Our new family member

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Early in November, I told my husband I wanted a dog for Christmas. We had tried adopting a dog from the shelter several years ago, but it was the wrong dog at the wrong time in our lives. Liam was still just a baby, and we were working too many hours to give her the time she needed. She was a previously abused young Aussie Heeler with too much energy and in need of too much attention. We ended up surrenduring her back to the shelter in only a few weeks.

But now, our lives are less chaotic. We have our structure. I work from hom 2-3 days a week. Liam is 9 now, and Alaric is almost an adult. So, Jon said "yes" - for the right dog. It had to be a young puppy, of a smart breed, with a good disposition. We did our research and decided our first choice was a Border Collie, followed by a Retriever (Golden or Lab) or a German Shepherd.

Earlier this month, Alaric and I went to Colorado Puppy Rescue to adopt a puppy. We walked in telling ourselves "We're not here to get A puppy. We are here to get the RIGHT puppy." We kept saying it was fine to walk out and come back later if they didn't have just exactly the right dog for us.

That delusion lasted until the puppies started coming out. emoticon
One look in their sweet faces was enough to shatter any illusion that we might be able to walk away. One of them was coming home with us. It was just a shame we could only take one.

It was a first-come-first serve adoption event at a local Petco. We arrived early, and were 10th on the list for about 30 puppies that day. We had three puppies we had looked at on their website and had written them down as our first choices. As we waited in line, we watched all three of them walk out with other families. Desperately, I called my husband and had him look at the website again and check for other puppies that might be good. He gave me the number of a Female German Shepherd mix that looked cute.

As the helper was handing the puppy over to me, I caught sight of this little black puppy in the cage below her. They were from the same litter - German Shepherd/Husky mix. While the other puppies lay there looking scared, she stood right at the front of the cage, ears perked up, and eyes bright and curious. Even as they handed over the puppy I had selected, I knew which one I wanted. Alaric and I played with the first one for a couple of minutes before we got up and handed her back. We pointed at the perky black one and said "That's the one we want!"

Once she was in our arms, there was nothing that was going to get her away from us. She was exactly what we wanted. Bright eyes, cuddly nature, instantly trusting and loving. We laid her on Alaric's lap, and she turned over to give us her belly to rub immediately.

We named her Kaylee, for the character in Firefly, because she is sweet and bubbly, but very, very smart.

Isn't she just gorgeous? She made herself right at home at our house. She even made friends with Merlin, our 4-year-old Balinese. He took the new addition completely in stride. I don't think he has hissed at her once, and though she's been batted in the face several times, he has never extended his claws.

She's still smaller than him, so he has the authority. At full size, she'll likely be between 50-70 lbs. Hopefully, they can stay friends as she grows.

Having a new puppy around the house is a little like having a new baby. Up at 2am for walkies, have to have someone keep an eye on her. Medical bills galore.

It's all worth it for that sweet little face.
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