A third dog?…what?!

Easter Sunday was a little exciting for us this year.  We got a call from a friend late Saturday night that there was a stray dog running around her house.  Naturally…she knew who to call because my husband had his pants on (we were already in bed)…before I even hung up the phone.

We headed out to her house and picked up this random dog.  He was sweet and a little nervous, whining the whole way back to our house.  We got him inside and after roaming the place he seemed to calm down and fall right into place.  Having to go to bed so soon after introducing him we did feel it was best to separate them at night time.  Andy slept in the guest room with the new guy…which we later dubbed Jake…and I slept in our room with the other two.

The next morning Delilah (our one year old puppy) was sleeping in the hallway next to the closed guest room door…when opening the guest room I found Jake sleeping on the other side of the door.

The rest of the day seemed to go by just like the night.  They were inseparable.  We brought Jake and Delilah to my sister’s house in Rochester to see how he would do with the kids.  He was great…even teaching Delilah how to give them space at times…she is used to smothering them with love.

By the end of the day when Andy and I took our little pack on a walk around eight we were both secretly hoping God had given us a gift.  Delilah was pooped out…she had left us alone most of the day playing with her new friend…and she even seemed to behave better…trying to teach Jake how things were in this house…and learning a few things from him as well.

However, on that walk…we got the call.  The owner had come looking and it was time to bring Jake home.  We drove him home with a very heavy heart.  Seeing where Jake lived….we weren’t very impressed.  We talked to his owner for a while and even explained that we would be happy to keep him….he wasn’t so lucky.

Monday was a day of sadness.  Delilah roamed the house whining and I sulked until I decided to get moving.  Ironically my first stop was the shelter.  I have been taking pictures of some of the hard to place animals and making flyers for the bulletin board at our restaurant to give them some extra publicity.  So I headed down and after spending time with some cats I decided to walk down the row of dogs (I should have known).

Sitting in the first kennel right to my left was a beautiful, pure-bred, kind, young, german shepherd.  Andy and I have both had a soft spot for the breed for a long time but gave up on finding a rescued one seeing as they are so hard to come by.  Yet here she sits.

So I went out to the counter and filled out the proper paper work to take her for a walk.  She was great on the leash (this is a plus for us because it’s taken us months to work with how our dogs walk…and they still aren’t perfect).  She didn’t seem to care too much about me…something that doesn’t bother me at all…she doesn’t know me.  But after a long walk we sat for a while and she rolled over so I could rub her belly and do some hard thinking.

When I asked the volunteers they said they knew little…she was a stray.  They said she is great walking until she sees another dog…then pulls like crazy.  So while we were outside I purposely walked her next to the outdoor pen where they let the dogs out to run.  She thought about pulling…gave a whine and I gave a quick correction and reminded her that I was in charge and everything was ok.  Within five minutes we were walking up and down the running dogs outside while she looked to me for instruction and kept to my side.  (I felt very dog whisperer like).

So I headed home to talk about a lot with Andy and told the shelter we would probably be back Wednesday for their only open night hours so that Andy could come with me.

As I write this we are hours away from heading back.  We have certainly done our share of talking and scenario playing….and we both believe we can move forward and anticipate any outcome.  So here is where we stand…

The reason this third dog was ever an option…a thought…a possibility…was because of our wonderful Easter with Jake.  We have two.  They are so very different.  Indy..our 10-ish year old husky we now mostly call “gramps”…loves to be left alone.  He doesn’t enjoy playing and only gets excited when it’s time for a walk and even then secretly wishes we would leave Delilah behind.  Delilah on the other hand, requires a lot of our attention and discipline.  She is high-energy and needs someone to play with her physically and mentally.  We naturally assumed that a third dog would bring three times the amount of work and effort.  However, we can now see how a third dog can benefit us…IF…and only IF….it’s a Jake.

So as we head to the shelter with both of our loving dogs…we have to be prepared.  This is not about us.  This is about our puppy Delilah.  She has to pick.  I have to remind myself that she may very well not really like the shepherd….she may like somebody else…or nobody at all.  So we have to go with an open mind and keep our hearts in the right place.

We may try a few different dogs tonight but the other tough issue is that Andy and I both agree that the only way we will know for sure how the fit works is to bring the dog home.  A meet and greet and the shelter should give us an idea…but it will be very different in our own home with our own set of rules.  The shelter here in town doesn’t do “lending”…but they do take dogs back.  To bring a dog home is only thirty dollars.  That is cost for paperwork due to having to register the dog before it leaves the shelter and if it is returned they have to file the proper paper work for having the dog back there.  I am totally fine with a thirty dollar cost to “try-out” the new guy.  The problem is how quickly we get attached and the mentality that the shelter is a bad place.

The shelter in town is pretty amazing.  They are a decent size, very clean facility that truly wants to do what is best for all of the animals.  We just have a hard time because we feel like we are “giving up” on them.  That is not the case and so, so many of the animals there end up in loving homes.  So we will even have to keep in mind as go that there might be a return….because once again…this is not about what we want…this is what is best for our family.

So….say a prayer…I’m going to have to rely on my hubby for strong advice and leadership (and he is a sucker too)….and hopefully before the week is out we will have a better understanding of what the right path is for us….

Or we’ll just go force Jake out of his home and run.

Article by Brenna Cudzilo

Wife and world record holder of wing-sauce ordered with food not comprised of the words "wings, boneless, buffalo, et al.".

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