When my desire for a dog first began to grow over the summer, I suggested that I was willing to consider getting a dog from a breeder if it would mean Trillian's buy-in.
Once we started to move forward on the issue and I started to poke around online, however, I found myself wavering on the issue and gravitating towards shelters and rescue organizations. I spent a lot of time looking at pictures of dogs and reading descriptions, trying to figure out from that small amount of information which dog should come live with us.
Although I looked at a whole host of dogs, near and far, I kept an eye out for standard poodles. Poodles are less allergenic than most other dogs, are extremely smart, and generally attach to all the members of a family. Both Trillian and I prefer larger dogs, so a standard would meet that requirement. Trillian was also reluctant about starting with a puppy and was hoping for a dog that was already house-trained.
I found him one state over at a rescue. He had been found as a stray, very thin and horribly matted. There's no proof that he's full-bred, no papers, but everyone who sees him can't imagine he's a mix. He's fairly calm, incredibly sweet.
He's sleeping at my feet right now. I'll call him Zee.
Not that we're not hitting some rough spots. On the drive home from the rescue, he became attached to me to such a degree, even in a few hours, that he couldn't stand for me to run an errand, despite the fact that both Trillian and Scooter were home. He's had a couple accidents, always nerve-related.
But I think he's starting to understand that this is home and that we're sticking with him. Today in particular he has settled in a bit, didn't freak out when I went to get Scooter from school. He even played with us in the backyard, and I finally got to see just how athletic and energetic he can be.
He's bigger than I had pictured. Trillian calls him a 'small horse,' and I can't disagree. He stares Scooter in the face, but he is incredibly gentle and not a major licker (which is Scooter's primary concern with dogs).
As always happens in life, this has not been the ideal time to add a new member to the family. We already had to put him in the kennel for one night (when we took Scooter in for the evaluation, which was a 10-hour day after travel), and I have to head off to Toronto soon, a trip that was moved up from my original plan to accomodate my committee. A couple days ago, I would have been at a loss as to how we would all get through this crazy time, but now I think we'll manage to motor through--isn't that what we do? And now with Zee along for the ride.