The back door to the lobby suddenly swung open and in bounded two very enthusiastic medium sized, but bigger-than-Beagles dogs who came charging through the door and began running all around the small waiting room. They snatched the treats from our outstretched hands nipping at our fingers as well. Tiffanie, the kennel owner, quickly demonstrated how to properly hold the snacks inside our hands to avoid getting our fingers gnawed off! I gulped. Were these to be my new furry friends? I had been preparing for the meeting with my new dogs for some time, but I wasn’t sure I was ready for these two!
While Jayne and I waited quietly in the lobby of the kennel, Tiffanie and the staff hurried to the back field to fetch the dogs. I had spent weeks searching the internet looking for the perfect dogs, checking out different breeds and types that might work well with my life style. I had raised Beagles in the past and wanted something similar in size and look–minus the howling! My hope was to find mellow pups who didn’t bark a lot. And, I really wanted dogs who were not big shedders, who stayed off the furniture, and were house broken. Ha! I later discovered that was a tall order!
After checking out photos and descriptions on the internet off and on for several months, I finally discovered these two female littermates. I had no idea if these dogs fit my desired criteria, but their picture was so cute! I could not resist!
Originally, I had decided to get just one dog, since it would be less work. But after a recent visit to my sister Judy’s home, I totally fell in love with her two fun-loving dogs–Gia and Mini. I was sold! Two were better than one! Additionally, Charlotte and Georgia were littermates who had been together their entire lives, so they were quite bonded to one another.
As excited as I was, I was also a little anxious about actually adopting older rescue dogs. I raised dogs several years ago and wondered if I would still remember how to care for them. Since I was also semi-retired and worked at home part-time as a consultant, I also considered how much it might cost to feed two dogs in today’s economy.
About a month later, I learned that the cost of dog food was the least of my worries! I discovered there would be vet bills, annual vaccinations, a whole array of dog toys, beds, halters, equipment to transport them in the car, and a lot of other stuff!
Right after I found them online, I convinced my good friend Jayne that she should rush over to the kennel with me to check them out. I was worried that someone else might get there first and snatch them up. Only later did I learn that they had been living at the kennel for nine months!
Indeed, as I sat in the lobby, I noticed that among the stacks of dog dishes, two had names written on them– one for Charlotte and one for Georgia. I was very happy they were well cared for, but I also felt sad that they had been there long enough to warrant their own dishes.
Like being on a date . . .
I felt like I was on a first date. I loved a lot about them, but I was a little unsure if they were the right dogs. Tiffany rescued their Pug Mom before they were born. The Dad was probably a Cattle Dog. What a combo! Each dog was about the same size, but they were as different as salt and pepper. Georgia had a black coat sprinkled with white fur and she looked a little like a large Pug. Charlotte was tan with white markings and she looked more like a small Cattle Dog. Both dogs had a little white tip on the end of their tails as if they had been dipped in a can of paint.
Boy, did these dogs have a lot of energy! They bounded into the room and ran around barking and snarfing down treats like there was no tomorrow. But I assumed it was the result of living in a kennel so long with a lot of other dogs.
The kennel had a huge grass yard in the back where Charlotte and Georgia could chase around and play with other dogs. So that part was good. But at night they slept in their locked up kennel. The kennel staff had taken good care of them and they had a lot of fun, but it wasn’t like being in a permanent home.
Ultimately, my practical side kicked in:
- two dogs would be better than one;
- they could keep each other company;
- they had become very bonded as siblings and they should stay together;
- I could lift these medium sized dogs off of the couch;
- and, they were kind of like Beagles.
Tiffanie said I could take them home for a trial run for a few days. I nodded with my heart in my throat.
Decision time . . .
Yikes! I had to make a decision. Jayne said that she had “a very good feeling about these dogs.” “Really?” I gulped. I only had tremendous fear. It was a big responsibility bringing home two little critters. What was I getting myself into? But it was a trial. If it didn’t work out I could return them.
Of course, I knew in my heart that if I took them home, I wouldn’t give them back. Charlotte and Georgia had already lost their first home, poor things. So, I said I would give them a try. Tiffanie was thrilled. We scheduled a date and made arrangements to bring them to my home in a few days.
Getting ready . . .
For the next few days, I did my best to dog-proof my yard. I covered a large french drain in the back with a smaller grate so they wouldn’t fall in. Next, I put up a short fence around my ancient rose bushes that had long wicked thorns. My fence had a couple of holes, so I plugged them, so they couldn’t escape. The perimeter of my yard was a little sparse, so I put down more rocks and bark to discourage digging. And finally, I covered my barren, raised garden with cardboard, so they wouldn’t jump in and get all muddy.
I bought some dog food and a bunch of dog treats. Then I waited with baited breath. My new dogs would be here soon!
The day my new dogs arrived . . .
Tiffanie was great! She brought them in her station wagon as promised. I opened the door to the garage and they came charging into the living room. Tiffanie took one look at my newly installed, off-white Berber carpet, gasped, and announced that we should start them out in the backyard.
So, we all rushed out to the back. Charlotte and Georgia took only 15 minutes to jump over the short fence I had just installed around the rose bushes. I was horrified! “They could poke out an eye!” I exclaimed. Tiffanie chuckled, and said that they would learn. Then they jumped on top of the garden, which I had thankfully covered with cardboard. And finally, both dogs headed over to the drain and stuck their noses into it as far as they could, which of course, was now barricaded with a small grate.
After they settled down, we brought them into the house. They sniffed all over to check out the place. Tiffanie warned me to keep them close and gave me a medium sized kennel to use when I was away. She also suggested that I keep them in the same room with me for a few days. Then she left.
I decided that Tiffanie was overly cautious, so I just let them run around. The dogs had been trained and house broken, and it wasn’t as if they were puppies. Jayne and I continued to give them treats, while I cooked a huge pot of chili to celebrate our first day with my new doggies.
Not too long after that, I noticed that one of the dogs was missing. Sure enough, Charlotte had run upstairs. I quickly found her and discovered a huge pool of pee on my off-white Berber carpet! Ugh! I gently scolded her, and cleaned it up. She was probably confused and overly excited. Twenty minutes later both dogs threw up in the living room! Agh! Too many treats! My bad!
A little wiser now, I kept the dogs downstairs with me, while I continued to make chili. They both seemed very happy and content to be in their new home. Later that evening, Jayne went home and now it was just the dogs and me!
I tucked them into their kennel for the night. (See my post for more about where dogs should sleep their first night.) Tomorrow would be another day. I couldn’t believe I had two new doggies in my home. They probably couldn’t believe it either. They looked so sweet when they were sleeping. Day One went pretty well all things considered!
(Note- Featured top photo of Georgia and Charlotte at Summer Camp by Sherry Clark; https://www.brainydog.com/ )