I have grown up with dogs my entire life. I once also had a cat, but quickly learned that a severe allergy would prevent any furry feline from providing me with playful purrs.
I’m starting this series of posts mainly to tell the story of the “trials and tribulations” of our recent adoption of Hanna, the 6-year-old black lab. She has been with us just over 3 weeks and has made some remarkable progress integrating into our lives – including the life of the world’s most spoiled and pampered pup, Stardust.
But first, a little background.
and I have both had dogs of our own, and a dog we have raised together (the pampered one). When we met, I had Shocko, a 13-year-old golden retriever/lab mix who was near the end of her days and who was the pup-love of my life.
I have to admit that although I loved her more than any dog I’d ever known, I didn’t give her the kind of love that she truly deserved as a dog. Mostly from lack of knowledge and experience. She still turned out to be a sweet, gentle soul – even though plagued with separation anxiety because of various circumstances in my life and hers. She’s been gone 5 years this September and I still miss her every day.
Chuck also had a beloved pet – Samantha. Like, Shocko, Samantha was raised from a pup and was the family dog for nearly 17 years. Chuck brought her into mine and Shocko’s life in 2006. She was nearly 11 when I met her and still spunkier than any 2-year-old!
She and Shocko didn’t immediately hit it off – Sam needed to take a small nip at Shocko’s ear to let her know who was top dog, but after a little separation via a baby gate and then a slower introduction, they became fast friends. Sam suffered Shocko’s loss just as we did and even thought Shocko had returned when a similar golden visited us. Sam was the only dog for about 2 years and then... the princess arrived.
We were also determined to find a rescue dog, knowing that saving a life was paramount to the perfect breed.
Missing the golden retriever face, I was making it somewhat of a mission to find my perfect mixed-breed pup. We searched Petfinders.com on a fairly regular basis and almost found a little girl named “Twinkle” but were too slow and she was quickly adopted. We were also determined to find a rescue dog, knowing that saving a life was paramount to the perfect breed.
My search seemed to be fruitless because of the type of dog I was interested in. The furry little blonde puppy seemed to be a very popular type, and I was not being quite quick enough. My daughter was also feeling that it was quite important to find this pup, so she shared my mission (somewhat without my knowledge). She called one day and said, “Mom, I think I found her”.
She sent me to a page on Petfinders and BAM – in an instant my heart was stolen by a little pup currently named “Flower”. I told my daughter that I was going immediately to fill out the application and that WE would be the retriever and GET THIS DOG. After being deemed to be worthy of this adoption, the date was set for us to pick her up. Unfortunately, I had a housefull of family coming that day to rake the sea of leaves we manage to accumulate each year, and this pickup location was in Illinois near my daughter’s house.
PLEASE forgive us Cesar Millan, we still had sooo much to learn.
She was promptly excused from meeting the responsibilities of Leaf Day and was pretty much “ordered” to go GET THIS DOG. She got all of the necessary supplies (with, of course, the promise to pay her back), arrived to “view” Flower (they wanted to make sure it was a good fit) and promptly made this rescue a reality.
“Stardust” made her 2 hour ride to Wisconsin sleeping peacefully in her crate and was welcomed with an over-anxious, giddy, nearly sobbing “mom” and immediately introduced to the entire family all at once. (PLEASE forgive us Cesar Millan, we still had sooo much to learn). She arrived a princess and she remains a princess to this day just over 2-1/2 years later.
Moving right along…
We lost our beloved Samantha on March 27th. There is nothing easy about losing your pet and Chuck was particularly devastated with her loss as I was when I lost my Shock. About a week after Sam’s passing, we made the decision that we would not actively search for a dog again. We have had wonderful dogs and we have Stardust so we felt fulfilled and blessed at that. We did, however, also agree that the only way we would consider another dog would be if someone we knew told us about a dog in need of a home. And we felt comfortable with that.
Yes, you guessed it. Only a week went by.
to be continued…