Yeah, I know, I must be insane. We got a new dog!
A few years ago we had a wonderful time raising Giant, who joined us at 8 weeks old, and left at about 18mo to go to guide dog school. He ended up as an autism dog for an autistic boy in New Jersey. We were very proud of him, but also missed having him around.
We considered raising a guidedog puppy again, but it's a lot of work, which isn't too bad, but in addition we had to drive to a town about 60 miles away twice a month. It took almost the whole Sunday to go there and back for the training, so it was a huge time commitment and adds up money wise with the current gas prices. But we still missed Giant.
With the house on the market there was NO way that I was going to get new pets, so even although I was thinking about cats or a dog, this was all very theoretical and wishful, but the right animals hadn't entered our lives yet.
I knew I wanted cats for sure, and maybe a dog, but I also knew that I didn't want a puppy but instead wanted to adopt an older dog. For all the good reasons of past the chewing stage, and a known temperament and they seem to be harder to place anyway.
I spent many late nights surfing web sites of dog rescue organizations, and dreaming, but never actually found 'our' dog.
Meanwhile, my friend got a new puppy and I saw up close how much work a puppy was and it strengthened me in my plan to adopt an older dog, but I still hadn't met the right one, nor was I searching very actively. I was mostly waiting for the right animal to show up.
Finally last week I saw Brady on freecycle of all places. My heart lit up, but my brain said 'Nah, you are not ready yet.' So I went to the next post even if there was a small voice in me wondering whether I should. I silenced that voice for now.
Until a few days ago. When he showed up again on freecycle. And this time my brain said 'Well, maybe... If you really want to.' and a day later I said to the kids 'I saw this wonderful black lab on freecycle, how do you feel about it?' They were easily convinced I should contact the poster, but I warned them that he might be taken already. But if he wasn't yet, that clearly showed it should be our dog (yes, i am a simplistic reasoner)
I emailed, he wasn't taken and we went to visit.
He was the best dog ever. Calm, well behaved and loves kids. Very cute, social and curious. The kids spent time playing with a frisbee with him and it was very clear to me that Brady would be the perfect addiction to our family. His owner agreed (thank you!!!!) and today we went to pick him up and take him home.
He was a bit restless at first, but seems to have settled in rather nicely for the first day. He found cool tiles to lay on when he is hot. He found out that laying in the middle of the kitchen floor enables him to keep track of many household members at once. As an added benefit people will occasionally almost trip over him :p
He went on at least five walks today. I bet the kids fascination with walking him is not going to last through the first snow storm but for now it is wonderful.
We found out where we can rub him to make him totally melt. We found out that he has stinky farts which can destroy the car's air quality pretty fast. We found out that he totally reacts to people using the word 'puppy'. We found out that he is pretty darned close to perfect!
With Brady as a family member, we truly are the Brady Bunch now. (Yes, I am conveniently ignoring the fact that Sylvia messed us up and that Alice never showed up)