Saturday, February 27, 2016

I ain't nothin' but a hound dog... or healing a hole in my heart

I have spent the past couple of weeks looking at dogs on shelter web sites. Not having a dog was evidently just too much of an emptiness given everything that we had all been through in the past two months to bear. I was still comforting weepy children at bedtime that Gretel wasn't around anymore, and I didn't feel much differently. Today everyone was home and we were free, so we decided to head off together to a shelter I had been stalking to see if we met any dogs that would be a good fit. We are an unusual family due to size, family make-up, and also having a cat. It would take a special dog to be able to handle all that love without being stressed and upset.

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!!

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.




So now we're home and getting to know each other. I think we'll be keeping him close to us on the leash for a while during the adjustment period. Midnight seems less than excited and upon first meeting, while Kenzie was happily wagging his tail, did a proactive swipe with his paw. (Kenzie just seems hurt and doesn't seem to want to attack, which is just what he did with the cat at the shelter.)

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.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Congratulations!! He looks like a great pooch!

Doreen

Tanya said...

Hi, I just found your blog through a comment on Kelly's Korner. I look forward to reading some of your posts. But I just had to comment right away and tell you that I think our dogs are twins! We have a 1 year old lab mix named Albie who looks just like Kenzie...you can see a few pics here http://txtanya.blogspot.com/2016/02/weekending-feb-28.html Have a great weekend!

thecurryseven said...

Wow, Tanya, they really do look alike! And welcome.

e

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