Wes went for his nightly run, and on his trip back, he noticed one of our neighbors nervously standing out in her yard. She told him that someone had broken into her house while she was at work and that she waiting on the police to arrive and make certain that the intruder was gone. Wes waited with her until the police got there, then he came home more than a bit alarmed. A break-in just a few doors down? Scary stuff.
We had some excitement the other night.
We’ve had this “big dog” idea on the back burner for a while, saying that eventually, we’ll want to adopt a dog that not only sounds like it could tear apart an intruder (which BC does) but that actually COULD tear apart an intruder (which BC would certainly try, but there’s only so much ten pounds of fury can do). Not that we had any reason at all to think that there would ever BE an intruder, but since the layout of our house has us and the girls on separate ends of the house at night, we wanted the extra security of a large dog to sleep on their end. (Since the fearless BC sleeps on ours. And sleeps through everything, of course, but that’s beside the point.) Before the break-in down the street, we had resolved that a Mastiff (our previous number one choice) wasn’t the best idea since they can be protective but aren’t exactly guard dogs. (I think our information said that they “could” become protective of their family members but that their greatest line of offense, as two hundred pound dogs, would be to lie down on the intruder. Which is fine and dandy but not exactly what we had in mind.)
We did some more research and settled on German Shepherds for ease of training, size, ability to protect, and (this is another one that wouldn’t have fit a Mastiff) affinity for long walks/jogs. (Remember how I said I don’t always feel safe running with just my tiny iPod to bonk someone over the head with? Well, German Shepherds actually need the exercise, so we’d be helping him while he’s helping us.) I actually grew up with a German Shepherd, so I feel like I know at least a little bit about the breed. (He was a German Shepherd/Scottish Terrier mix, if you can wrap your mind around that. As I told Wes, he was the shining example of why you need to keep your Scotty dog under lock and key when she goes into heat. Makes for some strange looking, short, whiskered German Shepherds, let me tell you.)
Anyway, this was all fanciful, “in the future” thinking until Wes came home from his run post break-in and said, “We’re getting a dog.” And I agree.
A large part of me is worried that this will end up being the mistake that adopting Reese turned out to be. If you weren’t reading when all of that happened, here’s the short version: my beloved blue-tan dachshund, Bonnie Blue, passed away. I was sad. I found another dachshund puppy. I adopted the puppy. I quickly discovered that two children in diapers plus a dog that refused to be housetrained made for plenty of insanity. Reese never clicked with our girls. Our girls never clicked with Reese. Finally, Reese went to live with another family, and I felt like a failure of a pet owner.
Fast forward to now. Those children are potty trained. (Well, Ana is. Emma is, in the words of Princess Tiana, “allllmoooost thhheeerrreee!” Which is as good as is, right?) Our girls LOVE Buttercup, proving that they don’t hate all dogs. (They just didn’t get along with Reese for some reason.) I’ve actually done the research and found a dog that won’t resist housetraining and that can actually be trained to do something more than just lie around and be spiteful. (Which is a dachshund’s greatest talent. Even BC has her moments.) I’m not making an emotional decision. (Well, maybe it’s emotional given the whole break-in thing, but we’ve been sitting on this decision for a long while.)
I don’t know why I’m explaining myself to the three of you who actually read this blog. Hmm. Just thinking through it all myself, I guess. I’ve been praying through this, asking that God, who knows what dog He plans for our girls to grow up with, would keep us from making the wrong decision. You probably think I’m crazy to put so much importance on something like adopting a dog, but after Reese, I know what a significant decision it can be and how heartbreaking it can all turn out if the decision is treated too lightly.
Anyway, we’re going to visit a breeder tomorrow evening. I’m doing what I didn’t do with Reese — taking my cues from Ana, who is the most apprehensive of all four of us around dogs. We’ve talked about what will happen when we get there, how the puppies will act, and that it’s okay if she’s not ready to take one home. She really seems to think that she’ll know “Charlie” when she gets there and that he’ll know her. I sure do hope so. Wouldn’t that be great if she just fell in love with the right dog right off the bat? And if he just happened to get himself housetrained within a week? (Okay, maybe that’s too much to hope for.)
Soooo, that’s the story so far. I’ll be back soon, either with pictures of our new puppy or a tale of woe that is sure to include a screeching Ana and a half dozen scared witless German Shepherds. I’m hoping it’s the former.
How about you? Any heartwarming stories about how you met and adopted your best four-legged friend?