Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Growing Family (PART 2)

So the wife and I have been discussing the dog situation on and off over the last few weeks. Again, I thought the discussions would only come to fruition AFTER we'd moved to Borderland. It seemed insane to do otherwise, not only because getting a dog would complicate the move but also because we're not supposed to have dogs at all in our current place in Tri-Metro.

Then I came home from work last week to find my wife in a very good mood. She grinned and said, "I've been doing searches on the internet. You should go see what's on your screen."

Immediately, I knew it would be a dog. And I knew that dog would be a Saint. I hung my head and trudged to my office and sat down. When my screen saver vanished I saw the face at right staring back at me. It was a 6 to 8 week old St. Bernard mixed puppy that was at a humane society a couplea-three counties away. Her name was Sadie.

Sadie at the poundMy heart both sunk and rose at the same time because: A) I knew there would be no argument that could sway my wife away from getting this dog; and B) I didn't care.

I walked back to the kitchen where the wife was waiting, eagerly looking to see the expression on my face. She practically clapped when she did.

"You know, if you wanted to get that dog," I said, "I wouldn't put up much of a fight."

We phoned the humane society the following day and put Sadie on reserve. She was supposed to wait until May 19 before she could be adopted, but because that humane society is closed on May 19, they said we could come on May 17. We lit out first thing Saturday morning.

The lady at the administration office of the couplea-three-counties-away-humane society asked us if we'd been down to the kennel section to see Sadie. We had not, as we'd been told to go to administration first. She told us we'd better go look at her to make sure we wanted her. To see if we wanted her? That sounded so insane to us. We already loved this dog and we'd only seen her picture. But we decided to humor the lady. We drove down to the kennel, averting our eyes so as not to see all the other dogs in their cages and endanger ourselves of going home with more than one. (This was a really nice humane society, by the way, situated in a very scenic county park.) Sadie was kept in the puppy/small dog section, within a concrete block building. We told the lady we were there to see Sadie. She led us into a little hall lined with cages. We kept our eyes locked only on the cage she was pointing to and within seconds we were staring at our new dog. There she was, standing up on all fours, some newspaper spread in the bottom of her cage, a bit of puppy poo smeared on her butt where she'd sat in it.

Ashley stuck her fingers through the bars and Sadie playfully licked and nipped at them. Ashley then asked if it was okay to open the cage and the attendant said it was. She reached in and petted Sadie and then I put my hand up to be sniffed and it was instead licked. That was it. As I would learn later, Ash made up her mind in that moment that there was no way we were leaving without that puppy.

"We'll be right back in just a minute and then you're coming home with us," Ashley told Sadie in a low voice.

It took only a little bit of paperwork, a check for $100 and a promise to return in a month to have her spayed, and Sadie was ours. As we went back to the kennel to pick her up, we asked the attendant if there was any idea what sort of mix Sadie was beyond St. Bernard. Her coloration is strictly black and white and saints usually have brown or reddish mixed in. I was hoping it would be a decidedly non-drooly dog, because that's one of my main memories of the wife's former pooch, Honey Bee. The wife pointed out that she could hardly be mixed with a MORE-drooly dog, so anything might be an improvement. The attendant theorized a couple of things, but we've since decided it might be border collie. Sadie has a certain look about her eyes in common with the border collie owned by some friends of ours. If she is, she'll likely grow up to be large and smart.

SadieAs you can see from this picture taken at our new place in Borderland, Sadie is cuteness incarnate. She can just take your breath away with how adorable she is. Not unexpectedly, her current nicknames are Piddles McGillicuddy and Poopsy Collins, for her repeated excretory missteps. Whatayagonnado? She's a puppy.

Sadie is very sweet, when she's not busy trying to teethe on our fingers, hands and arms. She follows us everywhere and doesn't like it when even one of us leaves the room, let alone the house. She likes her new pack all together.

Though we have friends that swear by it, neither of us are big fans of crating animals. However, on our first night with Sadie, after her long exciting day, we noticed her trying to climb into our lower kitchen cabinets to find a place to go to sleep. At that point, the wife dashed over to Wally World and picked up one of those collapsible, nylon doggie tents. She went right in and fell asleep. Much like with Baby Ian, we've been getting up twice in the night to let her go potty outside. And after three days with us, she no longer pees by the door while waiting to get out.

Being a puppy, she's often a bundle of energy and prone to biting and wrestling fits. When she starts getting too bitey with us (we have the wounds to show for it) we put her on the floor and set to ignoring her. Quite amusingly, she often takes out her frustration on her food dishes, hauling them around the room in her mouth, growling and flinging them and barking wildly, making as much noise as she can. When she's finished (and when we've caught our breaths from laughing at her) she trots back over and falls asleep at our feet.

On Sunday morning, we hauled Sadie back to Tri-Metro, where there's less carpet to endanger. She travels well, which is good, cause there's going to be a good deal of traveling for her in the next few weeks.

We're cherishing these moments when she's still relatively tiny. And to keep her as tiny as we can for as long as we can (I'd really prefer a Bonsai St. Bernard) we're following the current research in large breed dogs and feeding her Iams Extry Huge Dog Puppy Formula. The old theory used to be that you had to load large breed puppies up with calcium and calories to help them grow. Due to problems such as Honey Bee suffered from, though, it's now thought that limiting caloric intake is a good idea, to help give them time to fully develop internally. So she's got two years of this puppy food in front of her.

We love our new baby.


Anonymous said...

I love her!! Yeah, there was no way you were walking out of that shelter without her.

I resisted the crate for a while as well when I got my puppy, but got one when I noticed she liked an enclosed place to nap or just rest.

Anonymous said...

Good grief, those photos are stinkin' cute!! Congratulations!

tiny robot said...

That is one cute pup!

Anonymous said...

What a Cutie McBeauty! Enjoy your adventures with your new sweetie pup.

Mary Ellen said...

Oh, so cute!! Her nose has a hint of border collie about it, too.

Gardenbuzzy said...

Awwwww! She is so CUTE! And this from a not-really-dog person. I can see how you couldn't resist her. Who could?

Canadian Girl said...

Thanks for including the photos. Cuteness incarnate, indeed!

Anonymous said...

She is a beautiful girl!

Dave said...

When I saw the picture, and before I read the post, I thought "that dog has some border collie in it." I have a border collie mutt and the face is very distinctive.

Helen said...

That's definitely collie in there, no question. Head shape, colouration, and the look in the eyes. If she runs around you in circles and rounds anything up that moves, then you've got double confirmation. She is absolutely adorable by the way :-)

Karen said...

How adorable!

An employee of a small town "liberry" chronicles his quest to remain sane while dealing with patrons who could star in a short-lived David Lynch television series.