I truly had no idea if we would meet a dog that would work for us, but thought we should at least try. Well, since you all know what's coming, I'll spare you the suspense and introduce you to...
(This is from our first meeting, photo compliments to TM)
Kenzie is a 60 pound, two year old Lab/hound mix. He looks more Lab, but he has got a funny hound-sounding bark. He seems like a great dog and did great interacting with everyone. Now I need to give my heartiest recommendation for the Felines and Canines Shelter. (It's on the northside at Devon and Paulina, if you're interested.) We, all 11 of us, walked in and were instantly greeted warmly without a sideways glance at the number of children we had in tow. (And trust me, at this point in my life, I am highly attuned to the slightly surprised, slightly disapproving sideways glance. I have found some rescues in particular to find the number of children in our family highly suspect as I have dealt with them first looking for a cat and then a dog over the past year.) Instead, the shelter employees found a room large enough for all of us so we could really have space to meet the dogs. The employees were also very careful to only bring in animals that they were sure would be good for such a large group of children. We ended up meeting three dogs, but Kenzie was the first.
He was great even when surrounded by people who wanted to pet him. He still has some young dog behaviors, but nothing worse than Gretel... and actually in comparison, he seems quite subdued. Everyone really took to him. The other two dogs were also quite nice. One was an older black lab puppy, who was beautiful, but we all agreed that he was a bit much for us right now and would require just a little bit more training than we were up to at this point in our lives. The other was another hound mix who was incredibly sweet, but seemed a little too subdued to be really comfortable in our energetic house. The children all liked all the dogs, but Kenzie is the one who stole our collective hearts.
The staff at the shelter were great. You could tell they really cared about and knew each of the animals. It was a great experience and we are pretty darn happy with our new dog. They even cat tested him before we made our decision to be sure he wouldn't go after Midnight. Want to see some more pictures?
Out of the shelter's porch after we did a trial walk together.
It just seems right to have a dog again. After we were home and I was putting dinner together to go in the oven, J. and I noticed K. sitting at the table having a snack and laughing to himself. When we asked if he was OK (because is sounded a little manic), K. replied he was fine, he was just so happy to have a dog again.