Friday, October 25, 2013

Molson the Dog

It has been nearly three weeks since our home visit with Molson and his foster family.  The Thursday after they were out, his foster mom called to say she had chosen us to be his new family.  That was really cool - the girls were super-excited about it and so were we.  They brought him to us on the following Sunday.  Papers were signed, and a few tears shed by the foster mom, and then they were gone and he was here.

He's a good dog, but I won't say that the first week wasn't tough.  The weather, which had been gray and damp for seven full days already, continued on.  The first morning we had him, I had to work and figure out what to do with him while I was gone.  The crate we'd borrowed from a friend was too small and I ended up puppy-proofing our bedroom and closing him in it, with fingers crossed as I headed to work a half-hour late. He barked and whined, and I wondered what we'd gotten ourselves into.

That week, we bought a larger crate, tried out three different walking leads, got used to daily drags (him dragging us), agonized over getting the invisible fence fixed, took him to an off-leash dog park, and read infinite articles about training (Cesar Milan truly is the ultimate Dog Whisperer).  It was like having a newborn again.  We didn't know him and he didn't know us and there was definitely a breaking-in period.  I wondered on several occasions whether this had been the right choice, and I decided right then and there that people who foster dogs are very special indeed.

The second week has been much better.  The sun came out to stay for a while, the fence got fixed and training has begun.  We found the right lead for Molson and he is doing so well with heeling (thank you Cesar).  He likes his larger crate and will tolerate it for short periods of time while we're gone.  He has left the guinea pigs alone for the most part, having really been interested in them more as playmates than food.  He still tries to sneak the girls stuffed animals when he thinks we're not looking, even though he knows he's not supposed to.  I am back to cleaning the house obsessively so the hair does not overtake everything else.  I am anxiously awaiting the Facebook post from NRGRR that he has been adopted by a nice family that will give him lots of attention and love.

All is well.

Monday, October 7, 2013

A Golden Time?

Ten months after we lost our sweet girl, Monday, to cancer, we have decided it's time to bring a new dog into the family.

We were not ready before.  Monday's death hit us hard.  She was a twelve-year-old member of the family and we were sad to see her go.  But we've also missed the company of a dog, we've been promising the girls, the summer is over, and our busy travel schedule has slowed down.

We applied with Neuse River Golden Retriever Rescue in August, and have been looking at other rescue organizations as well.  NRGRR is our first choice, though, because Monday was a golden mix and we fell in love with the temperament of the breed, shedding be damned.  Whose heart doesn't melt every time they see a picture of one of these wonderful dogs at the site of a tragedy, like the Boston Marathon bombing, or Newtown, lending their calm, docile personalities to people most in need?

Anyway, we finally went out on Saturday to one of their twice monthly events, to meet a few dogs.  There were some puppies we were interested in, but some slightly older dogs, too, and we thought we'd have a look.

The puppies were cute, but they were more labrador than golden and not quite what we were looking for.  Hubby liked a little golden mix named Diddie but G and I couldn't stop looking at Molson, a beautiful 10-month-old who was exactly the opposite of what we thought we might want.  Opposite in that he wasn't a she, and he was BIG.

But isn't that the way it goes?  After the event, and some discussion, we decided to put our names in the hat for Molson.

His foster and her son brought him out to the house yesterday which is a really beneficial thing for both parties involved.  It was a great opportunity for us to get to see him again, and on our own turf!  He is a big boy, a surprise for us since Monday was so short!  He was incredibly sweet and well-behaved.  He made himself quite comfortable as he checked out every room. The guinea pigs were of great interest to him.

I think the visit went well, but who knows?  Rescue organizations, especially breed-specific ones, can be very picky as they really want to ensure a good match.  We have two kids, a good-sized yard, previous experience with goldens, and a flexible work schedule.  But, we have an electric fence, not a wooden one, and no other dogs for him to play with.  Will it matter?  Time will tell.

The foster and Molson have some other home visits to make this week.  We will have to be patient and see.  I wouldn't allow hubby to slip a $20 under Molson's collar.   Bribery is tacky after all!   Stay tuned for more info!

To check out available dogs and learn more about Neuse River Golden Retriever Rescue: