You probably all know how hard it is to lose a dog, even if they’ve lived a long and happy life. It’s wrenching. Dogs (and cats) are part of the family, they become woven into the fabric of our lives, of our homes, of our hearts. For five years now, we’ve had either two or three dogs.
Last summer, we lost Blonde Bella. Bella was half of a bonded pair that we adopted from Lab Rescue of LRCP almost six years ago. We still have the “other half” of the bonded pair, Midnight Mia. She’s eleven now, but still going strong. She doesn’t seem eleven. She doesn’t have much white on her muzzle, bounces around with the other dogs in typical Lab fashion. She likes to steal food out of the dog food bins – knocking off the lids, nudging them aside, bumping them till they fall over. She’s quite a clever girl.
We also have, as many of you know, a two-year-old Irish Water Spaniel, Tucker. IWS’s (not to be confused with ROUS’s) are rowdy, happy, clowny, non-stop fun.
And yet, the house seemed empty after Bella crossed the Rainbow Bridge. I was used to walking three dogs in between writing binges. I’d write a while, walk a dog, write some more, walk a dog, write for another stretch then – you guessed it – walk a dog. Now, I was in danger of gaining weight because, hey, one less dog to walk!
Writing is solitary and many who do it are introverts. They don’t mind spending hour upon hour alone.
Me? Not so much. I’m an off-the-charts extrovert.
I have to go have Starbucks every morning so I can talk to the barristas and any neighbors I happen to run into there. Walking the dogs lets me run into MORE neighbors (or strangers who like dogs) and have a chat.
That means I get to feed my extrovert side in between writing time where the only people I talk to are those in my head. Too much solitude and I actually CAN’T write. I’ve learned that the need for the real humans must be met in order to keep on putting the fictional ones on the page.
Right after the New Year, (which, for us, came in with a few too many nasty surprises, alas!), we decided we needed a Happy 2018 present. We needed something to keep us positive.
We decided to go back to the fab folks at Lab Rescue and get another dog. With Mia at 11 and Tucker at 2, we thought it would be great for Tuck to have a slightly younger companion to romp with and that, in turn, would give Mia a break from his insistent, and near-constant demand to PLAY!
We thought we were so smart…we went to an adoption event. So lovely! But by the time we got there, 90% of the dogs were adopted. Yay, Lab Rescue! But Curses, Foiled Again! for us! So we went on the Lab Rescue site and started talking to both our initial rescue coordinator from 5 years ago (yep, still coordinating!) and a new coordinator as well because we’d asked – foolish humans! – about a bonded pair that seemed perfect for us.
We hadn’t planned to adopt two more dogs. Nope. Just one. But those two seemed like they’d fit right in. Too bad they’d been adopted already. Sigh.
BUT…said the coordinator, there was a new pair coming in.
They’d come from West Virginia.
Their owner had died and they were bereft….
We were totally smitten with those faces, and heartbroken over their story. On one of the coldest days in January, we loaded our dogs and our boys into two cars and drove nearly 2 hours away to see this pair. Our dogs played with them, our boys played with them. We played with them. Everyone decided it was a good fit, and home everyone came to their forever home with us.
There were a few bumps in the road – chewed boots, disappearing socks
, shredded toys – but a month in, I’ve now got four walkies on my writing days rather than three, and a veritable wolfpack of fun to keep me laughing when I’m here in the writing cave.
So, Mia, Daisy (a 2 y/o blonde darling), Dakota (a 4 y/o, huge, black, gentle giant) and Tucker have forever homes here at Chez Adams, and I may actually meet my New Years Resolution of going down another pant size, thanks to all those walkies!
Have you ever adopted a dog from a rescue group?
What about a shelter?
If you’ve bought from a breeder, what breed did you get?
If you’re thinking about a pet, please, please, please do NOT buy from pet
stores – a friend just had a heartbreaking, nightmare of a situation, which reinforced the stereotype of puppy-mill-puppies being sickly. PLEASE!!! Go through a reputable breeder, or a reputable rescue group like Lab Rescue and you’ll get your Happily-Ever-After Hound!
Oh….and Happy New Year to all the Pens Paws and Claws readers!
(As you can see, Tucker believes ALL the dog beds are his for 2018!)