After wanting to have a dog in my life basically all of my life, it finally happened a year ago today. That’s when we had Bella in for an sleepover, in part to find out whether she and Pepper (our cat) would get along…or at least tolerate each other. That went fine, and when the next day arrived we decided to tell the person we adopted her from that unless they objected, it might be less confusing if she just stayed.
In for a penny, in for 35 pounds.
Everyone shed some tears that day — she’d been well-loved at her previous home, but circumstances had changed there and she needed a new place. So we abandoned our original plan, which was to wait a while longer and then adopt an older, non-shedding breed/mix. What we ended up with is an energetic** three year old Australian Cattle Dog, Golden Retriever, Miniature American Shepherd, Pomeranian, Beagle, Portuguese Podengo Pequeno, etcetera etcetera mix. Yeah, we did the DNA test thing, and they may as well have just returned a verdict of “Breed: Dog.” She has all the fur colors you could ever want to find, and we do find them everywhere, so I’m sure at this point our respective microbiomes are all well integrated too.
She’s not perfect — Bella had spent almost no time on a leash until she moved in with us, and that coupled with a very strong “OMG I SMELL RABBITS DON’T YOU SMELL RABBITS LET’S GO GET ALL THE RABBITS!” attitude makes her a challenge on walks. And though I can get them both to eat treats out of the same hand at the same time without any fuss, she’s too jealous of attention given to Pepper. There are other non-ideal aspects, but most are in the “Hey, dogs are gonna act like dogs, so whaddaya gonna do?” category.
(For instance, there are days when we feel like we’re on the wrong side of the window in Patrick McDonnell’s “Mutts”.)
All that aside, we think her life is better here, but she loves to be loved so Bella probably would have done fine anywhere. She sure has made our lives better, though, so here’s to you sharing the same happiness we feel (and that she feels) when we see her run or flop over or meet a new friend. And every new person’s a friend.
** Energetic is okay! Bella arrived just as my human running partner needed an extended time off to heal up from some injuries. So in this first year she and I logged 74 runs for 339.6 miles together. It would have been more except we didn’t run together for the first two months: she was a country dog and her feet needed to get used to sidewalks and roads.
In those 74 runs I’ve tired her out exactly zero times.