This is a shot of him meeting our German Shepherd when we first brought him home.
He is our three (or four) year old Poodle rescue and the newest member of our family.
We have been considering the idea of adopting a rescue for a while and visited a local shelter and also spoke with a few private dog rescues in the area.
Things work a little bit differently here than most other places, probably because there is such a large volume of dogs that are surrendered, and dog fighting is an actual thing that happens. Generally, I think I tend to think of myself as fairly experienced, maybe even borderline sophisticated, and then something reminds me that really, I am a girl who grew up in a safe and sleepy town in the midwest, and I don’t understand how the world works outside of that little bubble.
Our first twenty-four hours went very well. The kids are already completely in love, and HW too, much more than I would have guessed. Our faithful shepherd is warming up. She seems to think of him as another being she is responsible for keeping safe, and it looked like she was herding him in the yard earlier. She has been extremely gentle and patient, and didn’t bat an eye when he growled at her the first time she sniffed his butt. She really is the most incredible dog.
They haven’t played together yet, but they have interacted and even shared food droppings from the table (I try, but with two toddlers, food falls). They slept a few feet away from each other in our room last night without crates, and when the kids napped this afternoon they lounged near each other in the middle of the living room (ten feet away from a special expensive dog bed large enough to accommodate both of them).
It’s clear that this dog has had a rough go. He is eager to please and loves affection (just like every other creature in our home). He is playful and so, so sweet. He is also very jumpy. When someone knocks on the door, he runs and hides behind the Christmas tree. HW tried to pick him up when we first met him to carry him to the car, and he growled and snapped (one of the little kids stepped on his tail and the other explored his inner ear with a finger and he didn’t mind at all). He ate like he hasn’t been fed in days, and I think if he could spend the entire day in HW’s lap, he would. Loud noises, like knocking on the door, the sound of a popped champagne cork, those things clearly spook him. Kids laughing and running and singing and even yelling at each other does not even phase him. So I think he’s a pretty great match for us.
It is funny to see our two dogs together. Our giant, mostly black, seventy pound German Shepherd and our white fifteen pound French Poodle with curly hair and kind of a frilly hair cut.
He loves to have his belly rubbed and he is so soft. Our youngest pets him and says, “Ugh, ugh” which I think is his attempt to bark, or maybe he’s trying to repeat our “gentle, gentle.” The older toddler follows him everywhere and keeps one hand on his back at all times. And he loves to watch our older son build things, which is what he really wanted. Our oldest daughter has decided she would like to be in charge of feeding and watering our pets, a job she takes extremely seriously.
So now we are eight. A nice even number.
HW wonders how we go to be those people, the people who wear their babies and write notes from kindness elves and send out holiday and Christmas cards from UNICEF and adopt stray dogs.
The truth is, we’ve always been those people, and having someone who supports us and is really on our side has allowed that to come out. A pretty great thing.
Also, in case you are starting to think my life is purely rainbows and butterflies, feel free to check out my other post on thefeministrosary.com.
Be kind, friends.