Two weeks ago (as of yesterday) marks the day we became doggie parents to Calvin. Two weeks ago we gave our precious brown eyed lab mix a forever home and my heart has been exploding with love ever since. Now, to back track a little.... Brian and I have wanted a dog since we moved in together. When we were crammed into my 600 sq foot apartment it just wasn't feasible. Once we moved to our townhouse it began coming up more and more in conversation. We now had a place with enough room to house a dog, had a yard that was fenced, and live in a very dog friendly area. Both of us having family dogs all our lives, we knew what a big responsibility having a dog was. Being the voice of reason I kept putting it off because I knew what a large responsibility and cost having a dog is. Quite honestly, I was also afraid of losing that freedom we had to be able to up-and-go anytime we wanted.
But, a few weekends ago we were sitting at lunch and started seriously talking about it. We talked about the kind of dog we wanted. We both wanted a larger male dog. We knew we wanted it to be younger. Brian really wanted a puppy, but I was indifferent. We discussed the breeds we may want to look into (lab, retriever, goldendoodle--which Brian immediately deemed too girly). We looked up a few local breeders only to find that either a) all the males were already gone b) they weren't set to have puppies again until late January or February c) they were ridiculously expensive and unreasonable.
We looked online at our local Animal Shelter and decided to go there first. And let's be honest... we knew we weren't leaving that place without a dog. A few Saturdays ago we ventured to the animal shelter where we went down the line of hundreds of dogs. I had been to the animal shelter twice before to rescue our family dogs but I never remembered being so emotional. I ugly cried because I felt so so so bad for these animals, many of whom this was their life and all they knew. Many of whom would die (it's a kill shelter). I could have easily taken in any of those precious babies, but one sweet boy at the end of the row called my heart a little more than the others did. "Bradley," as he was called, was nearly at the end, with a red and yellow bandanna on and a cute little note on his cage that read "Bradley is a laid back lover. He only needs a bed, his food, and a long walk to be happy. Please adopt me!" Something about this made me want this dog so badly! We took him outside to play and he was calm and certainly laid back!
Since he was the first one we interacted with we decided to play with a few more before making our decision. But I took his papers out of his cage just in case. (I clearly had my heart set on him from the start). We played with two other dogs, one six months old and the other a year. Neither seemed to call out to either of us. We went back and brought "Bradley" out once more to play! Brian and I looked at each other from the play area and said "He's it." We filled out our papers and were so giddy that we were about to become doggie parents! Only to find out he still had to be neutered before coming home with us.
We got him that following Tuesday, which actually was a blessing because we were able to puppy-proof the house and get everything he needed (as well as do a little research) before he came to his forever home! We were so excited to bring him home! Right off the bat we got entertainment when he didn't know how to use stairs. Well, we chose the wrong house for him because we have three sets of stairs. One set of hardwood that go to the second floor, one set that go to our third floor, and then one set that goes to our fenced yard! We carried him up and down the stairs for the first three days (and I had terrible back pain for the following three days!) We were lucky enough to get a dog that was already potty trained (praise the Lord!) and is pretty well behaved. We quickly learned that he is extremely skittish. Every little thing warrants him running back to his safe spot which is in our hallway. He is slowly becoming less skittish as he realizes that this is his home. He definitely still has a lot of work to do when it comes to being on a leash! I think my arm has come out of the socket at least three times when taking him for a walk. We will work on that, though.
One of my biggest worries was how he would react to Charlie, our cat. Calvin must have never been around cats before because he pays no mind to him. Charlie on the other hand loves Calvin. He is constantly going up to him and rubbing against him, jumping on the bed to lay near him, or just staring at him constantly! I am proud to report we are a happy family of four!
I can't wait to see how our life evolves with Calvin in these next few weeks, months, and years!