Monday, 8 October 2012

Happy Tails: Brotherly Love (Bear and Kingston)

By: Rose

Our Manitoba Mutts adventure began back in January, 3 weeks after our 11 year old sweetheart of a dog passed away from kidney disease. We were devastated, but I couldn't stand the quietness of our home without her so we decided to adopt. My husband had never owned a dog before he met me and my 8 year old daughter thought getting a puppy would be fun. Despite my warnings of hard work and frustration with raising a puppy, I eventually caved and we began our search.   
Bear (Bishop)
We met Bear (Bishop) at an adoption fair; it was love at first sight and we put in an application to take him home the next day.  Once we got home, Bear proved to be a bit more dog that we were used to!  We had got so use to our older dog that we had almost forgotten the wonders of puppyhood. Bear had unlimited energy, and loved to bark and jump around. Several times during those first two weeks my husband and I would look at each other and say "We can't do this. Maybe we should take him back". I knew in my heart though, we were determined to make it work and he was already a part of our small family. We took him to training classes, started him at Sprockett’s Doggy Daycamp and eventually saw the light at the end of the tunnel.  Our little Bear was becoming the wonderful family pet we knew he could be.

He ended up spending a week at Jocelyn's (MMDR's adoption coordinator at the time) while we vacationed and it was during that time we discovered that he loved living with other dogs. We started what seemed like a futile search for another pup to join our pack. We needed to find someone compatible with Bear, and who would be able to keep up with his high energy play style. He won't stop, which was a huge turnoff with every dog we introduced him to. So we were pretty much giving up hope, when one day I was browsing the MMDR website and saw that Kingston, Bear's brother, was still not adopted. He had been returned to care by no fault of his own- he was just too high energy for his adoptive family. I brought up the idea of adopting him with Jocelyn, who encouraged us to introduce the two and see what happened. Well, what happened was my husband Kevin and I fell madly in love with him.  It broke our hearts the first time we picked him up from a day at Sprockett’s, and he was so excited to realize he was coming back home with us. Every act of kindness from a pat on the head to giving him a treat was greeted with a huge tail wag and the most grateful look from his soulful eyes. Bear and Kingston were leery of each other at first, but quickly came to realize they could play hard and the other would take it in stride.  They have quickly become attached and when I try to take them for individual walks and playtime like you're supposed to with sibling puppies, they get anxious for the return of the other. My favourite thing is when they come home from a day at Sprockett’s and flop down, dead tired practically on top of each other.

Now I don't want to paint a picture of happiness and no issues. Having two high energy puppies is hard work!  They need a lot of attention and supervision. We have a trainer coming to our house to make sure we're doing things right because these are going be big boys. But we have the support from MMDR when we need it, Jocelyn is my lifeline when I have questions, and everyone at Sprockett’s is so helpful. We are committed to making it work and enjoying these two immensely. Thank you MMDR for our beautiful boys!

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