This is the cutest video of a friend’s golden retriever’s introduction to “The Mirror”. Posted by http://www.karenhocker.com
This might seem obvious to other dog people out there, so I apologize in advance for preaching to the choir. It wasn’t obvious to me. In fact, before I did this, I was really worried that I would regret my decision and be “stuck” with a problem I wasn’t prepared to handle.
I’m talking about adoption. Last spring, we decided we wanted to add a second dog to our family. We live in a pretty rural area, and Cassie needed a playmate to enjoy our big back yard with her. I had always thought someday I’d rescue a dog… when I was a better dog trainer, when I had more time on my hands to train, when Cassie was older and calmer (ha!).
After all, I watch shows like “The Dog Whisperer” and “It’s Me or the Dog” and all those other shows who offer training advice to dog owners at their wit’s end. So many of the dogs on those shows are rescues with baggage that results in behavioral, fear or aggression problems. So many of the dogs I meet at the beach are rescues and their owners explain away their problems saying, “He’s a rescue, and we think he was abused, so that’s why he does that.” Did I really want to add that kind of stress and chaos to my life?
I mean, we were in a pretty good place here at home. Cassie is energetic, sure, but besides killing her toys, she’s not destructive, fearful or aggressive. We were pretty lucky, and I didn’t want to risk upsetting the balance. The “what if” list going around in my head was pretty daunting.
But here I was scouring the listings on petfinder.com and signed up with adoptapet.com to be notified if a dog came into my area that fit my search parameters. And I’m pretty picky. I wanted a portable dog we could take sailing with us. I wanted a dog near Cassie’s age, so they could be buddies. I wanted a dog that was outgoing and friendly. I wanted a dog that might like agility. And swimming, and going to the beach, and hiking with me. And would fit in with our lifestyle, and not eat the cat. Geez, this poor dog needed to be awesome! Did that perfect dog for us even exist out there in rescue land?
Today was a snow day! We got about 2 feet of snow at our home in Boxford during our January Nor’easter in New England… almost too deep for the dogs to navigate, but they are troopers and once they got going there was no stopping them… even after they accumulated about 10 pounds of snowballs on their fur.
Moxie and Cassie played and dug in the snow, while we toiled away with the shoveling and clearing out. Finally, we got some paths made with the snowblower, so the dogs could get a good run in without having to plow through the deep snow. And run they did!
It’s getting dark outside now, still snowing, and the dogs are curled up fast asleep by the fire. We’re snowed in for the night. I’m going to pour a glass of wine and put my feet up. Ah, snow days! What a wonderful treat!