Tag Archives: Dog

We Adopted a Puppy, Part Two

We Adopted a Puppy Part Two

We Adopted a Puppy Part Two

So far, 2016 has been The Year of the Puppy.

Our family is growing.

Last month we welcomed a puppy, Max, to our household. This is Max.

We Adopted a Puppy Part Two

Isn’t he the cutest?

We thought our empty canine nest was full, but once again, Fate intervened. Last week, waiting for the snow storm to arrive, I happened to come upon these photos posted on Facebook …

… with this message:

We are looking for a FOREVER home for sweet Wyatt. A home where he will have unconditional love and care, patience and training, and where he will eventually grow old. If you are looking to adopt a great puppy and willing to help him grow into a wonderful dog then please message me.

His introduction to life hasn’t been easy. He was seized for cruelty. His previous owner tried to beat him to death. While he was only a tiny puppy, she hung him and broke several of his ribs. After suffering all of this abuse, he greets the world with only love. He is truly an amazing dog. He gets along well with other dogs, he is interested in (but gentle with) cats, and he loves to be snuggled by humans and other fur creatures alike. He listens well and is highly motivated by treats. At this young age, he is both potty and crate trained – he would absolutely thrive after a basic canine manners training class. He really loves people.

The foster mother added that the four month-old puppy was a pit bull/terrier mix.

I will admit to a longstanding distrust of pit bulls. Not that I have had any experience with them, mind you. It was their reputation that preceded them. I bought into that completely.

I felt sorry for them, because I know they are often unwanted and ill regarded. But I never considered adopting one.

But … these photos. So adorable! And the description of Wyatt, well, it tugged at my heart. All of a sudden, I imagined that a second puppy in the house might be a good thing.

This puppy.

I remembered how we found our beloved dog, Duncan, who passed away after 10 wonderful years with us. I had seen his photo and description on an adoption website and fell in love. He was also being fostered by a caring family, as Wyatt was, a family that wanted to keep him but didn’t have the room for another dog. We brought him home with us right then and there.

It was one of the best decisions we ever made.

And now, looking at pictures of Wyatt, I tried to picture him in our family. I knew that we could provide a safe and loving home for him. We would have a playmate for Max, he of the indefatigable energy.

Maybe it is time to debunk this stereotype, I thought. The stereotype of the vicious pit bull. Let’s meet Wyatt and see.

The next day Wyatt’s foster parents brought him to our house.

He ran right over to us and wagged his tail.  It was instant love. How could you not? He’s got polka dots on his ears!

We Adopted a Puppy Part Two

As you’ve guessed, the rest is history.

Wyatt is everything his foster mother had said: docile, friendly and charming. He is the best cuddler ever. He is sweet to our cat, Lexie, and is a wonderful playmate for Max, amenable to playing or napping or chewing toys, whatever Max chooses.

We Adopted a Puppy Part Two

Will a second dog be more work? Undoubtedly. But in no time at all, Wyatt has proved himself to be an adaptable, polite new resident. He asks for little but gives so much in return. He fits into our lives, the rhythms of our home, perfectly.

I always said that Duncan thanked us every day of his life.  Perhaps I’m attributing human traits to animals, but Duncan was a very smart dog.

Maybe all our pets are grateful for forever homes. Some just show it more than others.


I’ve seen a bumper sticker that says “Who rescued whom?”

In this case, it’s hard to say.


#MidLifeLuv Linky
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Missing Duncan: Remembering the World’s Best Dog

Missing Duncan: Remembering the World's Best Dog

We lost our sweet dog Duncan last week. Our hearts are broken.

How long will it take walk into the house and not expect him to come bounding in to greet us, tail wagging? When will I be able to look at a photo of him without tearing up?

Life with Duncan was joyful, and now my husband and I are trying to reconfigure life without him. We have to get used to the screaming stillness. It is eerily, disturbingly quiet.

My dog never left my side.

When we adopted Duncan 10 years ago, his foster mother laughingly told me that he followed her everywhere, even the bathroom. We soon discovered what she meant. If we moved from one room to another, there he was with us.

Even the bathroom.

He was uncommonly acquiescent. Undemanding. He came to us with no baggage, despite the neglect he had suffered as a puppy. The first night, my husband closed our bedroom door with Duncan on the outside, and in the morning there he was, waiting patiently, overjoyed to see us.

He rarely barked and never complained.

All he wanted was to be with us – my husband, my three children and me. He loved his grandparents and was attached to them, too.

He was more of a people dog than a dog dog. He would jump up on a dining room chair to sit with us for holiday meals, figuring he was expected to be at the table.

Dunkie chair Reading

He slept in our bed unless one of the kids were home. When he heard them come in late at night with their friends, he excused himself to join their party.

Missing Duncan: Remembering the World's Best Dog

Duncan and I had a deep appreciation for each other.  We shared jokes. We enjoyed the same things, the walks, the weekends at the beach, cuddling. When I looked at him he wagged his tail. When he looked at me I smiled.

When he took naps, I swear he kept one eye open watching me all the time.

He loved sitting on the deck at the beach. We never had to worry about him running away. He had no interest in being anywhere we weren’t.

Missing Duncan: Remembering the World's Best Dog

One of the very best things about working from home was being able to take him on long walks. The funny thing was, he always chose the route. He was adamant about that. When we got to a corner he would stop, look each way, and then choose the direction. If we tried to dissuade him, he would politely disagree and stand his ground.

We always said that he walked us. Four walks a day, four different routes. That was how he rolled.

Long walks, up hills and down, across busy streets, on back roads. We covered lots of territory, and I loved observing the changes in nature each season from the road. When I just had to take a photo of a perfect flower or crimson leaves or the sun filtering through the trees, I asked him to wait a minute. He would stop in his tracks to let me take the photo.

Missing Duncan: Remembering the World's Best Dog

As he grew sicker over the past weeks, his walks grew shorter and shorter.  Two days before he died, though, he insisted on taking one of the long routes despite his pain. Really? I asked him. Don’t you want to go back?  He glanced at me and then looked straight ahead, his way of saying, I’m OK. When we had gone too far to turn around, he looked up at me, panting, his eyes conveying, You were right.

I squatted down next to him and there we sat for a few minutes. “We’ll go real slow,” I promised him. And we eventually made it home.

Missing Duncan: Remembering the World's Best Dog

Some bereaved pet parents find comfort in imagining their pet running over the Rainbow Bridge. Personally, I can’t bear to think of the Rainbow Bridge. I picture Duncan at the top, pausing in confusion, looking back, wondering where we are.

Missing Duncan: Remembering the World's Best Dog

Because that’s where he wants to be.

Rest in peace, sweet Dunkie. You will live on in our hearts forever.

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Morning on Long Beach Island

Dawn breaks with the first shaft of sunlight dancing on the water. It is still but for the gentle crash of the surf and the squawk of a seagull in flight. A few fishing boats dot the landscape, and the ocean, sparkling like a cascade of diamonds, goes on forever.

I scan the shoreline in both directions, and there is no one in sight. Of course it’s empty. It is early on a Saturday morning, and sensible people are relishing the extra sleep. Duncan and I, however, both early risers, are excited to explore the beach.

We will find treasures: a piece of driftwood, a glistening pearly shell, a sand crab burrowing in the wet sand. With practiced precision, a bevy of sandpipers skitters away from the tide, and then back again as the waves recede. Duncan observes a gathering of gulls up ahead and races to join them. The birds, alarmed, trot a few steps and then flap their wings to freedom. Duncan looks back at me and wags his tail.

Our walk concluded, we sit on the deck. I sip my coffee and read the morning paper. Duncan gazes at the ocean, happily anticipating our next beach adventure.

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