Today was supposed to be Exploring with a Camera day, but I’m playing hooky. You see, I’m going to for a long walk in the forest instead.
A long walk with our newest family member, Zoey, a very sweet 4.5 year old golden retriever/Australian shepherd mix dog. We brought her home from the shelter last night.
Getting a dog again was a big decision for us. Our beloved golden retriever Tasha passed away at age 14 while we were in Italy. It left such a huge whole in our hearts, we didn’t think another dog would ever measure up. (I’m tearing up just writing this. You would think more than two years later, that would go away.)
But slowly, slowly the idea of a new dog was creeping up on us. As my husband said, “No dog could ever replace Tasha, but there are other good dogs out there.” Now that I’m out hiking more, I’d love a dog companion with me in the forest. My husband loves to play fetch and frisbee. Our son is almost 12 and is excited and responsible enough to help. We aren’t traveling nearly as much as we did in Italy. So we were ready.
The search began.
We didn’t want a puppy again. Been there, done that, more than once. It would be nice to get a dog already house trained. But we didn’t want a senior dog either. After losing Tasha we didn’t want to open that whole can of worms up too soon. I really wanted to adopt a dog from a shelter if at all possible, although that can have it’s own set of challenges. But there are so many animals that need homes, it made sense to start there.
Good luck, right?
Enter Zoey. My husband found her listing in the neighboring county’s humane society last Sunday. He emailed me the link, asking what I thought. “She sounds sweet,” I answered, “But when can we get over to meet her?” Their hours were 12-5 or 6 and that didn’t work for any of our work schedules. Until yesterday, when my husband had the day off. Zoey was still there, so he went over to meet her, and fell in love.
We all went back at the end of the day, hurrying over there before they closed, to meet this dog who was seemingly perfect for us. And we brought her home.
Here’s the amazing thing… Zoey fits all of our dream dog criteria. She’s 4.5 years old, sweet and well-trained. She is spayed, house trained (already whined at the door to go out), crate trained (went right in at bedtime), doesn’t jump (although does like to give kisses, if you get your face down close enough to hers), doesn’t bark (as of yet) and rode well in the car. She sits, waits and drops items on command. She loves to fetch and wants to play. She seems ok on the leash, but I’ll check that out further this morning. We’ll have to be careful with her around other dogs, it sounds like she can be over-excited/nervous, and keep her from small children. That’s why she was in the shelter: The couple who had raised her from a puppy had a baby and she never adjusted well. She likes adults (especially women) and older kids. She is great with Brandon.
She’d been there a little over a week, and we were amazed she was still there, after we met her and saw how sweet and well-behaved she was. The people at the shelter thought it was the issue with young children… A lot of the families who want to adopt dogs have young kids. We don’t have any very small children in our life, so that’s not an issue for us. Somehow, I get the feeling she was just waiting there for us to bring her home.
So I’m out of here… Off to go on a hike with Zoey. Exploring with a Camera can wait until tomorrow. I’ve more pressing matters to attend to.