I have been just a little bit distracted lately. We got back from Singapore (more on that in my next post), with two weeks of laundry to do, doctor and dentist appointments, evening meetings and, oh, yes, work, when we hear that Atlanta Lab Rescue is having an adoption event Sunday afternoon. We look up a few dogs on the website, AtlantaLabRescue.com, and decide we’ve got to go. Mr. H. has a meeting right after church, so, tag, I’m it!
I came to the event all prepared to meet adult dogs “Bambi” and “Butter,” both quiet, well-mannered seeming Labradors, but we didn’t particularly connect. I walked around, resolving to meet all the dogs there, I watched ALS take a elfin publicity photo of a cute one-year-old called “Buffy,” a yellow Lab-mix. Buffy had quite a crowd around her, attracted by her cute costume and her cheerful personality. Buffy connected with me, enjoying an ear scratch and a back rub. She was quite a friendly dog.
A few chairs down was “Skye,” another one-year-old, almost white with the classic Lab features, who attracted crowds also, but didn’t keep them, as she would hide behind her handler. When I came by later for a second visit, she visited with me, then hopped up and gave me a sweet doggie kiss. She liked me! I liked her too–it’s pretty nice to be preferred.
The adoption event was ending soon, with Mr. H. on the way from his meeting. I was told to give ALR three choices. I put down “Skye,” “Buffy” and “Butter,” who had played with me a bit as well, and turned the form in just as the event ended and Mr. H. pulled into the parking lot. He got to meet both Skye and Buffy before their foster left. We were told we would hear something within a few days.
Tuesday was a day of phone tag with Becky, the leader of Atlanta Lab Rescue, who remembered us from our previous adoptions of Maggie and Dale. When we finally spoke, she asked if we would consider adopting both Skye and Buffy, who though they don’t look it, are sisters, had been adopted previously, and needed to stay together. The previous adoption had failed because the people wanted to give one dog back. The phone was on speaker so we could both hear, and Mr. H. gave me a big thumbs up. We’d be a two dog family again!
With help from daughters Sarah and Lucy, I started thinking about permanent names for the dogs. I was fine with “Buffy,” it seemed to suit her perky personality, and as a childhood fan on reruns of the “Family Affair,” with Buffy, Jody and Mrs. Beasley, I liked the name. I wasn’t so sure of the name “Skye”; she was a peaceful pup with dark chocolate eyes, and I wanted a friendlier, less aloof name. “Sally-Skye” she would be for a few days, then just “Sally.”
The dogs came the following Sunday, followed by a trainer (since they’d had a bit of trauma from the previous owner), and we’ve had them almost two weeks. The trainer thought they couldn’t be sisters, since Buffy didn’t look like a Lab, but they’re known to have had the same mom, and he estimated their age at 6-7 months, as they didn’t have all their teeth.
They have a lot more teeth now, and have grown as well. Buffy is the rambunctious often naughty one, chewing everything she can–no shoes or furniture, thankfully, although she did destroy her crate mat and the old rose-print blanket. (After experiencing bare crate consequences a few nights, she hasn’t attacked the new mat.) Buffy likes to escape but comes back quickly. Sally is very, very shy, but she can run like the wind. She sits at my feet sometimes, but hides behind the table more. We’re working on trust, “come” and overcoming her fears with Sally. Training two puppies at once is rather challenging–taking turns is as difficult for puppies as it is for children. Everyone wants to be first.
Sally and Buffy enjoy playing together, catching balls and other toys, going for walks and running in the backyard. They’ve dug a few holes and had to have their paws cleaned. Yesterday they bagged a squirrel. Seriously. I was talking with Neighbor Jim when I noticed Buffy had something in her mouth, with Sally jumping around her with a “NO, that’s MINE!” look on her little dog face. I told Buffy to “drop,” which she did, and I wrapped a plastic bag around the squirrel, said “Good Dogs!” and disposed of it. (I’ve avoided doggie kisses since though.)
Just as when little puppy Maggie brought me a bird so many years ago, hunting is what dogs do. I’m glad I didn’t scream this time, as I did with Maggie. (She never brought me another gift, although she enjoyed chasing quite a few critters.) I think my 2020 vegetable garden will be safe–the deer, rabbits and squirrels will stay away.
It’s not quite two weeks, but Sally and Buffy are growing up. We’re working on “sit,” “stay” and “come,” which may be the hardest but most important. There may be a lot of retreating to cuddle together in Sally’s crate when visitors come over the holidays, but they know that this “Hibbard House” is home.