I am not quite sure why but over the past few weeks I have gotten the itch for another pet. I was open to another kitty OR a dog. Kitty cats are so much fun and they are very easy to care for. With cats, you can simply leave for a long weekend. Just put out food, water and fresh litter and the cats will take care of themselves. Dogs, on the other hand, can be spazs and require a lot more work. Although, both David and I grew up with dogs and hoped to one day provide that same experience for Madeline.
Tuesday, Madeline and I headed to the SPCA. This isn't the 1st time she and I poked around there. Before we even left the house, Madeline kept telling me, "I want a dog! I want a doggie!" Trust me, we didn't get a dog just because Madeline wanted one but when we found the *right* dog, it certainly didn't hurt the cause. I, however, was trying to convince Madeline before we left the house that she did not want a dog, she really wanted a cat. She was too funny though because Madeline had an answer for everything.
The conversation went something like this:
"Madeline, why do you think we should get a dog?"
"Because I never had a dog"
"Madeline, we don't always get everything we want."
"Mama, Cinderella has Lucifer (cat) and Bruno (dog) and I want a dog."
"Madeline, dogs are a lot of work. They need to be fed and walked."
"I can take a doggie for a walk."
"Doggies don't go poopie in a litter box. Doggies go outside. What if the doggie poops in the back yard near your swing set?"
"The dog can poop on a walk"
"Well, Madeline, we'd still have to clean up the poop"
"You can clean it up, Mama"
"ME???? Why couldn't YOU clean it up?"
"Mammmmaaaaa....I am just a little girl! Little girls *can't* pick-up poop! I might get dirty!"
And like I said.....she had an answer, albeit a 4 yr old's version, for everything.
When we arrived at the SPCA, the first corridor of doggies had a lot of pit bull mixes. All I have to say on that is....NO WAY! I know that there are good pit bulls out there bu I am not willing to take the risk. Madeline and I saw a bunch of tiny yappers and spazzy, drooly dogs too. We rounded the corner to a doggie with really interesting colors not only in the fur but the eyes too. The dogs name at the SPCA was Cindy (although we renamed her). I opened the half-door to pet Cindy and when most big dogs jump up, spaz-out, and drool all over the place, this doggie very politely jumped up. When I pet her she leaned her head to the side and right into my hand. She was just looking for love.
Next, I asked if I could walk the dog. Cindy was scheduled to go out on the Whisker Wag'n (mobile adoption unit brought out to various pet stores to increase an animal's exposure) so I only had a couple of minutes to walk her. Cindy walked great on the leash. Madeline was so excited about walking the dog that I began to see how nice this type of addition would be to our family. While outside, I told Cindy to sit & lay and she listened. Obviously, this doggie had obedience training. Also, when she laid down, the dog rolled onto its back in a submissive manner. Madeline ran around and the doggie was excited about Madeline but did not become overly riled. Cindy remained gentle mannered. This really was a good dog. Okay.....time to call David.
Madeline and I got to the Wag'n first and the first words out of my mouth were, "Is Cindy still here"? Although someone was very interested in adopting the dog, the SPCA couldn't approve the adoption because the girl still lived at home. And so, it was meant to be, I guess. We took the doggie into the pet store for a walk around with David. For a long time we thought, talked, and considered. David and I both knew that if we were to get a dog, THIS dog was perfect. She's laid back, gentle, great with Madeline, etc, etc. The question was are we ready for a dog? Again, watching Madeline interact with Cindy was melting our hearts. Finally, we decided to move forward.
I must say, Madeline has a new best friend. The first night after Madeline went to bed, the dog sat with me and David for a while. Eventually the dog disappeared and we just figured she was exploring the house. I finally decided to check what the dog was up to and she was sleeping in the doorway to Madeline's room. Every night since she has been home (since Tuesday) the doggie has slept somewhere in Madeline's room. Madeline has made tea parties for, played outside with, read to, and narrated tours (in the car) for the dog. Out of the blue, Madeline will turn to the dog and say, "I have to tell you something very important doggie. I love you sooooo much!" Now when I pick Madeline up from school the first thing she does is question the whereabouts of the doggie. Going forward, I am sure you'll be hearing much more about Madeline's new sidekick.
And now, I guess I should tell you doggie's name. In the spirit of being part of Madeline, we decided to name our new little Australian Shepherd (mix?) "Sobaka" which is Russian for dog. Welcome Home, Sobaka!