Today I am going to be sharing with you my adoption experience with my new best friend, Penny! Being a new PetParent is a little overwhelming, and I am sure that many of you out there are experiencing the same things that Penny and I are. Stay tuned to this blog series as I write about my joys, woes, tips, and other moments of being a new PetParent.
After I moved to Austin, one of THE most dog friendly cities in the U.S. I instantly had dog fever. I have had dogs my whole life, thats just the norm when you grow up on a ranch in Texas. After loosing my chocolate lab, Chance, a few years back I was ready to bring another four legged friend into my life. Adoption for me was the only way to go, as so many good dogs are homeless in the U.S. So my search began.
I first decided I needed to look into what breed I wanted. Because I live in an apartment, I knew that I would have to find a breed that would do well in a smaller space without a backyard. I also wanted a breed that could go running, hiking, swimming, and basically just be my sidekick around Austin. After doing a lot of research I found that I really liked English Springer Spaniels. I loved that they were sporting dogs like I had owned before, very willing to please, and also a little smaller than a normal size lab. After looking into the breed I found the English Springer Rescue America website, an organization dedicated to helping re-home homeless springers, and my so search began.
I would highly recommend using a breed rescue organization if you are looking for a specific breed of dog. After talking to my local representative she was able to determine the type of dog to look for that would suite my lifestyle. Because I own a cat, whom I LOVE, I wanted to make sure I found a dog that would get along with Bridgette. If you have a situation like mine where you own other dogs who may be a littler temperamental or a cat (who is always temperamental) a rescue behaviorist can help pair you with a dog that will fit right into your home.
The search for Penny was not a short one. I looked for months for the right dog to fit into my home. When working with a breed rescue you have to be warned to not get to attached to a dog you see online. Chances are if you are interested, so are others. I will not lie and say that I was not a little frustrated and starting to loose hope (I know you can blame me for being a little picky) but I had to be sure that the pup would not harm my kitty and that it could handle being in an apartment.
My luck changed when I began emailing with a foster mom in Austin about another dog, after determining the dog would not be a good fit I was again, frustrated ,and felt a little hopeless. However the foster mom had another dog in mind that had just been brought in after being abandoned by her family. Her original name was Princesa, and after learning more about her I was very eager to meet her. It was love at first sight. I was a little nervous to introduce her to Bridgette, but I was shocked to find that she was so well behaved around my cat. In fact I think she really likes Bridgette, even though Bridgette can be a Regina George at time.
I knew that Princesa was the right dog for me. I mean, she walked up to me and put her head in my lap like ‘Hey Mom!’… literally my heart melted. I was able to pick her up the next day which was only a day away. Like any new PetParent, I pillaged PetSmart. I am pretty sure I looked like a chicken without a head in there because I had no idea the kinds of things I would need for my new pup. If you are currently in this overwhelmed-I-cant-handle-PetSmart- phase, than check out this checklist to help decrease you’re rising blood pressure:)
After dog-proofing my home (which is like child proofing) I was very anxious to pick up Penny and bring her home. Oh yes, I changed her name. She reminded me of Penny of the Big Bang Theory (Which I LOVE) and I wasn’t too thrilled about Princesa. It starts with the same letter right? When I picked up Penny, she was SO excited to see me. I honestly did not know if she remembered me, but it was like she KNEW that I was taking her home.
So Penny and I have been living the good life! We have had a few little road bumps. The first night I had her, she had an accident in the house. I have to remind myself to be patient, because she and I don’t know each other that well yet. Eventually I will KNOW (which I have become better at) when she needs to go outside. But if your new pup does have an accident, get a bottle of Nature’s Miracle. With your dog in a new home that they are unfamiliar with, with people they don’t know, accidents are bound to happen. Nature’s Miracle is literally AMAZING. You cannot smell or see where your pup urinated… I know it literally is a miracle. (*Happy Dance*)
So it has only been a few days but I see a great future for Penny and I. She LOVES to go running, hiking, and on car rides with me! She also was super impressed when mommy made her a KONG filled with treats. I packed that thing FULL of goodies and she was busy for a while…mommy win! BTW new PetParents, if you are planning to be out and about, make your dog a KONG. This will distract them while you are gone and deter them from eating stuff they aren’t supposed to, like your new shoes. I will warn you though, you will feel like a TERRIBLE PetParent when you hear you dog start to cry for the first time. When I had to baby gate Penny (which she eventually escaped) she cried and cried and cried. It was awful having to walk out the door hearing that heart wrenching sound.
As you can tell I am a very new PetParent and still figuring this whole thing out. I know that tons of you are as well, so remember that you are not alone! Check back here as I document my life with Penny with all the good, bad, and ugly….but mostly good. I can tell you though (especially if you have never had children) once of you have pets, you are going to realize that you never knew you could love a little furry creature that much. Bridgette (my firstborn) stole my heart a few years ago and now with Penny I can proudly say I am one happy mom.
Thank you so much so English Springer Rescue America for your amazing support and for all your help! You guys have helped me find an incredible friend that I know I could not do alone.