Who Knew?

Sometimes the biggest surprises come when you least expect them. And I have to admit – I am SURPRISED.

So puppy comes home (Seaquel for those of you that don’t know) and she is beyond adorable. Within two hours, while standing in Happy Husky Bakery, Rex let her know he was the boss. She ran away whimpering and I thought here we go, it’s going to be two months of torture.

I’m still waiting. From that time on, she follows him around the house. He sleeps outside her crate. She runs after him when we walk and she follows the path he takes no matter where it is. They greet each other with nose bumps every morning. And best of all (for Rex) she plays TUG. It happened for the first time last night, and Rex was so excited afterwards, he showered me with kisses. He wouldn’t stop. Was he thanking me? I’d like to think so but even if he wasn’t, I think he is a happy boy.

He has become a teacher in all of the best ways. Within a day he helped her learn how to navigate the stairs. When she would stop at a door, Rex saw her hesitating and started going in and out until she followed him. The cutest thing: when I tell Rex he is a bad boy, he runs to his crate. Sequel had an accident in the house, and I said the bad word. Rex ran to HER crate. I’m sure he was demonstrating what you should do when you’re bad and while she didn’t see it, I found it beyond cute.

So what have I learned?

I was so scared and I should have been. It could have gone a different way. I’m sure we’ll still have some skirmishes along the way but all in all, it has worked out way better than expected. We spent the second day doing an Evanston tour of all the places that will be important for her to know. Places like Lemoi Hardware, Shear Comfort, Williams Shoes, Uncle Dan’s. Rex was really proud to show her what to do (e.g. mooch for teats).

I’ve learned something about myself. I didn’t think I could love another dog the way I love Rex. And I don’t; but I DO love her. It’s just a different love. She is going to be a great girl, and I can already see her personality. I love the way she interacts with Rex and looks up to him (as any little sister should). I love her courage – she is not afraid of ANYTHING. She takes on challenges and doesn’t back down. She has spunk. I can see that already.

I’ve embraced the idea of sharing time. They have time together and time apart. They each need that to a) keep their sanity and b) spend some quality time with me. To be honest, they appear to have figured that out themselves so they kind of let me know when it’s THEIR alone time. They even give me some alone time of my own (I’m writing this aren’t I?)

I’ve discovered the importance of getting the right breeder. With my allergies, I can’t go into a shelter and just pick out a dog but the effort put into picking my dog could happen with a shelter dog as well. Cindy spent time learning about our life and Rex’s play style and personality. He is a very independent guy and it takes him a while to warm up to people or new dogs (he’s like his Mom in that way. A little shy but once we get to know you, we’re good). He loves to tug, he wants to be chased and he likes having a job. Cindy looked at the puppies from that perspective, and after looking at the temperament test’s she gave us a choice of two puppies. She felt Seaquel would be the best one but we decided to let Rex pick.

And what a choice he made. After meeting both of the puppies, it was Seaquel that he demonstrated the most comfort with. Cindy said that Seaquel wouldn’t challenge Rex’s position as top dog (which she hasn’t). would like the same type of play (which she does) and will want to have a job. (just like her big brother).

I’m sure you know everything about your dog, the way I understood Rex. When going to a shelter, the volunteers should be able to tell you similar information about your potential family member so you can make the right choice for your family.

So, it makes me wonder if I should have done this earlier – but probably not. The stars were aligned on this. Had I done it earlier, Rex might not have been ready. I might not have been ready. There might not have been a puppy like Seaquel. Who knew that owning a second dog would be so easy. (And yes, I do know it’s just the first week) Our front door has a mat (with dogs and bones of course) and it says “Count Your Blessings.” We are!