in Checking In

Dogs join the family

January marked a year since we said goodbye to our Black Lab, Rocket. The house has been clean but quiet since then but facing the prospect of an emptier nest this fall, Kelly and I began kicking around the idea of another dog.

In February, a friend who is a volunteer dog rescuer brought over a dog she was trying to home. While this female dog seemed okay, she was unusually focused on tracking down our porch cat and seemed to pay us little attention. It would have been nice to help our friend out by taking in this dog but that spark I expected to feel just wasn’t there with this particular dog. Our search resumed.

One of Kelly’s friends mentioned to her that there were two dogs needing a home. These dogs had been abandoned at a neighbor’s boarding service ad were part of a trio of dogs, one of which found a home with another neighborhood friend. We arranged for them to visit us so that we could decide which one we would adopt.

Our boarding service friend Laura brought the dogs, Abbot and Tobin, over March 1st and gave us their long backstory. Both are hounds who had been in the kennel for the best part of a year. One was a stray and the other was part of some kind of dog-hoarding situation. They’d been together for months.

Laura turned them loose in our backyard and we watched them race around. They would take time out to come greet us. We kept them for the weekend and got them through the initial mistakes they made learning how to become house-trained.

One thing that was evident right away was that they go together. When out walking with them if we took one dog in a different direction, the other dog would plant his feet and not move. How could we possibly separate these two dogs who were obviously thick as thieves? We decided we could only take them both.

So now we’re the owners of not just one dog but two! In fact, we are finding it hard to imagine having just one dog. While there are disadvantages to owning multiple dogs, like increased food, vet, and boarding bills, more dog hair, and other issues; the benefits outweigh the drawbacks. They entertain each other, chasing each other around the yard for hours. They each have distinct personalities and both are very sweet. It’s fun to watch them sleep with one paw resting on the other dog.

Kennel habits still show up every now and then. One dog is still quite skittish around loud noises and anxious around dogs encountered on our dog walks but even so we’ve come a long way since that March 1st day. Hopefully we can get them together soon with their long-lost, nearby brother for a doggy playdate.

We look forward to many more years with these two in our family.