What the Hell’s Going On?

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I’d just about given up this blog because really, who reads personal blogs anymore?  But I have some major life events happening that I suppose might need more space and detail to discuss than what Facebook lends itself to.

So as everyone knows by now, we got a dog.  His name is Seamus Arthur, and we adopted him from Animal Friends (same shelter that Barrett and mom’s Myrna came from, same shelter that found Nala a home) on May 26.

Everyone also knows that we’ve been looking for a dog off and on since Gandalf passed.  It has been a vexing, upsetting, and emotionally taxing process.  Many times I have been completely frustrated and annoyed at all dogs, all the shelter staff, and especially with the crazy breed rescue people to the point where we gave up.  But obviously we never gave up completely because at some point it became like some puzzle to solve or some Mt. Everest challenge to show who’s boss; in other words, it nagged at my OCD.  Wanted to do it to prove that we could.  Also, I’m very prone to fall into ruts and I like to fight against that trait so that I don’t become a 100% routine-bound shut-in.

We didn’t expect to find a dog when we stopped at Animal Friends on May 25, though I had seen Seamus (Who was named Bilbo at the shelter. Significant? I think so.) on their site and he was on the short list of dogs we wanted to see. After going down their list of cat-safe or possibly cat-safe dogs and eliminating the very elderly, the Beagles (sorry!), the biters, and the separation anxiety-havers, that left Bilbo.

He passed his cat test with flying colors, basically ignoring the cat to sit, staring at the adoption volunteer for 20 minutes.  When we were allowed in, we were immediately struck by his gentleness.  After spending more time with him, we couldn’t find a single reason not to adopt him.  Granted, that’s not stopped us from bypassing some worthwhile dogs before — anxiety has gotten the better of me several times. But while we were visiting with Bilbo, a family came in who had seen him earlier in the day.  I guess they were undecided about him, they didn’t place a hold on him or anything, but changed their minds and came back.   And they were miffed that someone else was looking at “their” dog!  We thankfully didn’t hear it ourselves, but they cussed out the people at the adoptions staff and pitched a fit (with their kids their to watch and learn from the parents’ stellar example, of course!)  The counselor told us about it, and sure enough we noticed them pacing the hall and glaring at us.

So we took Bilbo out for a long walk, at which point it was decided that he would come home with us.  Oddly enough, if it hadn’t been for the Family of Assholes, I/we probably would have chickened out again (especially since they had some cute kittens at AF that day!)  But no one could stand the idea of gentle Bilbo going home with a pack of screaming douchebags.

And now we have a dog.  And it’s been going eerily well.  He is housetrained, does not bark, listens to commands, and most important, respects the cats.  He is the ideal dog for cat people like us who think the whole notion of needing to teach an animal how to be civilized is foreign and ridiculous.  It’s still been a huge adjustment, but I don’t regret it.  We enjoy his company, and when I see how happy he seems to be, I wouldn’t go back.

Ed and Barrett are managing well.  Barrett desperately wants to play with Seamus, but Seamus is too afraid of him.  Ed keeps his distance unless we’re in the room.  The hard work has been on us, knocking ourselves out in the attempt to see that everyone gets some personal attention each day.  But hey, what else have I got to do….?

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