Friday, 5 October 2012

London's Happy Beginning

By: Julia A.

         When my husband and I saw London on the website, we weren't looking to adopt.  In fact, we had decided we were not ready to adopt, but something kept niggling at me.  So we had the chat, "what if she is 'the one' and we don't even try to see".  He relented and I fired off an email to MMDR adoptions.  They said she looked like she would be a good match for us, and we could meet Brandon!  I blanched...."a two and a half hour drive each direction!  This is probably a sign that we shouldn't proceed" (yes, I was looking for "signs"). But something kept bothering me, and Matt agreed, "If we don't go and see her we will never know".  Her foster mom and I exchanged a heap of emails back and forth, really honest and great emails that made me feel like we really did need to make the drive.

London in her foster home with her surrogate baby.
         We met her, and she was just so easy with us.  We walked around the property; London would run back to check in with us, and run off to sniff stuff.  When we were about to leave, Matt called her and she ran right over to him and kidney-beaned herself into him.  My heart sang!  But we didn’t want to make any decisions for 24 hours.  We were both quiet on the ride home, waiting for the other to speak first.  She was just so happy in "doggy Nirvana", the other dogs and being out in the country, we didn’t know if we could take her away from that. Would we be enough? Would she be happy with what we could offer her?  We really wrestled with that.  

         We picked her up two weeks later when she had just weaned her pups.  I put our collar and leash on her and she just came with me, like she knew. She jumped into the back of our car and settled in, and she was pretty much a dream the whole ride home.  We just felt so sad about taking her away that every time she paced and whined when we got her home, our hearts broke.  We were a bit of a mess; we didn't sleep at all the first two nights, unlike London who went to bed without a problem and didn't make a peep at all. We sat up all night expecting her to start barking and whining, but it never happened. It's an adjustment adding a little life to your household.  Is it easier just worrying about us, our work, and getting on with our lives?  You bet!  Is there something missing in that? Yes.  I didn't know how much was missing though, before she wheedled her way into our hearts.  

London fitting in perfectly in her furever home.
         It's not been without its challenges these first two weeks; she went into early heat and before we could really settle her in she needed to be spayed.  Then she had a rash and blisters around her incision site, and I've been putting Polysporin on it three times a day.  She's taken it all like a trooper! She lets me brush her teeth, she listens when I tell her to get away from the door to let someone in, she has learned not to go on the couch (when we are around or looking), she lets me shove my hand down her throat to give her twice daily antibiotics, she calmly lets us leave her for several hours and the house is not destroyed and she goes to bed in the kitchen without fuss and is quiet until we take her out for her morning pee.  

        We do have stuff we need to work on: leash skills, meeting dogs on leash without being reactive, and not reacting to certain people, but it feels like stuff that we will manage (with help).  She chewed a hole in her dog bed while playing, but that really was my fault for not catching that she was chewing on the corner of the bed and not her toy (darn cone!).  She's not perfect, but she is perfect for us.  Not every dog is right for every person, but there is a person out there for every dog, no matter what their foibles are.  We are her people, and she makes me want to be better at it every day.  So starts the journey!

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