As you regular readers know all too well by now, we lost our beloved Pepa and Rolly back in early December, and ever since, the house has seemed so empty, lifeless and devoid of energy or much joy ... at first we vowed we'd wait until at least Spring before we thought about adopting another dog, but we were sure we wanted her to be at least part terrier. A couple of weeks ago, just out of curiosity I started looking at adoptable dogs on the Petfinder website, The local Animal Rescue league, and a few other sites ... then I stumbled one night upon Hanna's web page, sponsored by T.A.R.A, a Kansas City based rescue organization. It was love at first sight, at least for me ... so I rounded up Fernymoss and had him come up and take a look at her ... He liked her immediately, just based on her web page and we talked a bit about maybe asking for more information about her. He went to bed early that night, and I thought to myself, I'm smitten enough by this little girl, I should at least fill out an application to adopt her and see what happens.
I didn't have to wait long, as it turned out ... the following day, Fernymoss called me from work and asked me: "You know that little dog we were looking at last night? How serious are you about seeing if we can adopt her?" I laughed and replied: "Serious enough to have spent the time filling out the adoption application last night!" Sometimes even our sporadically great minds think alike!
A little later I was contacted by Hanna's foster mom (and rescuer from the pound), with whom I had a very nice conversation about possibly adopting her. I explained our circumstances and said that we hadn't really intended to adopt so soon, but that she had already stolen our hearts, or at least attention! I said we were quite serious about at least giving her their standard "2 week trial home stay" and if she was willing, we'd love to meet her as soon as possible. As it turned out, little Hanna was suffering with a mild case of kennel cough (that seems to be going around all over in the kennels right now) and that she still had a week to complete her course of antibiotics, but she would likely be ready to come up January 18. I talked to her a few more times in between now and then, as we worked out more of the details and questions ... I tell you, the waiting between January 7 (our first contact) and today was excruciatingly interminable! I think it was even worse for Fernymoss than I (though I was exceedingly antsy!), but I was more than willing for the right time for her to come and see if she'd like living at Casa IVG ... she's such a unique little girl (part Corgi-Jack Russell Terrier), she was more than worth the wait!
The wait finally ended late this afternoon, as Hanna and her foster mom rolled into the drive, provoking cries from Fernymoss of "She's Here! She's HERE!!!" While everyone got acquainted (her foster mom is a lovely person, btw!), Hanna quickly discovered our somewhat limited supply of squeaky toys and set about playing, jumping up and down and generally making herself quite at home! After we took care of all the necessary paperwork, her foster mom took off back to Kansas City, and we began to get to know our new little girl, and boy, is she a honey! Lots of puppy kisses, playing and exploring the various rooms of the house, all totally new and intriguing territory for her, obviously....
She definitely loves her squeaky toys, and I can see that she's going to keep us busy finding her new ones ... here she is positively demolishing one of Pepa's old toys, the evil stuffed squirrel, and after a while we decided we should take the plushie squeakies away from her, because we are afraid she'll ingest some of the stuffing, but I remembered some old rubber squeakies people had given us in the past (Pepa and Rolly appreciated the gifts, but never quite got into them) that were stored away down in the basement ... so I pulled all the good ones and gave them a try, then brought them upstairs. Fernymoss said that she had heard me squeaking them downstairs and was checking out all the registers trying to figure out where the noise was coming from, lol. So, when I returned, I regaled her with a veritable bonanza of toys which kept her quite busy and active for a good amount of time ... enough that she seems to have forgotten the plushies and is having fun playing with these rubber ones.
Though she's only been here a little over six hours, she's already brought such a positive and energetic change to our lives and household ... we're honored to have her here and are sure she will make a wonderful new addition to our pack (even the ones who are now gone, but who watch over the house).
I have to admit, I expected her to be bigger than she turned out to be, but no matter what size, she is positively adorable and very bright ... and for a puppy of about 8 months old, she's remarkably obedient and polite ... at least so far! She clearly wants to please and have fun, and we're right on board with that, even though we're going to need to work with her on a few puppy issues (boundaries mostly), she's astonishingly mature for a dog her age. Though she clearly has the Corgi body, she really favors the Jack Russell Terrier more, and she's got the terrier vim and vigor and big dog attitude nailed down already. Just the thing to warm any terrier lover's heart and bring a great sense of pride and joy to have such an inquisitive, energetic and sweet pup in the house!
So, a new pup era begins here at Casa IVG, and though we still miss Pepa and Rolly very much, Hanna is not intended to be a replacement for them, no ... she is a follower in their very big paw prints, and with time, we already think she's going to fill them admirably and spend many good years here with us. We're hoping she enjoys them as much as we think we are going to! She's already been on a walk around the neighborhood tonight to get acquainted with the smells and sights and sounds ... and she's clearly fascinated by the different sounds around the house (the furnace kicking in, the refrigerator running, etc.), so it's going to take a little time for her to adjust to her new surroundings, but she already seems very comfortable here and is, as I write, napping with Fernymoss on the couch downstairs. It's so quiet that I know that's where she is (as she was a bit earlier before I began this post) ... She had a very big day! After a 3+ hour drive up here, and all the stimulation and playing she had earlier, even she, the terrier, seems ready to settle down and recharge! And boy, will she recharge, I'm sure! As active as Pepa was (even toward the end), it's been a while since we've had such energy loose in the house ... and we're loving every minute of it!
Aaron, Fernymoss' brother (the vet) told me when I first discovered her and sent her link to him, that he thought it was probably a good idea for us to adopt now, to ease the pain of our losses and refocus our energies ... therapy, if you will. He referred to the "Jedi doggie magic" another pup can exert on grieving people, and if tonight's been any indication, she's really working the magic well! This is a very happy day here at our house, and as we hurtle toward the Obama inauguration, we feel so privileged to have such a positive little honey ushering in the new era with us! It truly does seem like we've turned the page definitively on a very sad 2008 and we are advancing into the challenges of a better 2009, and she'll be along for every joyous step of the ride.
So, regular, faithful readers who have offered us so much consolation and very kind thoughts since we lost our precious pair of devoted friends, what do you think? She's definitely got "Queen" potential (if Pepa is willing to relinquish her crown ... as I think she would), don't you think?