I met 20 dogs over the past seven weeks. Every single time, while I loved the dog (I love them all!), I’d come home and have a terrible breakdown because that dog, wasn’t Jake. The house was empty, but I wanted Jake. I wanted my boy back.
I kept trying. I kept having breakdowns. Why was I torturing myself? I finally decided to take a break. The moment I decided to do that, a weight was lifted. I knew I would find a dog when I found a dog and it would just have to be ok that there were no dogs here.
That decision, lightened me. My smile started coming back. I found my laughter. I cried when I missed Jake but there were no torturous breakdowns. I needed time to realize that there is no situation that could present itself, even the next dog, where I wouldn’t still want to have Jake back. I accepted that another dog would come and that there could be sadness over the loss and joy over the gain. It didn’t have to be one or the other.
I could breathe again.
A little over a week ago, I was scrolling through Facebook and I saw this:
I froze, in the warmest way. I saw Melvin in this dog. I saw Jake in this dog. This dog was their love child. My boys sent me this dog, I knew this to be certain. I applied for him immediately. I emailed them to say I must meet him. He was meant to be mine.
There were no breakdowns.
I had a home visit, didn’t cry once.
I bought him stuff (before meeting him), still calm.
Then last Thursday, my friend Virginia and I drove to meet him.
He came rounding the corner in his foster mom’s house and I felt Melvin and Jake. I felt them in his exuberance, in his clumsiness, in his joy. I also, just saw him, as his own being. This new, beautiful change my life was about to take.
The moment I saw his face in the first photo, I saw a Doug. Face-to-face, he was still Doug to me. He’d found a new name. A new home.
Doug was found as a stray in rural South Carolina. He quickly became a shelter favorite. The shelter called Pet Connect Rescue and asked if they could take him out or SC and give him a new life in the DC area. The rescue said yes, and Hooty/Doug made his way up North, into foster and now to me.
Here is what I know so far…
- A lot of things in the house are new to him. Like garage doors opening. And refrigerator ice maker noises. And mirrors.
- He was neutered mid-August and the vet estimated him to be 1-2 years old. I worried a lot about 1-2 years old because that was by far the youngest dog I have ever considered. But he was already mine so 1-2 would have to be ok. Imagine my surprise when I took him to my vet and she said… he is not a day over eight months. My eyes were crazier than Jake’s at that moment!
- Doug is a puppy. He mouths EVERYTHING. When I try to walk, he tries to put my feet in his mouth. We go on 7,489 walks a day and somehow he still has energy.
- He has not had a single accident in the house.
- He puts himself to bed at 7:30pm, and I go get him to keep him up for fear that he will want to wake up at 4am.
- He has yet to meet a person or dog he does not like.
- At any moment, he could explode from joy.
- He is not the dog I thought I wanted. As it turns out, he is everything that I need.
Especially if what I needed was exhaustion! No seriously, how long are they puppies?
We start obedience training on Wednesday! Amen to training!
As for what breed he is, he’s listed as an English Bulldog mix. I ordered a DNA kit so we’ll def do a contest at some point for guesses.
I can only confirm he’s happy.
As am I.
Don’t be fooled by these photos, he only rests about 14 min a day.