Today was the day we visited the boarding kennel to meet the dog that was selected for my daughter, after we had a house call of one of the foundation’s contributors.
All things are ready in our home to take him home today. We made a stair-gate so the dog has no access to the attic where the cats have their safe haven now. It is one thing to bring a new dog into the family and it is another thing to create such an environment that all animals are able to live in peace. I have absolutely no idea how our 2 cats are going to react. I do have a memory of a few years ago when we decided to take in a third cat. It took 4 months for the oldest male cat to get used to the new and younger male cat. During that transition I had moments where I came to believe that there would never be peace in our home again. Though 6 months later they were cute stepbrothers and were able to lay down in the same chair. So I have to let go of this 1 memory where we had hard times. I mean isn’t every new situation, in fact a new situation, until we decide to turn it into something old? I will slow myself down and breathe through it, as that solves a lot when I think things get rough.
So we got into the car, my daughter my partner and myself. My son had no direct interest to come along, he said he is cool with a dog in the house, and he will meet him whenever we bring him home. We brought some toys, a large towel, some dog treats, 2 different dog harnesses, some water, a bowl and a leash. We were ready and nervous and it was still an hour drive to get to the boarding kennel.
During the drive I was asking myself: what if I do not like the dog and my daughter does? What if in realtime it doesn’t seem the thing to do for me. I decided to put those questions on hold, since I could not answer those questions and it seemed to be more of a mind entertaining type of thoughts. I know where that ends, and why should I seek for feelings of insecurity when I can as well enjoy the ride and experience all that happens in real time. Never in my life have “what if thoughts” assisted me, it brought me chaos instead. So a big no no to these thoughts and we focussed on the names we had been able to come up with.
My daughter had been choosing some names for the dog to rename him. Only after meeting him she wanted to choose the name that seemed right.
We arrived a bit early at the boarding kennel and no one was home. So my daughter called the owner to tell her we had arrived. About 10 minutes later she came home. We had been seeing several dogs and heard several dogs while waiting. Is one of them our dog? We didn’t see any beagles.
We went in with the owner and she walked us after a bit of chatting to the place where the beagles and guest dogs were. In the distance we saw 2 beagles sitting on a wooden bridge. One came right away to the lady when she was calling his name, though that was another beagle we later found out. Our dog came out of the fenced field and we let him walk with us without right away touching him or calling him. Then we went to the garden of this lady so the other dogs could not come in and got acquainted with sir Oliver. It was a bit awkward in the sense that my hands are used to stroke and pet cats. This animal felt like sanding paper at first. How do I pet a dog? So whenever he came to me I stroke him where he seemed to like it. The lady said that he is a really cuddly and wants to cuddle all day. I was sold. This could be the perfect dog for our family. My daughter had to go through some paperwork and after an hour of being there we left with a dog and a animal passport.
My daughter put the harness on and the leash to assist him to our car. Her first idea was to sit in front of the car and keep the dog on her lap. My partner was not really thrilled with that idea while he had to drive, so we placed both of them in the back seat, which turned out to be the best solution.
During the drive the dog was trembling and absolutely not feeling okay. We tried to calm him down with a stable voice and my daughter stroke him the entire time. This hour was one of the longest hours in my life. When we took the cats out of a shelter it was a 45 minutes drive and they made a terrible noise during this drive. The dog stayed calm, didn’t bark or cry, he underwent it to his best ability. After all as a laboratory dog he has been used to go through awkward situations as well and make the best out of it.
When we were almost home my daughter decide to call the dog Oliver. My daughter has become the proud parent of a dog and I have become a grandmother! Lets walk this journey!