We spent most of our first day of spring NOT acquiring any more pets. We first went to Tractor Supply where they had lots of baby chicks, ducklings and bunnies. The bunnies were adorable and so small they could sit in your hand. It was actually tough for me to pass them up. Fortunately, by law we cannot have chickens or ducks, so that wasn't even an option. I would have chickens in a second if it was legal :) I'd also have ducks, but since we don't have a pond that wouldn't make sense.
Our next stop was the animal shelter to look at dogs. They had lots of crazy large barking dogs that leapt on their cages, begging to be taken out. I felt sad that most of them will likely never find homes. Not sad enough to take one on myself, though. The sweetest, calmest dog was a beautiful chocolate Lab that Logan fell in love with. Unfortunately, she was 10 years old. I don't want a puppy, but I'm hoping for a dog in the 1-4 years range that will give the kids many years of active play. If I wasn't looking mainly for the kids, I would have adopted "Missy" in an instant. She was wonderful. We checked out the puppies and cats for fun. The puppies were a scraggly bunch, none even cute enough to make me "wish" I could have a puppy. The cats on the other hand... I wanted about 10 of them!
We moved on to PetSmart where another shelter had several more large barking dogs. We quickly moved away from the dogs and went into the cat room where two more "surprise" dogs were waiting. "Nipsy" was a 6-yr-old female beagle. She was a total sweetheart and quiet. "Tubbs" was a 3 month old Basset/pointer mix. (yes, he was as cute and silly looking as you imagine.) We took both dogs out to "try them out." Nipsy made me remember how much beagles love to follow their noses. She didn't pay a lick of attention to any of us as we walked her around the store. I wasn't offended by her ignoring us, but I did think a lot about how many times the kids and neighbor kids open our front door on an average day. I could spend every moment of my life chasing this dog around the neighborhood. I'm so used to Labs and shepherds and how they either don't want to leave the yard (Brady and Gabby) or they come back on their own or at least when called (Evan.) I have no doubt Nipsy would be great with the kids and cats, but I have great doubts I'd be able to EASILY train her to come when called and not follow her nose to be flattened by a truck on Knoxville. Tubbs was young enough to be trained to not run outside and to come when called, but he was too young to be housebroken. Shockingly, Gene loved Tubbs. He was a great puppy, but we agreed we work too much to deal with a puppy right now.
And so the dog hunt continues. I wish I could find a dog like I found Simon. A proven, already trained, great with kids and cats, perfect for our family dog. I'm thinking that probably won't happen. I guess my biggest problem is that I want a Lab or shepherd that weighs 20 pounds.