Sunday, January 25, 2015

Dog Daze

Perhaps you have heard already that yesterday we added a new furry member to our family. Shadow, a black labradoodle/cocker spaniel mix was adopted into his furrever family (all the shelters and websites use that nifty spelling).  We drove two hours to meet him, decided he was indeed a good match for our family, so we adopted him and brought him home.

He was great in Petsmart and great on the way home, and he has been a sweet, gentle and loving dog in the 24 + hours we have had him home.  We didn't even hear him bark until this morning, and he has been very patient with all the overtures of love my children are bestowing upon him.  All in all, I think he has a great personality and will be a wonderful addition to our family.

But, as usual in these situations, there is a transition period.  And my dear friends, as I might have mentioned before many times, change is not my forte.  This is a major adjustment to our household - it feels like I have a baby again (and thank goodness our rule of "we might get a dog when we have no babies in the house" was kept; I'm not sure I could handle a new doggie and a little one at the same time).  Everything I wrote above about Shadow is true.  He is a fabulous dog with a great personality. And also some diarrhea.  Yep, the poor thing is either traumatized by the last two tumultuous weeks of his life, or he ate some different food at his foster house.  Either way, the guy is having some poopy problems.  On my (newish) carpet.  I know what you're thinking - why did you let him on it?  Don't you know dogs will do that?  We know, we know.  I expect accidents - he's an animal.  But it has made his first day with us a little more challenging, for sure.  He has been accident free since three am (last night also resembled a night with a newborn. . .I had forgotten how hard it is to operate on four hours of sleep!), so we're hoping he's getting more settled.  The boys give me a play-by-play of his poop consistency every time he goes outside, so try not to be jealous.  I have heard "mashed potatoes!" and "oatmeal" and "cream of chicken soup".  One of the boys is predicting solid poop by Wednesday.  We can only hope it will be sooner.

The love from child to dog is a beauty to behold.  They LOVE this doggie, and I love to watch it.  They are also probably driving him crazy, but I digress - suffice it to say he is very patient.  "Man's best friend!", and "He is the best dog in the world!", and "I love you so much, Shadow!" are constant phrases I've heard in the last day.

We had to leave him in the laundry room (barking) this morning for church (he WILL NOT go in the crate we borrowed - thinking he either has never used one, or has had a bad experience with one), and I was pretty anxious that he would be really upset for the three hours we would be gone.  On the way to church, my eldest son suddenly turned down the radio and started praying aloud.  A prayer of thankfulness that Shadow was in our family, and then a prayer that Shadow would be calmed and soothed and feel safe knowing that we would return.  As you might imagine, I was weepy.  I had been praying for God's hand in this transition as well, and his eloquent words calmed my anxious heart.

As we drove home from the distant Petsmart yesterday, I looked in my rearview mirror several times. My 13-year-old son was sitting in the back of the burb with our new doggie, looking serene and blissful.  It made me think of a Norman Rockwell painting, as the phrase "A boy and his dog" flitted through my mind.  It made me smile numerous times.

I am very happy we have Shadow in our family.  I would like to fast forward a week or two to know everything will be worked out, house training-wise, but I suppose that would be the easy way out.  We shall walk this walk as a family and figure it out together.  I just hope the journey involves less poop and more cuddles.

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