Listen closely and I’ll tell you the story of why most of my friends think I’m out of my mind.
Regular readers of this blog will remember that last September we brought Tessie, our little cockapoo puppy, into our family. Here she is:
She’s 15 months old now and still a lot of work for me (for example, she can’t consistently make it through the night without having to go outside – sigh), and I haven’t worked a full day in the office since she came home because I can’t bear the thought of her being alone all day.
We went away for a week in August, and I posted then about falling in love with her, finally, when we got back. She spent the week with our groomer and her three dogs, and she was just different after that. More enjoyable. The groomer even told me that a lot of her boarding clients talk about getting a second dog after their dogs stay with her.
Well, I’d been thinking about a second dog for a year. Yes, even though there have been lots of days I’ve questioned my sanity over this one dog, I have been looking for the right second dog for the better part of a year, ever since our friends with a dog the same age visited us last year and I watched then 13 week old Tessie transform from a pup afraid of blowing leaves to a confident, outgoing dog. It was amazing.
Before I became a mom I had a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. Or more accurately, he had me. He was the sweetest, most wonderful dog in every way. My step-mother once said he would be the perfect dog if only he didn’t shed. Even people who claimed not to like dogs could be charmed by him. I always said I would get another one if I ever got another dog. Well, we got Tessie instead, but when the second dog thing burrowed its way into my brain I decided to see what I could do.
I found two different Cavalier breed rescue sites online, and began checking them daily for available dogs. One site seemed to mostly have dogs available who had been relinquished by previous owners due to a change in life circumstances, although there were a few shelter dogs occasionally too. The other one focused primarily on dogs rescued from puppy mills. Both sites require mutual visits, so there would be no lengthy transports. If the perfect dog for us was in Ohio, for example, that would be too bad since it’s too far from New England.
Just before we went away in August a dog appeared on Site #1 – a three year old girl who sounded perfect for us. Over the last year I’d seen lots of dogs who sounded good, until the little line that they should be in a home with older children, or no children at all. Counts us out. But on this girl there was no such mention. I told myself that if she was still available when we got back from vacation I would call on her.
We got back, I looked, and she was still there. I called. I made it past the screener, who passed me on to the foster mom. She and I had a very nice conversation about our routine, our home and learning a bit more about the dog. She sounded absolutely delightful, and perfect for us. A few days later she called to say that she had chosen another family, but that it was really tough and she thought we were a great family – that they’d find the right dog for us soon. I was disappointed, of course, but I understood the rationale and was encouraged that she liked us.
A few weeks later Site #2 had a female, rescued from a puppy mill, who sounded like a great fit for us. I waited a few days, thinking about it, then finally decided to ask about her. I emailed the contact person listed and she called me an hour later. We had a nice talk, and during the conversation she asked if I would be interested in a puppy. “Do you have any?” I asked. “Yes, we do – we don’t put them on the web site because all the crazies come out.” I hemmed and hawed a bit as I’d really been interested in a 1-5 year old, but when she told me this particular little boy was 5 months old I thought, I can handle that. We made plans for her to bring the 3 year old female and the 5 month old boy to visit us that weekend.
She brought the dogs that Saturday and we fell in love with them both. The girls asked, “Can we get them both?” The woman who brought them said she would have no reservations about placing a dog with us, and I fairly glowed at that. She seemed to think the puppy would be a better fit for us because Tessie was more interested in him, but I truly loved them both. I told her if she left it up to me I would not be able to decide, that I’d have to put their names in a hat. Seeing them both at my house I suddenly did not feel crazy for thinking about another dog. It felt totally right.
Those two were scheduled to meet another family the next day and the woman said it would probably be mid-week before she got back to me. By Wednesday I could stand it no longer and emailed her. Her response took what seemed forever (about 18 hours!), and it was a heart breaker – she had placed the puppy with the family they met the day after us, and she was still looking for the right placement for the older dog. But, but, but there was a younger puppy she wanted us to consider. She sent pictures. What could I say? I said we would be interested.
And this is my very long way of saying that we brought Ruby into our family last Saturday. She is a ruby Cavalier King Charles Spaniel (Cavaliers come in 4 “flavors” – Blenheim, Tri-Color, Black and Tan, and Ruby), almost 4 months old (much, much younger than I ever would have chosen). She and her mom were rescued from an Amish puppy mill a few months ago. Her mom is still in foster care and far too timid to be adopted just yet. She is positively gorgeous and sweet. I am in love with her already.
Really, this dog has captured my heart and I am thrilled to have her. The long and winding road was worth it!