Acquiring a dog may be the only opportunity a human ever has to choose a relative. ~ Mordecai Siegal
Last Sunday (4/18) Sadie and I took a trip. We went here:
I had been surfing the Humane Society website for a couple of weeks. After work on Friday (4/16) I went to the Humane Society to check out some of the dogs I had seen online.
I was open to just about any kind of dog, but I did have a few guidelines: between the age of 2-6 (out of puppyhood but younger than Sadie), around Sadie’s size (she’s a strong girl and I didn’t want a new dog to accidentally get hurt while playing with her) and I didn’t want a Malamute (I felt it would be disloyal to Kishka).
Within minutes of arriving at the Humane Society I spotted a Malamute (he hadn’t been on the website), but I walked right past him. A few of the dogs I had seen online were much too small and the others all had some fault (dog aggressive, destructive when left alone, a barker when left alone, etc.) that crossed them off the list.
I moved on to the dogs that weren’t on the website and they all had issues, too (female dog aggressive, cat aggressive, not good with kids, etc.). I considered every big dog in the place until I could ignore him no longer…I checked out the Malamute.
He was a stray and not yet available for adoption (the Humane Society holds strays for seven days to give their family time to find them). He was around 4 years old. I received the information sheet on him and the handlers reported that he was sweet, good with other dogs and loved people.
I stood in front of his cage and had an internal dialogue with myself. One side of my brain was telling me to walk away because even considering this dog would be cheating on Kishka. The other side of my brain told me I was being ridiculous and that it was stupid to disqualify a dog solely because of his breed.
The dog was not available for adoption until Sunday so I put a hold on him. (Each stray can have one hold which means the person with the hold gets first dibs on adoption if the dog’s family doesn’t show up.) That would give me a full day to ponder my feelings.
I talked it over with some friends who are much saner than I am and on Sunday I returned to the Humane Society and met him. (Sadie was not allowed to meet him due to a canine flu outbreak, but she waited in the car.) He was a big, lovable teddy bear so I brought him home.
Within an hour of arriving home this happened:
My greatest wish came true: a dog that loves to play. (Sadie’s never had a live in playmate.)
Since the dog was a stray, he didn’t have a name. It took me a week to name him and I’m sure I drove my family and friends a bit crazy. Every day (or even every few hours) I had a new name that I was trying out.
During this week, I discovered a lot about him.
He’s very curious.
He likes stuffed toys (I’m so glad Sam’s extensive stuffed toy collection is finally getting the love it deserves).
He likes tennis balls (Sam and Kishka’s collection will again see use).
Finally, on Friday night, he told me his name.
For the past week I have been astounded that no one claimed Luka at the Humane Society. He is very well trained and a very well behaved dog in general.
When I brought him home he could sit, shake, lie down and he walks amazingly well on a leash (better than Sadie). He’s house trained and is fine in the house all day while I’m at work. He’s very quiet. He’s actually mute. He’s been here over a week and hasn’t made a sound: no barking and no wooing.
He’s very smart and has already learned some of the rules of the house (sitting before getting treats, not rushing the door, not accompanying me into the bathroom). He does love to jump up on people and I’m working on that. He weighs around 100 lbs. and could easily knock someone over.
He constantly wants to play with Sadie (he nudges her with his nose and play bows in front of her). I don’t think Sadie fully understands that he wants to play, but she’s coming around.
Over the weekend we went to the park to test his socialization. He passed with flying colors. I kept him on the leash since he doesn’t know his name yet, but Sadie showed him the ropes.
They splashed in the stream together.
And they explored on their own.
I think Sadie enjoyed the canine company.
Welcome home, buddy.