Thursday, May 2, 2013

The New Arrival

**NOTE: This entry was up (very) briefly yesterday but then I got a heart-stopping call at about 1pm while I was in the middle of editing so I never put it back up. I will now, and everything's fine, but yesterday was kind of insane so reposting it slipped through the cracks. Next entry will deal with that. Just so's ya know.**

I haven't updated lately on purpose. I'm not the best at keeping big news (either happy or sad) to myself and these last few weeks have been no exception. I'm usually annoyed whenever a blogger announces they have a "huge, fun thing that [they] can't talk about!" and then fails to follow up on it -either because it falls through/turns out differently then they'd hoped or because they forget. I didn't want to be that person so I kept waiting until I could absolutely say everything was settled.

So, since everything's been finalized at this point, I feel confident when I say: Welcome home, furry housemate!
She's the canine answer to "Grumpy Cat"
After much agonizing name-yelling back-and-forth (a post for another time) we're calling her Lily, but she came to us as Lin Lin. We got her from the good folk at Under My Wing Pug Rescue, a lovely little organization that is run by 2 (yes, only two) people working with a group of loving foster families to give homes to pugs in our area.

We spotted her about 3 weeks ago on their website and fell in love with her little face. We'd been talking about getting a dog for a while though we hadn't decided on a breed - we just knew we wanted a rescue. Her story won our hearts. She lived her life as a backyard breeder, kept in a cage in an unlit, unheated shed, with other pugs and pomeranians, having litters of puppies that were taken from her and sold once they were 8 weeks old. She's been devocalized which means when she does bark it's the most heartbreaking, high-pitched little whine, barely audible and so adorable you'll wet yourself. She's nervous around people so far (no shaking or nervous peeing or anything but definitely cautious and clingy) but she's apparently come incredibly far from the quivering, hiding mess she started out as, so we're proud of her progress.

When we saw her picture we knew we wanted to meet her. The only way to meet her was to fill out an application. So we did. All 9 pages of it. What followed was weeks of reference checking, cheque writing, nervous pacing, obsessive research, supply-buying and, finally, last week, an approval. 

We drove out to her temporary home and we (okay, I) may have misted up a bit as her temporary keeper said "It's your last car ride, little girl - you're going home!" She was good as gold on the ride home, no carsickness, sat right down even though she was clearly a bit freaked out. Her first night was pretty marvellous, all cuddles and house-exploring, and we were glad to have her.

The next night was a little more challenging as she ended up peeing on the couch (YES THE NEW COUCH FROM IKEA) when a friend's dog came by to say "hi" (ie: jumping up toward her and guiding her into the kitchen with his nose pressed to her butthole). Good news? We're pretty sure we discovered the mess early. Bad news? We caught it early because I sat in it. Sigh. Luckily we'd had the forethought to buy some stain remover "just in case". Thank Jeebus for my pessimism or the whole situation would have been much more annoying.

It's also clear that, like most pugs everywhere, she's a little furry shadow. No bathroom trip or walk to get the mail is complete without the little click click click of her feet (DIRECTLY) behind you.

But I think what's going to prove the greatest challenge is that she's still so nervous. I know, I know, it's only been 2 days, she's doing really well. It's just hard when you're adjusting to a new routine and you have the added stress of an unhappy dog. I mean, have you seen pugs' faces? At their best they're morose-looking. In addition, it looks like she's fonder of me than TB which has been hard on him since he's putting in at least as much work on this as I am, if not more.

We'll survive, and it will get better, it's just a big change, y'know? I mean, in the last 9 months I've gone from living on my own to buying a house with someone else, to being a little family unit of 3. I'd be lying if I said it was all rainbow cupcakes, all the time. But most days, it's at least a rainbow muffin.

She's a good girl, calm, well-behaved (mostly), and through some miracle, barely snores. And I'm convinced that no big decision - moving, new job, new family member- happens without at least a few moments of "WHAT HAVE I DONE??". The good news is, whenever I've been in that situation, I almost always look back a while later and think "Why didn't I do this sooner?"

So that was basically my impetus for keeping my piehole shut. On this, at least. Still running at the mouth on anything else, natch. Any advice on dogs or hilarious stories about pets doing crappy things and you still loving them much appreciated.

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