Saturday, August 31, 2013

Holly is home

We weren't even out of our friends' house in Lake Geneva when the girls started asking when they were getting a dog. We told them we weren't even going to get serious until after vacations were over and we were back in the school routine. Lake Geneva was our last summer trip. They took that idea seriously. They wanted to go straight from Lake Geneva to a rescue group to pick up a dog.

Since we had spent most of the summer researching different rescue groups, we were down to a couple of places. We called and emailed about a Lab/Australian Shepard puppy named Boomer. We never heard back from that group. We're two weeks out and we still haven't heard from them. I think it's strange because this group called us about our application within a day or receiving it.

In the meantime there was a Border Collie/Great Pyrenees mix named Holly on a different rescue group's site. She is white, with a black mask and a black patch on her side. I emailed them about her before we left Lake Geneva. Shortly after we arrived home, I heard from her Foster Mom that Holly had another family coming to see her. If things didn't work out with them, she'd call us.

On Tuesday Foster Mom called to say that the other family decided they wanted a younger puppy. Holly is ten months old, so she's young, but nearly full grown. I went over to meet Holly and just knew that she could be our dog.

Today Holly came home with us.

It turns out she's a Lab/Great Pyrenees mix. This makes much more sense to me. When I met Holly I kept thinking she wasn't really shaggy enough to be a Border Collie/Great Pyrenees mix. Those are both breeds with longer coats. Her primarily white coat is medium at best. A Lab mix makes much more sense to me.

She was quite tentative at first. Once in the house she sniffed and sniffed and sniffed. The girls showered her with attention. It took a long time for her to calm down, but eventually she did. When the rain stopped we took Holly for a walk. She was just crazy with all the excitement. She couldn't decide if she was going to sniff her way through the way or look around. Sometimes she sniffed and moved her head to see what was going on.

I'm not sure Holly had a peaceful moment all day. The girls just played with her and hugged her. The Blond Twin kept saying, "Oh, I just love Holly so much." The Brunette Twin kept hugging Holly.

Holly came to us trained with about ten commands. She showed her training at different times. The girls spent some time reading the information Foster Mom sent with Holly. They decided to test her training in the afternoon. It was clear we were the ones who needed to be trained in how to use her commands. Holly did fine.

We had a funny moment when we put the girls to bed. After a day of telling Holly not to go up the stairs, we finally allowed Holly to come up with us. She stood on the stairs just staring up. Daddy said, "I don't know if she knows how to get up the stairs." Sure enough, Holly had some awkward moments, but she made it up stairs. She started shaking when she had to go downstairs. She did the up and down routine once more before staying downstairs. I'm sure she'll figure out the stairs. It's just funny to think that she never went up and down a staircase before.

We made it through the day with only one accident. Holly is on a bathroom schedule, which we sort of followed. I think our flaw was giving her too much water when she came back from her after-dinner walk. We'll all figure out how to avoid future accidents as she is already house-trained. It's really a matter of scheduling and water amounts.

Day One went really well. As the days go by we'll all settle into a routine and get to know each other better. It's the start of a new chapter for everyone.

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