I’m a dog person. Like… really a dog person. If, in the middle of a conversation with you, I see a dog, I will immediately squeal “puppyyyyyy” and wring my hands because I feel weird going over and petting strange dogs without permission. I spend a lot of time on Pinterest looking at pictures of dogs.
Back when I was in college, my parents had a Sheltie, and he was pretty much my dog, too, even though he didn’t live with me. But after Iain and I got married and moved away, I found myself dogless.
And I wasn’t happy about it, but what can you do? We traveled a while and then went through the joy of house hunting and basically made excuses why the time wasn’t right to get a dog.
(We were also making the same excuses about having kids, but hey…)
But even though the time wasn’t right, that didn’t stop me from haunting local humane society websites and checking Craiglist for basically the whole western half of Oregon.
Last year we decided to get serious in our dog-hunting, and so I spent even more time on those websites. We went to meet dogs at shelters and had long discussions over the relative merits of big dog versus little dog. We discovered that we both have a big weakness for pit bulls. They have developed a bad rep, but the pitties we’ve met have been nothing but sweet, and we think they have the greatest, most expressive faces.
This past January rolled around, and lo and behold, Craigslist Portland drew back its clouds and revealed The Perfect Dog.
See, we had a list of requirements that absolutely had to be met for a dog to fit into our family. Iain’s sister and her husband live a block or so away from us, and they have three little kids. The middle one, my now-five-year-old nephew, has never been fond of animals that are bigger than he is, and some of the experiences we had with bigger dogs and Nephew made us really uneasy. Basically, he got really scared and dogs see that as prey behavior.
Well, the last thing we wanted was a dog that wasn’t used to kids because we certainly didn’t want Nephew to be prey. And we’re hoping to have our own rugrats soon, so kid-friendly was the top thing on our list and a deal-killer, no matter how much we loved the dog. We were also hoping to find an adult dog that was pretty much past its puppy supercrazyenergetic phase, since neither of us are particularly energetic. Some training would be nice, too, since we’re considering ourselves first time dog owners (Iain never grew up with dogs like I did).
So when I found this Craigslist post, I thought I had died and gone to dog heaven. 3 year old female pit bull, had been raised with children (including a 10 month old baby), very friendly, good basic training… pretty much everything we had been hoping for.
Now if you’ve ever tried to get anything off of Craigslist, you know it’s a crapshoot. Sometimes you’ll get really lucky and get in first, sometimes what you want is already gone, sometimes it’s a scam. So I sent an email to the poster explaining that we were looking to add a dog to our family and asking if she was still available.
That dog is now snoring away at the other end of the couch, half in Iain’s lap.
Belle was confused and timid the first day or so she was with us, but she settled in far faster than either of us expected. It’s been about six weeks, and she’s basically taken over the place. She enjoys going on walks (and sort of learning leash etiquette), zooming around the back yard, sleeping on the couch, farting while sleeping on the couch, sleeping in her bed, trying to sneak into our bed at about 5 am, and hoping we’ll drop some of our food from the kitchen table during meals.
Belle is a great dog, and I’m so glad we found her. There’s nothing like a 65 pound dog who really, really wants to be in your lap so she can cuddle you.
I still look at pups on Pinterest, but at least now I get to snuggle my own puppy.