Friday, March 5, 2010

Dear Soaker

When my Lucy passed away last month, many people told me that I should get a new dog.  No, no, I said.  I don't want a new dog; I'm still grieving for Lucy.  Maybe sometime in the summer I'll start looking around, I said.  I'm one of those people who think that when the time is right, the right dog will show up one way or another but in my mind, that time would be in a couple of months.  And we would get another retriever because that's the kind of dog I like and am used to.

Ok, so I was off by a couple of months.  And I was off about the retriever part.  About a week or so ago, I just "happened" to be on, just looking out of curiosity of course.  I kept seeing the same dog, every time.  Ok, so maybe I was on more than once but I was JUST LOOKING, ok?

Well, I made the mistake of showing the photo of that particular dog to the kids and TheManTheMyth.  Before I knew it, I was filling out an adoption application and thought that *maybe* we would be able to meet the dog over the weekend but no big rush, right?

This was on Wednesday, 2 days ago.  Yesterday, the whole family made a 60 mile roundtrip drive to meet this dog.  TheManTheMyth was just grudgingly along for the ride but I could tell he wasn't all that enthused.  Although he didn't say "No."

So.  Meet the newest member of our family, Miss Gracie Lou DeJongh:
She's a 2 year old Border Collie/Australian Shepherd mix, with maybe some American Eskimo thrown in which I'm just guessing because she has a bushy, curly tail.  Not that I'm a dog expert or anything and I don't play one on TV.  She's much smaller than I expected, with the top of her head just about at knee level and she weighs about 26lbs.  Completely different from my very large, 100lb Lucy.  Gracie Lou does need to gain some weight which won't be a problem because she does love her some food.

I'll admit, I wasn't quite prepared for this to happen so fast and I actually felt kind of obligated to adopt her because I would have felt so guilty walking away from her, especially since she had been surrendered twice already.  And we did drive a bit of a way to meet her.

Miss Gracie Lou is a very sweet, loving, gentle little girl.  So far, she seems to be housebroken and woke me up in the middle of the night (yes, she slept with us) to let me know she needed to go outside.  About an hour or so later, she jumped down and went outside on her own.  We just need to train her to go on the grass and not the patio but it's better than her going in the house.  
Both Things 1 and 2 just love her and she returns the favor.  Oddly enough, she seems to be a bit wary of me, which is ok because I want her to be "Our" dog and not "MY" dog.  She prefers to hang out with the the kids and/or TheManTheMyth, who is still adjusting to having a dog that really wasn't his choice or idea but when he thinks nobody is looking, he'll get down and give her pets and cuddles.  And when he walks in the door, she runs right to him and sits at his feet, looking up at him like he's the Greatest Man in The World.    

Gracie Lou is our very first "rescue" dog so it's an adjustment for all of us.  Luckily, she is very well-behaved and so sweet and loving that it makes it easy.  She just has no idea that her name is Gracie Lou.  The shelter had named her "Rosie" but she doesn't respond to that either.  

On a good note, she is a breed that requires exercise and she actually WALKS, unlike Lucy who preferred to mosey.  So I will be able to get my walks in and give Gracie Lou a good workout, too.

It's a Win-Win situation all the way around.

Oh, and for those of you who are wondering what "Dear Soaker" has to do with adopting a dog, it goes back to an episode of Gilligan's Island where Gilligan had mis-read a note that said, "Dear Suckers" and the Perkins Family uses that term to describe adopting an animal because we're suckers for homeless animals.