There’s a New Dog in Town
The best cure for recovering from the loss of an old dog is to get a new one. Give yourself time to grieve and then move on. We moved on with Moo.
A few weeks after losing Ginger to an untimely death due to liver cancer, we began to look at the prospects for bringing a new pet into our home. Dana had decided that it would be too painful for her to get another lab mix but we agreed that our new dog, like all of our previous ones, would be a rescue.
Tara’s House, a nonprofit, saves dogs from kill shelters and then places them in foster homes until they are adopted. Similar to many rescue programs, Tara House screens prospective pet owners and makes sure you are a good match for the dog. On their website, Moo was called Preston. He was our first choice but someone had claimed him. We selected two other dogs as prospects. Then shortly before we left for the PetSmart in Frederick, Tara’s House designated pick-up site, Moo became available.
Before the prospective dogs for adoption arrived at the PetSmart in Frederick, it was like the calm before the storm. Folks looked at their watches and scanned the parking lot with anticipation for the van bringing the dogs. Then it arrived and Tara House volunteers took various dogs to the front of the store to match them up with potential owners. One of our picks pulled with so much strength that I had to brace myself and use all of my body weight to avoid being dragged across the parking lot. My experience with the other dog, a lab pit mix was the complete opposite. He moved slowly and timidly. The volunteer told me they referred to him as the lone sole.
Moo was rambunctious, leaping and kissing us like a mad hyena. No surprise, the volunteers called him a love bug. They also didn’t call him Preston. His foster family, recognizing his resemblance to a Holstein cow, named him Moo.
He came with happy tail that we learned should more appropriately be called sad tail. Happy tail describes a tail that bleeds whenever it touches anything — walls, floors, or your clothing. It’s caused by the tail wagging so vigorously against a crate or cage, that it bleeds. Moo doesn’t just wag his tail he gyrates his entire behind.
He also possessed a skin infection. After paying a $150 vet bill to treat the tail and infection we believed Tara’s House should change its advertising to include full disclosures about a dog’s condition. Still, Moo’s lovable personality made the bill a small fee to pay for his addition to our household.
He quickly asserted himself into our home. Like a child with ADHD, he constantly demanded our attention. He frequently drops a toy, tennis ball, or tug of war toy at our feet announcing he’s ready to play. He does not wear our but can easily wear us down.
I’m not complaining. Moo is made for dog lovers. There were times in the first few weeks that Dana suggested that maybe Lauren and I should have selected that docile lab pit mix. But for me, the rewards of an energetic two and half year old pup outweigh the downside. Besides, I am confident with obedience training and time, he’ll settle down and relax into his role as a member of the family.