Two Years A Dog

This is a picture of Luna when we picked her up from the no-kill rescue in North Pole, Alaska.

About ten minutes after we first met Luna

About ten minutes after we first met Luna

She had been at the pound for around five months when we came upon her.  You see, my birthday is on Valentines, and the last week of January, Alex told me that since our one year of marriage was coming up and we had only had two fights (HAH! SO MANY MORE NOW!) He said that we were ready to take our relationship to the next step.

He was going to get me a dog for my birthday.

We felt that if we could keep a dog alive, we definitely had a chance at keeping a baby alive someday.  Along with that, I had been begging him since the moment we moved into our apartment to get a dog.  I would spend hours looking at petfinder.com and showing him picture s of dogs that would be perfect for us.  I believe a house is not a ho me without four paws and a wet nose.  Nothing, and I honesty mean this, nothing can lift a persons spirits more than a dog that is happy to see their owner.  For me, it keeps my depression at bay, they get me out of the house, my dogs are my fur babies.  I don’t care if people hate that term, for a person who was told she can’t have children, my dogs are my children.

So when the one year mark came up, and we had been getting along better than ever, he reluctantly agreed to take me to the rescue to look at dogs.

So on February 3rd, 2012, we called the animal rescue and got directions.  It was owned by an older woman, and we found out later she hated military.  Her reason wasn’t unfounded, considering many military couples went there and insisted on getting a puppy, only to bring the fully grown dog back stating they didn’t want to bring the dog with to their next base, or they had a baby and they didn’t want a dog bothering them with the baby.  Since we were looking at getting a puppy, she was pretty rude to us from the word go.

To be fair though, we went into the area where all of the dogs were and took a look.  Military aren’t allowed to have certain types of breeds, so we had to turn down the pit bull mixes, as well as a pit bull/Rhodesian ridgeback mix, and I thought I saw a black tail run through the little doggie door in the husky section.  I thought nothing of it, and she had no shepherds in at that time.

She showed us a 12 week old black lab mix with a white bow tie that was very loving and hyper and I fell in love immediately.  Since we didn’t have the money at the time, she said she would hold the dog for us until the next day so we could get the money so we could get the crate, food and so on.

I skipped to the car and when we got home, I dog proofed our house (we only had a couch and end table at that time, nothing else in our house), and the next morning at ten o’clock, we had the car cleaned out for our new little puppy, some extra money set aside to buy the things needed.  We decided to name her Geisha-niichan, or Geisha for short, because she was so darn pretty.

Alex and the original puppy we were going to get

Alex and the original puppy we were going to get

We were so excited to have a black lab puppy.  In high school, my brother adopted a black lab puppy and that dog, who is still alive, has always left a very soft spot on my heart for labs.

So we called the rescue to ask her to get the puppy ready.

She sold the puppy.

To a little girl and her father.

Alex, of course, saw how down I looked and got after the woman for not holding the puppy.  She said she had other dogs and he said he wasn’t interested.  So he took me to Barnes and Noble, where I read dog books with teary eyes and drinking a coffee.

I went on my phone and was looking at petfinder.com, and in there, at the rescue we had visited, I saw a picture of an absolutely beautiful Alaskan Husky/German Shepherd mix.  In the picture, she was shying away from the camera, her eyes were big, and she was only two years old.

I walked over to Alex to show him the dog.

“Do you remember seeing her yesterday?” I asked him, putting the phone right in his face.

“No, I didn’t see her.  Maybe she was hiding in the house?”

She was part shepherd.  For as long as I could remember, I had always wanted a German Shepherd.  To me, they were the ideal dog.  Beautiful, loyal, intelligent, sassy, fluffy.  Everything.  And Huskies are abnormally friendly, which would be perfect for us.

“Come on, we’re going to the rescue.  Now.”

I dragged Alex out of Barnes and Noble, shoved him in the car, and about a half hour later we arrived at the rescue.  The woman greeted us, and we followed her into the dog building.  We walked over to the husky section of the pound, where in a small area there were four husky mixes.  In the back corner, we could see a scrawny black husky with light brown eyes and tan socks.  She looked scared.  The woman pulled her out of there and handed us her leash.

It was Luna.

She was a little underweight, lanky, her head low, her tail touching her belly, and she was shaking.  She had a very athletic build, and the woman told us that Alaskan Huskies were sled dogs, so they tended to be leaner.

“How long as she been here?” I asked the woman.

“Oh, she’s been here for months.  Nobody has taken any interest in her.”

I couldn’t understand why.  She was shy, yes, but she was very obviously an athlete, something a lot of people look for in that area.  She was beautiful, she was shy, she was the only dog in there that didn’t bark.

I was in love.

“Alex, I think this is our pooch,” I told Alex.  He nodded in agreement.

Alex wrote the check for the $100, we were given a leash, and we drove back to Fairbanks.  To PetCo.

Where Luna shit on the sales lady’s shoes.

Then when we finally got her home, she wouldn’t really take any treats, except beggin’ strips.  And refused to eat.  Or approach us.  But would always sleep on the couch.

Alex thought I was crazy for how attached I got to her.  I would get teary just at the thought of bringing her back to the pound.  We had a couple of friends who had a terrier/husky mix that was overly energetic and when they came to visit.  Luna wagged her tail for the first time.

We brought her to the dog park in temperatures at around -20, where she ran for over an hour, refusing to stop.  We had to drag her away from the park.  She didn’t like rawhides too much.

Snow! SNOW EVERYWHERE!

Snow! SNOW EVERYWHERE!

After the two week trial was up, we got her paperwork with a letter from her previous owner, which I still have to this day.

I won’t put it on here, but you could tell by reading it that he truly cared for her wellbeing, which is why he brought her to the no-kill shelter.  He left his email and phone number, asking to be contacted when she was adopted.

So I called him, and we talked for a while.  He told me she liked her food with water on it, that she attacked the neighbor’s chickens, as well as her eating his couch.  He told me she never barked, or really made a sound.  She was a very shy dog, even as a puppy.  She had a sled dog mom, she was very well loved, but unforeseen circumstances caused him to give her away.

She was loved, but he had to let her go.  I respect him for that.

I’m sorry I couldn’t have found her sooner, but I did find her.

Looking back now, I am so glad that the black lab puppy was sold.  If we had gotten that puppy, Luna may still have been in the pound.

Since we’ve adopted her, she’s warmed up and come out of her shell.  She sleeps in the bed with us, I wake up to her licking my face or her dropping a rope on me.  She’s still fairly quiet, but sometimes, if she really wants a belly rub, she’ll “moo” at us.  When I’ve been at my computer for too long, she’ll put her paw on my arm and give me a look, which I call her “Shenanigans” look, where she’s basically telling me that I’ve been on the computer too long and that we need some fresh air.

Luna is not amused by your shenanigans.... ever

Luna is not amused by your shenanigans…. ever

She’s made me more active.  She’s kept a lot of the loneliness away, and when we adopted Sahara, she’s given us a lot of entertainment.

I’ll have her until her dying day, where a little part of me will probably die with her.

She’s about 4 and a half years old now, healthy as ever.

Since I was once told that I can’t have children, she’s replaced that want with the love only a dog can give.

To her previous owner, you know who you are, thank you.  She has filled a part in my heart that I never thought could be fixed.

Shelter dogs need love too, they tend to love you more.

Luna in Louisiana

Luna in Louisiana

That picture was taken about a week ago.  Since getting her, she has learned how to play fetch as well as tug-o-war.  As you can see, she looks much happier now than she did the first time we took her home ❤

Does anyone have an interesting way of finding their pet?  Any great shelter stories?  I love hearing about people’s pets 🙂

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14 thoughts on “Two Years A Dog

      • Yes, I haven’t given up any of mine, but my daughter and I have found some left at the dump near Fox and hauled them out to that place as they don’t kill them. I know the lady thought we owned the animals, but we just didn’t have a way to keep them and hated seeing them tied to the fence at the dump site.
        Oh, when you least expect it, you may still find yourself with a unfurry baby. I was told I would never be able to have a child, also. Ended up having two.

      • Ah! Fox! Miss that area. I tried to move there when I was attending UAF but my mom wouldn’t help me with the security deposit for a dry cabin so I ended up staying in the dorms lol.

        I know my other dog, Sahara, was found on 46 mile chena hot springs road. I put a craigslist ad up for her to find her previous owners but none have come forward.

        I was told when I was 19 I can’t have any unfurry babies, and my husband right now is going through something that may have made him have a low count, so unfortunately, the odds don’t look too good for us to have nonfur babies. 😦

  1. Leah, you are so awesome. I’ve said before that jak and I would like to own a dog, but can’t afford one. Still, it was fun reading the story about how you and your husband got Luna and, obviously, she is happy with you, so you must take real good care of her.

    • Why thank you Cimmy 🙂 Jak has mentioned in previous blog posts about wanting a dog, and I do believe they’re so enlightening. Luna and Sahara are both spoiled rotten, but I have to say that Luna is much better behaved. She never barks, she doesn’t (usually) destroy the house and she hardly sheds. We have a big yard that she loves to run in, and she’s much better about telling me what she needs. If she needs water, she’ll nudge me then walk over to her bowl and put her paw in it. She lays by the door when she needs to go out, and she “moos” when she wants a belly rub.

      If you can ever get a dog, I highly reccomend them. They’re wonderful.

      • Leah,

        Cimmy remembers very well when my folks had to put down the Scottish terrier/cockapoo mix that I spent a lot of my older childhood and teen life with, walking him, training him, etc. She remembers good ol’ Fred. She sees how I am with my sister’s (she was born on St. Patrick’s day, by the way) dogs, Dexter, a beagle mix, and a… I’m not sure what mix Oscar is, probably terrier, poodle, and I don’t know… she sees how I am with all kinds of dogs. She remembers when we had to take a daschund/chihuhua mix to Animal Control… a couple just brought him to us, poor thing was suffering heat exhaustion and was hungry and thirsty, but wouldn’t eat much.

        Best I can do right now is volunteer for the local animal control… I can come in and volunteer anytime without writing my life story, unlike the local Humane Society.

  2. I don’t care if people hate that term, for a person who was told she can’t have children, my dogs are my children.

    I don’t hate that term, necessarily… I just dislike it when people swear it’s the same thing, which it’s not, and I think you know what I mean. I am a smarty-pants and I’ve never liked it much when small pet owners try to treat their animal companions too much like people– like those who try to convince me that their cat (or ferret, but usually it’s cats) loves wearing that ridiculous outfit they chose for them. Or they claim that the pet has human personality when much is driven by instinct, or more straightforward needs. (They have individual personality– absolutely. I’m talking about other stuff.)

    This is why I enjoy watching shows like “The Dog Whisperer” or “Cat Daddy” because the people involved know the instinctual drives very well. They work with the owners to help them understand that, to get their animal companions the things they need, what’s in their nature.

    • I know it’s not the same, but I have no basis of comparison. When my dogs are sick, my heart sinks. I get lonely without my dogs. If I had children, I’m sure my stance would change, but for now, they are my children and I miss them when they’re gone, just as I’m assuming a parent would miss their child.

      I know you don’t hate the term, but I understand your thoughts consdiering you have children.

      Alas, that’s how life goes.

      And Jak, I’m always excited to see your comments, you always give such insight 🙂

      • Yep, you understand. I know many pet owners dearly love their animal companions. I have known many people over the years (friends, neighbors, and so on) who were not able to have children, so they had an animal companion.

        They are part of the family, and I’d be a fool not to recognize that love. Thanks again for your kind responses.

  3. What a beautiful story! Luna is gorgeous & looks so much like my own husky/shepherd, Zeke, except for the coloring (; I happened upon him also, he was from a backyard breeder in texas sold to a military family who was moved here to NY and couldn’t keep him in their tiny apartment with a baby on the way. He too was very shy when we first bought him home. Its an amazing feeling to happen upon the dog you know is supposed to be yours (; Enjoy.

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