Yes, I think we could! But it all depends on how Molly (our Labrador Retriever) and Little E take to this one tomorrow.
This is Bella, although, for reasons I can't explain here (but you might be able to figure out if you know our family), her name will have to change if we bring her home tomorrow. Right now, she's a resident of the Humane Society (doesn't her home look absolutely lovely?), but we know she'd be happier in our house — with two little kids, one big dog and three crazy cats, not to mention two adults, at least one of which can't get enough of loving on animals (that's me) — to keep her company.
So why the sudden interest in bringing a ninth family member into our 1,200-square-foot house? Are we crazy? Well, maybe. But if being crazy means adding a little extra unconditional love to the mix, then you can call us crazy all you want! :o) The real reason is because our beloved Molly, who has been a member of our family since she was just a pup in early 2000, is finally getting a wee bit old. That in itself isn't a terrible thing, but in her old age, she has also gotten quite lazy, and she doesn't have any interest in being outside (unless there's snow on the ground), much less take a walk. So she's getting to be a wee bit large as well as a wee bit lazy. It breaks my heart to see her so inactive, and I really am getting worried about her health. We're hopeful having a full-time friend of the same species will help energize her spirit a little. And while our three crazy kitties are not too crazy about dogs, they've all taken to Molly (who was here before 2/3 of them) quite well and adjusted just fine. In fact, Jack, our most recent addition, rubs heads (to Molly's nose) with her on a regular basis. But I digress.
Chad and I have just kind of brought up the subject a couple of times over the past couple of days, and today, mostly on a whim, we just started driving toward the Humane Society…an hour away from our home. We were out Christmas shopping, and we both just had this feeling like we wanted to go for it. (I love that Chad and I are so similar-minded when it comes to animals!) We had been hearing on TV and radio how many dogs and cats there are in the shelters right now, in part because there are many people who are losing their homes and surrendering them due to apartments that won't allow them, and in part because people can't afford to keep feeding and caring for them, in addition to all the other reasons people often abandon their pets. It breaks my heart, and it's been weighing on Chad's mind, too. So after briefly talking about it for a couple of days, well, it just seemed right. Besides, we often have this way of making big decisions on a whim. (Think: Our last cat, our couches, my Cricut die-cut machine, my Kitchenaid mixer…not things that were really well thought out in advance. But they all worked out just fine!)
Anyway, since we had a sitter, we thought we'd go check out the dogs. We knew we wanted a dog. (We're at our absolute limit for cats! No more litterbox issues, please! Besides, this is mostly for Molly's sake.) We knew we didn't want a puppy. Too much excitement might do more damage to Molly's old age than help her. I think she'd just go lie down, stressed, in a corner somewhere and hope the pup went away. So we wanted an adult dog (Bella is about 3) with a very sweet and gentle personality…and Bella fit the bill far better than any other in the pound. She was it.
The sweetie knows her name (which again might have to change, unfortunately), knows SIT and SHAKE, and is a good mix between energetic and lovey. She actually licked my front teeth (on accident) today, although she wasn't overly licky. She would run around the pen, then come back to us, sit calmly next to us and let us pet her to no end. She chased a ball, came when we said COME and even walked off the patio to potty and poop. She seems like a pretty good fit.
She needs a good soaking and a good pass of the brush, so we'll have to get her to a groomer ASAP (not an easy thing on a Sunday evening, so looks like I'll be taking her somewhere on Monday morning, stat). Her long coat is pretty resemblant of a Labradoodle, and that's what they think she most likely is. They aren't 100 percent sure; she was surrendered to Animal Control without any information. One thing we do know is she passed every behavioral test they gave her with flying colors – six tests, and she scored 1s (highest number) on all of them.
All of this to say there is still a possibility Bella won't be coming home with us. Little E loves Molly, but other dogs — especially rambunctious ones — often scare her, so we'll have to see how she reacts. We can't spend our lives holding E in our arms in our own house, and we certainly don't want her to feel stressed in what is supposed to be the most secure place in her little world. So if she's completely freaked out with her tomorrow, it's a no go. That's a real possibility. So I'm trying not to get my hopes up too high.
And of course, Molly has to get along with her, too. We're taking her in tomorrow afternoon for a meet-and-greet (taking the kids, too). Molly's generally pretty good with other dogs, so I really don't think we'll have a problem with her. And G, well, he'd love whatever we brought home. In fact, he's mentioned a couple of times that he might like to be an animal doctor (vet) when he grows up. He just loves animals!
So that's our potential adoption story. I'll keep you posted! And yes, I do sometimes think we're crazy to bring another animal (especially a big one!) into our tiny little house. But if things work out like we want, we'll be building a house within a year (something that's been in the works a while now), and we will all have a little more room to stretch out and play.
PS I know the pics aren't the greatest quality, but they're not too shabby for a cell phone camera in a dim-lit, concrete shelter!
PPS I almost forgot! We weren't in a hurry before, but we are if we want this little girl! When we pulled her paper off the crate to go to the front and put a hold on her, the staff member checking us out said she was just back in the back talking to another couple about her. Sure enough, not two minutes later, the couple came to the front and lifted the paper off the table in front of us, asking if we were adopting her. Turns out they were there to get her, too. They hung out behind us for a little while, long enough to hear that we might not be able to make it tomorrow before our hold is released. The staff member told us we could be here right when they open at 3 p.m. on Monday and grab her paper before anyone else if we wanted to take our chances. That would be a tight trick, and I knew this couple behind us would make it a point to get there before us. So, thankfully we were able to make arrangements with our calendar tomorrow (thanks, Michele and Jeff!) and are going to rush to make it there by their last appointment slot tomorrow. It's G's Space Derby Day for Cub Scouts, so it'll be tight…but we're determined!