6 weeks ago, I was sitting down, drinking my morning coffee in peace and quiet and a thought just popped into my head - we should get a second dog!!
Okay, that obviously is not how it started. Let's try this again.
6 weeks ago, I was running around like a f*ing chicken with my head cut off, breaking up fights at 7am between my 2 older kids, while simultaneously using my free arm to pry my toddler off of the top rung of the railing of our stairs. I looked around at all of these batshit crazy children who were causing me to lose my ever-loving MIND in the wee hours of the morning before I had even swallowed a drop of coffee, and then I saw my adorable little furbaby (Dingo) laying quietly on the couch, just trying to get 5 MORE MINUTES of shuteye FOR THE LOVE OF GOD YOU INSANE, FUR-LESS BEASTS!!!!
I decided right then and there that Dingo was clearly in spot #1 on Mom's list o' favorites for the day, and that I definitely needed more kids like him (and possibly less like the 3 I had actually birthed myself...)
Between that realization, and the fact that we have gotten to know the NH wildlife up close and personal this summer (Big Bad Barry the black bear ate 75% of our flock of chickens...), we decided to go with a *bigger* dog this time that wouldn't be in danger of being carried off by a hawk.
I scoured the internet looking for HUGE dogs, and ended up falling in love with a particular rescue operation (Lucky Lab Rescue) before deciding on a specific pup. We made a short list of their available dogs to inquire about, but knowing what I do about rescues, I figured those were adopted quite quickly due to their super-cute faces. Working with our adoption coordinator, we went over exactly what our family was looking for in our new addition.
I think my list went something like this:
2. No biting
4. Somewhat housetrained
She quickly got back to me to let me know that the dogs on our list were, in fact, all adopted. She then sent me a picture of a black lab mix named Clovis. He was 60 lbs at only 6 months old, the sweetest dog ever, and had freckles on his nose.
Pretty much immediately after she said 60 lbs, I was like, "SOLD!!"
We waited a long 2 weeks for him to head north on his shuttle (No Stress Pet Express - check them out, they are AMAZING!!!) I had to pick him up in Brattleboro, VT at 8am on a Saturday morning. I woke up at 4am (after not falling asleep until 1 due to the excitement), packed the van with all of the goodies I thought he would need for an hour and a half car ride home, and headed west to get our boy. I left the kids home with their dad so that poor "Clovis" (his pre-adoption name, soon to be changed to "Deebo") was not overwhelmed with a lot of screaming and petting the second he got off of the van.
Let me tell you, watching everyone get their new babies was just as adorable and happy-cry-inducing as it seems in the videos you might come across on Facebook. The excitement was palpable. Everyone was nervous about potentially making the dogs anxious, excited about their new additions FINALLY coming home, and worried that their pups might not be as thrilled about the new match as they themselves already were.
I don't know if they just had a great group of dogs on there, but every single pup seemed uber-happy to meet their new families and there were hugs and kisses abound.
For myself, when I first saw Deebo as he got off of the van I tried to stand very still so that he could sniff me out first (pre-programmed in my brain from all of the times I have gone up to my mother's alpaca farms and we had to stand still so as not to spook the alpacas when we first enter the pen). My baby was HUGE!!!! He was also the friendliest of the bunch. He literally wanted me to walk him to each individual person so that he could lick their hand, sit on their feet, or shove himself between their legs to walk through like a tunnel. He even begged a few treats off of a lovely family who was still waiting patiently for their pup to come out.
1.5 weeks later, Deebo ("Bo", for short) is nicely settled in here in Bedlam. The house training regressed some for the first few days he was here, but after sticking with the whole "take the dog out every 15 minutes to pee, and then do a dance when he goes outside" routine, he has come along BEAUTIFULLY. He does not beg to sleep on our bed, which was a big fear of mine because there is literally NO WAY he would fit up there with us unless I kicked my husband out. He likes the walks we take him on, as long as we don't try to bring him too far - his size seems to make it a little harder for him to make it long distances, but we are working it! He hardly pays attention to our free-range chickens outside, plays (mostly) nicely with his big (littler) brother, Dingo, and is often found sprawled out on the couch in the family room while the rest of us have to sit on the floor because he takes up the whole damn thing. He is soft and cuddly and there isn't a mean bone in his entire body. (Did I mention that he won "best traveler" for the NSPE, and is now their FB profile pic??)
Basically, this particular idea of mine worked out swimmingly! Now if only our fur-less children could get on board and be just as trainable as our dogs, we'd be golden.
Please excuse me while I go pluck the lampshade off of my toddler's head.