This dog saved us. My son and I were reeling from life’s twists and turns, and we were trying to figure out how to be a family of two. I was also trying to figure out how to be a mother to a son who couldn’t always be with me. It was gut wrenching and stressful, but we forged ahead, what choice did we have? We were there for each other, but we were still hurting our own separate hurts.
Then it happened. We met this dog. I wanted an older dog, one who already had some training and wasn’t as high energy. House training and chewing and all the puppy stuff seemed totally overwhelming, so no puppies for us. It seemed like a good plan. We also needed a dog that was cat friendly.
We went to a local rescue organization and we walked the rows. Several animals were too large or too small or not cat friendly. Then there were those that were listed as high energy, so we took a pass on them, too. Finally, at the end of the row there was this dog.
She was adorable. She was listed as moderate energy and unknown with cats. We took her out in the play yard where she was interested in us, but not overly so. We took her into the cat area, where she was very curious, but not aggressive. We took a look at her intake sheet and learned that she was only 8 moths old and had already been returned by another family. Before that, the rescue had pulled her from the county shelter where she was slated to be euthanized. She was healthy and beautiful, how could that be?
We adopted her and she peed in the car on the way home. She also barked the whole way. Loudly. My friend met us at home, and off to the pet store we went, purchasing about $200 worth of supplies. That was on top of her (not cheap) adoption fee. Then, on top of all of that, I signed us up for obedience classes. This dog was going to need to bond with us, and what better way than through classes?
We took this dog home, and found out very quickly that she was insane. Barking, jumping, cat chasing, you name it. The mantra, “she’s only a puppy” went through my head all the time. Patience was the key to working with this dog. We took walk after walk after walk to burn off energy. Over time she became easier to live with. We kept going to training, and we found ourselves enjoying her company more and more.
Funny thing about her arrival, she showed up at a time of upheaval and stress. She created more of both, but by doing that she took the focus off the problem of the demolition of my marriage and family. She became the most urgent stressor, and therefor the one that we gave our energy to. I think that helped us heal more quickly.
This dog has been a wonderful dog. She has outgrown most of her crazy, although she is still cat insane (the kitties have found a nice new home together, and we are now a cat free household). This dog is sweet and loyal and loving. This dog is the reason I walked for miles and miles when my divorce was making me crazy, helping me to clear my head and exercise my body. This dog is a love and a joy, and I’m so glad we have her.