Monday, January 9, 2017

A growing family (NOT what you think)

When we bought the house, I told H. that we needed three things immediately: a patio dining set, a barbecue and a dog. We got the barbecue, and patio sets are (too) expensive, so it was time for a dog.

I grew up with dogs, from my birth until the day I moved away, there was at least one dog in my house. H. has never had a dog. In fact, when we were dating, my family asked me how I could be with someone who liked neither dogs or beer. Or cheese. It was weird.

Anyway. Over the last few months I've been casually browsing adoption sites. I went back and forth: a dog is a huge commitment. A dog costs money. A dog will ruin Izzy's life. I told myself to stop looking. And then I looked some more.

H. and I didn't want a puppy. I love puppies. Everyone loves puppies! But I wasn't up for the training. But adopting an adult dog, when we have a small child and a cat in the house was near impossible. I think most rescues aren't willing to take a chance with a kid if they don't know the animal - and rightly so! So, at some point I gave in and started looking at puppies.

But, I was looking at small dogs, mostly terriers. I guess I have a "type" when it comes to dogs: that type has a beard. Like, a little, wirey beard. And weighs about 15 lbs.

So, one day I found my dog: "Benny". He was a 10-month old terrier mix. He was/is a-fecken-adorable. I wrote to the rescue agency, not even telling H. what I was up to. They wrote back, eventually, that I wasn't a fit because Benny should be with other dogs. Fine. They asked if I was interested in any of the other dogs, I looked and said no.

Then I looked again. And I saw Roxie.

Roxie was 3.5 years old. A sheltie mix. 35 lbs. Everything we were not looking for. But, she was good with kids, and cats, and she had the sweetest smiling face.

On November 8, I met her. On November 9, she moved in.

While we found her through a rescue, she came directly from her previous owners who had to give her up for heartbreaking and reasonable reasons. For us it meant we knew her entire history. We know she is great with toddlers. We know she is good with cats. It was fate.

Roxy (changed to a 'y' to match Izzy) fits right in. She is perfect for us: smart, patient, fun and loving. L. adores her, and she puts up with him. He wants to hug her and grab her and have her it next to him, and she quietly allows it. L. is learning about her boundaries, and she is the best teacher we could ask for.

And it is a lot of work: she's an energetic dog that needs long walks. She needs someone to play with her. She needs lots of love and affection and attention! But she's worth it. I love our long walks, snooping around the neighborhood each evening. I love hugging her and burying my face in her fur. I love telling her WHAT. A. GOOD. DOG. she is.

So, now we're a family of five. Izzy... is not happy. He's taking baby steps to accepting this change, but for the most part Roxy is terrified of him, and he hates her guts. He's so stubborn! I feel immense guilt about it, since he was my firstborn: my original furbaby, and I know he misses cuddling up to my face at 2 AM (because Roxy is in the bed and he won't come near). But, I'm hoping eventually he'll rejoin us as we snoop on the squirrels and the neighbors.

In spite of these minor challenges, we are so happy to have Roxy with us. She is - truly - the best dog. Our Foxy Roxy.

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