We got a new dog! Gage is a five-year-old Jack Russell terrier. We picked him up from the shelter on Monday and so far he's doing well. He's a total sweetie who absolutely loves the kids. The cats were initially scared, but Gage and the cats now pretty much ignore each other. Scout the dachshund has his ups and downs. Shortly after Gage came home, Scout attacked him over a toy. Gage is bigger and has a much more muscular build, but he more or less stood and took the attack which left him with several scrapes on his face and leg. We moved all of the toys out of the dogs' reach and there have been no further incidents.
Our dog Duncan was hit by a car a little over a year ago. Duncan loved playing with the kids and slept in bed with Logan. Duncan also loved riding in the car and going on adventures. We got Scout as Duncan's "replacement" and while we all love him, he is a completely different dog and not at all a replacement for what we lost. Scout is fine with the kids, but he definitely prefers adults. He hates car rides and adventures. He isn't AT ALL fun to take places because he literally whines and cries the entire time we're gone. Gene has a special relationship with Scout that he didn't have with Duncan and Kaylin prefers the cats, so neither of them felt the gaping loss that Logan and I couldn't seem to shake. We wanted our buddy dog back!
We'd been half-heartedly looking for another dog for months. We stopped at the Peoria and Pekin shelters when we had the chance and I looked at the Petfinder website regularly. We were just sort of waiting for the right dog to fall into our laps. Saturday, Logan and I stopped by PAWS in Peoria just after they opened for the day. We walked into the dog room and the first kennel contained a sweet, cute little Jack Russell who seemed thrilled to see us. We gave him some attention and checked out the rest of the giant, barking menaces before going back to Gage. Hmmm, was this dog really special, or did he merely stand out because he wasn't a cookie cutter of the usual? We watched him for a bit. A shelter volunteer came around and tossed Gage a Kong toy. Gage gleefully played with the toy, tossing and catching it until it dropped into his water pail. We continued to watch as he figured out how to remove the toy from the large pail. That sealed the deal. We pulled his card and asked to meet him.
When the shelter employee brought Gage to the room, he immediately ran to Logan. Point. He then checked me out and submissively rolled over to have his belly rubbed. Oooh, another point! I filled out the paperwork to put him on a 24 hour hold and immediately called Gene, hoping he'd be able to come right down to meet Gage. Gene brought Kaylin, Kira and Scout. I kept Scout outside while Gene and the kids met Gage. He was great with everyone and beyond thrilled with the kids. After meeting the kids, a shelter worker brought Gage outside to meet Scout. I knew this wasn't exactly a true test as it was in a neutral place, but I honestly had no idea how Mr. Jealous Scout would act around a dog we were all fawning over. Both dogs seemed very interested in each other, with not a hint of aggression. Point and Game.
The shelter always makes adopters wait 24 hours before taking an animal home- this gives people time to think and weeds out many of the impulse buyers. Since it was Saturday and the shelter is closed on Sunday, we had to wait until Monday afternoon. We were fortunate that Gage was already neutered or we would have had to wait until at least Tuesday. Gene had conveniently taken Monday off work long before any thought of dog adoption, so he was able to pick up Gage before the kids came home from school.
Other than the little fight the first day home, things have been going very well. Gage sleeps with Logan (though early this morning he was in Kaylin's bed) and loves playing with all the neighbor kids. I've been trying to keep sort of in the background and let Gage develop a strong relationship with the kids, but I couldn't help myself Wednesday morning and took him in the car to get coffee. He loved the ride and wasn't at all stressed or whiny! Hooray! Hopefully, Gage will fill the void left by the loss of Duncan. I know that's not his job or responsibility and we will love him no matter what, but I think we got lucky and found our dog that will love kids and adventures!