Among other activities keeping me busy this spring is a new addition to our garden. This is not something I had planned on adding, though always wanted. I had a “if we get this it needs to meet these criteria” list, mainly to explain to the kids why we didn’t have this and wouldn’t for a long while.
This list worked well for the past 6 years. I thought it was fairly fool proof.
About a week ago I decided to put aside my wishes, to stay home and garden, to be the “fun” mom. I loaded up the kids, water, skateboards, helmets, book, and a hat. (It was hot after all.) Against verbal arguments of one who wanted to stay home and play on the computer, we headed to a local skate park for a free event. We were going to have fun whether they wanted to or not, me knowing that in the end they would have fun.
My plan was to let them skateboard, do some of the other activities available, have some snow cones, then come home with two tired, hot kids who were ready for bed.
It almost went like that.
See, as the kids were skating I wandered over to the dogs brought to the event by a local animal shelter in hopes of finding homes. We usually visit them as it is good for the kids to be around different dogs and for the dogs to be around different people. However this time…this time I met one which actually MET my very specific criteria on the “if we get this it needs to meet these criteria” list: old, calm, laid back, not nervous around kids, doesn’t bark much, walks on a leash well, doesn’t scare the kids. The adjectives in bold were the major key ones on the list which usually disqualified every single dog we had met before.
Not only did I find a dog who meet the criteria, but he exceeded them. Turns out he is trained, rides well in a car, loves to be petted, is as social as George (has yet to meet a stranger), and even didn’t intimidate Jack, who isn’t as much of a dog lover as George. When I walked over to the group of dogs, I had written him off right away due to size. However, he very nonchalantly moseyed over to me, sat down, and waited to be petted. He didn’t even need to smell my hand first, just waited like I should know what was expected. So I did. As other people and dogs went by, he might have given them a glance, but sat perfectly content (and quiet) being petted.
I talked with the workers for a bit, explaining what I was looking for in a dog and why. We talked a bit about this particular dog. Then I asked them not to say anything to the kids when they came over.
George gave the dog of wide berth while he went to a shorter dog. However, after one of the workers suggest he walk the larger dog while she walked the smaller one that was the end of that. Within feet George had renamed him and fallen in love. To my surprise, so did Jack. He didn’t flinch when the dog came right up to him, he didn’t shy away from his head, instead giving him lot of pets and pats and loving. Jack has never been this calm around a dog, let alone a dog this large. It didn’t take too long for both of the boys to begin asking if we could adopt him.
The only two draw back – he is big and has long hair. For all his other qualities I can overlook those two. He even keeps me company while I try various DIY projects. I can even hammer and drill without disturbing his naps.
Soooo, we came home with two hot, tired, excited boys and one dog of trial run at our house. That trial has since ended and he has become a permanent fixture in our garden.
As I have found out this week, he also LOVES to chase rabbits. Excellent! I had been wondering how to keep them out of the garden.
In case you were wondering, I did NOT bring a dog home without asking my husband first. I am smarter than that after all these years.