants to be friends with everyone she meets.

She only whined a little bit when I closed her in her kennel for the night. Not knowing how she might behave if left to wander the house, I decided it was best to keep her confined overnight. I placed the kennel where she could see me sleeping in my bed and she settled down quickly and slept all night long.

This morning, we went for a walk and Lucy explored her new neighborhood. When we got home, she ran up and down the yard along the fence with her new neighbor dog, Kona and she played with a tennis ball, sneaking up on it and pouncing on it like a cat.

This afternoon, she has completely conked out! I think we’ve worn her out!

I am sure happy she’s here!

 

Sliding Right Down the Slippery Slope of Dog Adoption

Yep. It’s happening. Doesn’t even seem like it was just yesterday that I decided I was seriously ready to look for a dog. And for the record? I discussed my desire for a dog with Mark. He was quiet at first. He studied my face for a few minutes before telling me that if I wanted a dog, I should get a dog. I really did not expect this reaction from him. I think he’d be content to remain dogless.  That’s not to say he doesn’t like dogs. He loves them. But having Shelby put down was really difficult for him. So I know what a big deal it was for him to agree to give his heart to another dog.

Since then, I’ve poured over the pet-adoption websites and fallen in love several times over.

Unfortunately for Mason …

… I can no longer consider him. He is an American Staffordshire Terrier. I put his picture up on my FaceBook page and someone commented, “He’s a cutie, but you know that’s a Pit Bull, right?”

Nope. I did not know that. I did a little research and technically the breed is not the same as a Pit Bull, but it’s a relative. And Pit Bulls have a sketchy reputation. The websites can tell me all they want that these are great dogs, gentle and sweet. But I’ve heard one too many stories about Pit Bulls turning aggressive and attacking. I’d just rather not take the risk.

Kacey advocated all day long for Adam.

I reminded her that Adam is nine weeks old. That’s just like having a baby in the house. I can’t go to work all day long and think that a baby will be all right on his own. Granted, Jake is home during the day most days, but he sleeps a lot. It just wouldn’t work and it wouldn’t be fair to the dog. Also? Adam is a mixed breed, including, you guessed it. Pit Bull.

There are an abundance of Pit Bulls available for rescue, let me tell you!

So we were feeling a little frustrated, Kacey and I. (She had one class today and from what I can tell, spent the majority of her afternoon perusing adoptable dogs and passing their info on to me via text message.)

And then I saw her.

Adopt a Pet ::  Sarah Pie - Oakdale, MN -  Boxer/Labrador Retriever Mix

The adopt-a-pet website said that her name was Sarah Pie and that she is a Labrador Retriever/Boxer mix.  I got all squishy over her. I texted Kacey her picture and she got all squishy over her. I took the leap and emailed an inquiry to the contact, Ashley, who as it turns out (long story) is someone I sort of know. Ashley responded almost right away. She was excited that I was interested in Sarah Pie, provided some details, and copied the dog’s foster mom on the email so that we could work out a time for me to meet the dog.

Foster Mom then emailed me to say, “Hey, I’d be happy to show you the dog in my care, but her name is Lucy Pie, not Sarah Pie.”

She described the dog and said they would be at a nearby pet store tomorrow for an adoption event if I wanted to come see them. She also told me to check out the dog’s original and accurate listing on another website. The dog she described sounded the same as the one I saw listed as Sarah Pie, so I told her I would plan to come visit her and Lucy at the adoption event.

I then visited the other website which belongs to the agency for which Ashley works. My heart sank. Lucy’s description said she was a Labrador Retriever/American Staffordshire Terrier mix. I was so disappointed. But I emailed Ashley to explain about the different descriptions of Lucy’s breeds on the two websites. I asked if she could confirm whether or not Lucy truly had some Am Staff in her. Hours later, I had not heard a word from Ashley. I thought maybe she was avoiding giving an answer I didn’t want to hear.

Meanwhile, Kacey came home from school. When I got home from work, I explained what I’d learned about Lucy and said I didn’t want to consider her any longer, but that we would still go to the adoption event and check out the other dogs. She was disappointed, but understood. Then I thought I’d check my email one more time.

I was surprised to see another email from Ashley. She had written back to explain that she works at two animal emergency clinics in our area. After receiving my last email, she met with some of the doctors to ask about Lucy’s breeding. They all agreed that Lucy was most likely a Boxer/Lab mix. One doctor thought she was probably a Boxer/Beagle/Lab/Hound mix, to be very specific. Ashley said that determining a rescued dog’s breeding is always a best guess, but that they have quite a few Pit Bulls in rescue and that Lucy does not seem to have any Pit in her whatsoever. She said the description on the website was incorrect.

I told Ashley that was good news and that Kacey and I were looking forward to meeting Lucy at the adoption event. She was very excited to hear that and told me, “I hope it goes well and you are obviously approved for adoption if you fall in love!”

That made me laugh. I don’t think it’s quite that easy. I still have to fill out my adoption application and get a couple of references (one from the vet.) I’m trying to remind Kacey (and myself) that it’s unlikely that the first dog we see ends up being the perfect fit and we take her home. But I think it’s pretty obvious. We’re going to be dog people again!

She loves him

It’s another perfect day. I arose with the sun and went out for a run beside the Union Pacific this morning. The mist was still evaporating from the fields, rising toward the sky. Did you know the early morning has its own scent? It’s spectacular. I couldn’t get enough of it today. I had a great run and when I came home, I found a couple of sleeping beauties on my living room floor. I think Dacotah has missed Brad since he’s been home from school.

IMG_0220 by you.

IMG_0221 by you.

IMG_0222 by you.

Puppy Love

Meet Dacotah, our weekend visitor.

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She’s so cute! She was ever concerned that someone may be in need of their shoes and she made sure to deliver them.

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She’s really smart too and made us laugh when she mimicked Jake.

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We all fell in love with her and were sad to see her go when Brad and Heather left to go back to school.

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I offered to let Dacotah stay with us until school lets out in a few weeks, but Heather politely declined. That’s probably a good thing. The cats would never forgive me.