As I mentioned Friday, it's been a little crazy around here this past week!
We spent most of January looking into the possibility of adopting a second dog, researching "second dog in the house" information, and compulsively checking rescue sites for new additions to their rosters...
But hang on, I'm getting ahead of myself. Are you thinking, "uhhhh what were they even thinking? Why two dogs??" Let me back up a bit...
Our first pup, Kaylee, is the most social, extroverted dog ever. She always wants to meet everyone she encounters, human or dog alike, and will shower new friends with kisses on a scandalously short acquaintance. She requires a trip to the dog park at least once a week, 3-4 mile walks a day, and it seems like she is still never tired. Over the holidays we could see how much she loved being around so many people (and dogs, at a couple of our holiday visit locations) and we just kept feeling like she was lonely here in Dallas, even with all our best efforts. We started to suspect that, if we could find the RIGHT second dog, we might all be happier.
Cue five weeks of utter distraction, as we constantly reviewed adoption sites and researched dog breeds trying to figure out what the wisest approach to a second dog would be. Older, settled dog who would be a good insta-playmate? Another female?? A male? A puppy? Adopt blindly from a shelter (which is what we did for our first dog, with very happy results) or adopt from a rescue that uses fosters, so we could know more information about the specific dog and its habits? So many possibilities!!
Seriously, if there was a question, we analyzed it.
If there was a option, we second-guessed it.
We put in SIX different applications at various rescues, because for most foster care organizations, you have to have to be approved before you can start meeting dogs.
We visited FOUR different shelters "in real life," once with a friend visiting from Houston, who promptly fell in love with a little black shepherd mix and adopted her on the spot. (Congrats Tim!)
We met roughly a DOZEN different dogs, and probably read a few hundred online profiles too.
One of the biggest problems for us was that we wanted to adopt them all!! ;P And at the same time, we wanted to be really careful with our choice, since we already have two cats and a dog at home and need to ensure their safety and tranquility.
|source: Firefly Wikia|
No, this isn't a "boy named Sue" kind of thing, he's named after this Jayne:
(If you've been reading my blog long enough to already know that we name all our pets after Firefly characters, then bonus points and a huge cyber hug for you! You rock!)
OUR Jayne was part of a litter whose mother "got around," resulting in eight puppies who looked like they could have had three different dads. And yes, that IS possible in the animal world, weird huh? They were a pretty rambunctious bunch, who "beat on one another a lot" (a direct quote from the adoption counselor), so he has a number of scabs from various altercations. He was a little nervous / standoffish at the shelter, but went into full adoration mode soon after arriving at our house. He is also super smart and on literally the second day we had him -- I kid you not -- started ringing the bell on the door to tell us when he had to go potty. Clearly, brilliance runs in our family!
All those good things aside, we also have to admit that having two dogs under two is probably a lot like having two toddlers. Good grief y'all. They won't leave each other alone!! They want to play all the time! They wake up in the middle of the night! The little one is constantly pooping! Thankfully he seems to be getting the "poop outside" memo pretty clearly, but still, constantly pooping!!
And no, we didn't mean to get matched set... we actually thought were were going with the NON-matchy-matchy puppy, since there was another puppy there who was literally Kaylee's CLONE... but when they are side-by-side, they sure could pass for siblings...
Oh yeah, and Jayne is already 25 lbs. The adoption counselor kept saying he was 25 lbs and 4 months, which would have him right on track to be Kaylee's size, but no, he's actually trending bigger... *rolls eyes dramatically* They were calling him the standard shelter catch-all, "lab mix," but his fur is amazingly soft for a short coat, so I'm thinking he could totally be part golden retriever.
If anybody has advice on easing the transition with a second dog, please tell me RIGHT NOW... we've done a lot of research, but tips are always appreciated! It's been a crazy week, but things finally seem to be settling down.
Think good thoughts for us as we work on this positive transition! And I'll be sure to keep you posted on the ongoing saga of Jayne and Kaylee.
If you are thinking of adopting a pet yourself, DO IT! It is such a lovely way to enrich your life, and get us all off the couch in the process! BUT do it wisely!
Do your research, ask questions, and be prepared. :)
Check out my post with tips on the best ways to handle a shelter adoption (and to transition any dog into your home) and the list of my six favorite dog training / puppy rearing books. I'm sure I'll be revising both soon with new and additional advice based on our experiences with Jayne, so be watching for that too!
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