Ever since we thought we had adopted Cash, Zach has been talking about bringing a second dog into our family. This weekend we went out to a few shelters “just to look”. I should have known that two animal lovers could not possibly go out “looking” without bringing someone home.
The first shelter we went to – the Oregon Humane Society – had so many dogs! It broke my heart to walk through there and see all of their sad eyes begging for you to love them and I ended up crying in the car after we left. It’s amazing to me that someone could have a pet as part of their family for years – some of the dogs were eight or nine or more – and then just decide that they don’t fit into their lifestyle anymore. The people move into an apartment that doesn’t take pets, or they move across the country and don’t want to deal with transporting a dog, or they just tire of the time and care that an animal requires. The animal doesn’t understand why they’re suddenly ripped from their home and family and put into a small, windowless cage where they can smell and hear other animals, but can’t see them or play with them. They all just looked so sad and lonely and confused. We saw a girl there that we discussed for a while, but Zach and I had set some very serious criteria for the kind of companion we wanted for Gibson and in the end she did not fit everything on the list. It was hard to leave her and the other dogs. I think if I had my way I would just take them all and stay home all day making sure they each got enough love and attention and play time.
The second shelter we went to was Multnomah County Animal Control. They had far fewer dogs and most of them were puppies. Again we seriously discussed a couple of options – two male pit bull puppies who couldn’t have been more than eight or nine weeks old, and a female shepherd mix who was probably about six months. But again, they just didn’t meet all of the criteria we had laid out and we had to leave them.
Finally we ended up at an adoption event put on by Oregon Friends of Shelter Animals in Beaverton. OFoSA is an all-volunteer organization that saves endangered animals from local shelters and houses them in foster homes until they are adopted. Because they do not have an actual facility and only operate out of volunteer foster homes, OFoSA hosts adoption events every weekend. This is where we found Pete. We knew as soon as we walked in that we were in trouble. He is a small three-month old puppy who is black, but has the same white chest stripe as Gibson. The people at OFoSA say he’s a collie/lab mix who will only be about 30 pounds. We walked him around the store and sat and talked about it for a very long time. I’m not sure right now was exactly the right time for us to be making another household change, but Pete meets every criteria that we had laid out and Zach was already in love… again. I think he will be a good addition and we’re happy to have him.
We introduced the dogs at the park near our house and then brought them home to romp in the backyard for a while. Pete is a little bit intimidated by Gibson and for now we think that’s a good thing. Pete got a bath this morning and they both have vet appointments tomorrow. Gibson isn’t the best at sharing so far, but he spent about two hours cleaning Pete’s ears last night and I think in time they will be good friends. It will be nice for Gibson to have a companion during the long days at home while Zach goes through his busy season again next fall. We’re hoping the separation anxiety and nervousness that Gibson displays will be lessened by the distraction of Pete’s company.
Here are some pictures to get you by until you come to meet him. (My folks are coming tonight and we have high hopes that they will immediately fall in love and be okay with taking on two dogs for sitting when we’re out of town!)