Today’s post was slotted to be one detailing our wonderful, recuperative trip to the desert, but then we met Molly.
Our desire to adopt a rescue dog was solidified over the Holidays and during the trip so on return, we started looking seriously with the intention of finding the right dog for us. I told Davin, “This is going to take some time, months even.” I expected to bring a dog home around the time that the peas go into the ground.
Molly was posted on Petfinder on Tuesday night. I called on Wed afternoon and had a long chat with the woman fostering her. She sounded too good to be true. A gentle, loving dog with no behavioural issues that would be overwhelming to people like us who do not have much dog experience.
Molly was being fostered in a home just outside of Toronto so we booked a rental car for Saturday knowing that she might not be right and that this could be the first in an exhaustive line of disappointing dog visits. We were eager to adopt a dog, but we also wanted to be honest and mindful of our limitations. Neither of us have much dog experience and we were worried that a dog with serious social issues and/or showing any signs of aggression could be more than we can handle. I have a tendency to root for the underdog, but I knew it would be detrimental for everyone if we took a dog based on feeling sorry for it, or with good intentions only.
It’s a tribute to the experience and integrity of the foster parents that Molly was exactly as described. It wasn’t long after meeting her that we knew she’d make a wonderful addition to our family. She was hesitant about us at first. She took her time to approach, but warmed up surprisingly quickly for a dog who has been through so much recently. What’s more, the allergies that normally plague me with prolonged exposure to shedding dogs was absolutely non-existent with this fluffy little Muppet (a mix of non-shedding breeds). A few hours later and she was settled on my lap in the back seat and we were on our way home together.
And just like that we are in love with a scruffy little dog.
It’s the beginning of our second day together and Molly is surprising us at every turn. She really is the most gentle and loving dog I have ever met. She has a generous heart, wants to please, and is showing the intelligence of her breeds (we think she is a poodle/schnauzer mix). We’re learning which commands she knows, how she likes to play, and what her food preferences are (banana=no, peanut butter=YES!!!!). Yesterday she was my shadow, and I became worried about whether we were doing what she needed to help her feel secure in order to overcome the separation anxiety that is inevitable in these sorts of situations. I know it takes time and patience for any animal to adjust to a new home — Kitty cried the first night we brought her home and I remember that it took her a while to form trust and see us as her people. My worries with Molly were about my lack of experience with dogs, and not about a rush to make things better. I’m reading everything I can about dogs as a way to boost my confidence and knowledge. I am currently enjoying, “The Other End of the Leash” and just finished “Dogs Never Lie About Love.” Amazingly, by bedtime we noticed that she was already letting go of some of her insecurity, was bonding more with Davin, and had stopped searching frantically for me every time I left the room. That’s leaps and bounds beyond what we expected.
As I write this she is splayed out comfortably on the lounge chair in my office. She has her head propped on the pillows and occasionally opens her eyes to look at me lovingly whenever I sneak a peak to see how she’s doing.
Molly is part terrier, derived from the Latin terrarius, or, of the earth. Most terriers were bred to unearth animals living underground. Naturally, they like to dig. Some breeds NEED to dig. People have been asking how she will do in the garden and the answer is that I don’t know yet. The garden is currently frozen and covered in a blanket of snow. I’d imagine that Molly’s personality and energy level hasn’t been revealed to us fully since she’s adjusting to new people and surroundings and has also just been spayed. We’ve had a few glimpses of her enthusiasm for running and play, but have had to be mindful of her recent surgery. As far as a possible penchant for digging goes, I figure we’ll cross that bridge in the spring. And if she does show a desire to uproot the garden, lots of exercise, trips to the park, and some obedience training will help keep all of us happy. I want her to experience time spent in the garden with me as a pleasant one, rather than a place of deprivation and restraint.
She couldn’t possibly be worse than the squirrels and feral cats that had their way tearing the place up this last growing season! She may even help keep them out. Regardless, I know she will be an excellent companion and I can’t wait to see what comes next in life with a dog.
Along with seeds, I carry dog treats in my pockets now.