Thursday, March 5, 2009

The Other Men in My Life, Part I - The Story of Buddy

The name of my blog isn't entirely accurate. It actually could be called Seven Men and a Little Chica, or A Boat-load of Testosterone, or Totally and Completely Outnumbered. The fact is, I not only have three sons and a husband, but also 2 male dogs, one male cat and 6 fish - probably all male. Chica was a little blessing for me.

Those of you that know me know that I am a huge dog-lover. I grew up with many different dogs over the years ...a Malamute, German Shepherd, Giant Schnauzer, Miniature Schnauzers and a Llasa Apso. After I was finished with college and living on my own, my mom had Yorkshire Terriers and a Shiba Inu.

When I was young I begged my mother for a dog book for Christmas that I saw in Caldor. I used to read the book all the time and I learned a lot about different breeds. I love to watch competitive dog shows. Even my kids will yell through the house when they find one on TV (Mom! There's a dog show on!).

I don't know how I stumbled across it, but a few years back (2005 to be exact) I discovered petfinder.com. This site is a massive database of all dogs in shelters or with rescue organizations across the country. You can put your zip code in and you will be provided a list of adoptable dogs in order of their proximity to you. Many of the dogs are described in detail by rescue organizations based on what foster families have experienced. They will tell you whether the dogs aren't good with kids, other dogs, cats, etc.

So back in 2005 I used to eat my lunch and look at available dogs. At that time I had 3 kids ages 6, 4 and 2 and was even contemplating another child. I, of course, always wanted a dog. But, when the heck would be a good time? How would I do it with all of these kids? We didn't have a fence...what if our furniture got trashed...would we be able to go anywhere? It made me so nervous to think about that lifestyle change.

And then I stumbled across this Yellow Lab Mix showing in zip code 01082, Enfield, CT. There were a few pictures of the dog and he looked okay, like your basic yellow lab. The foster mom went at great lengths to describe "Buddy". How wonderful he was with her 5 young children, no bad habits, wonderful disposition...He seemed almost too good to be true. He was the one and only dog listed under Good Dog Rescue.

For probably weeks I would finish my lunch, log off the computer and get along with folding laundry or tending kids. I would wonder about this dog, Buddy, until finally one day I decided I wanted to know a little more about him. It didn't mean I had to get him! Just wanted to see what he was really about and whether I could maybe go check him out. I figured out I had to complete an Application for Adoption in order for someone to take my inquiry seriously. I did this and emailed a few times as a follow-up. I never got a response.

Until finally one day out of the blue I got an email from Good Dog Rescue saying that Buddy was being brought to a foster in Shrewsbury, MA from Tennesse and since I was the first one to inquire about him, I would have the first dibs at adopting him. The nervous stomach set in. I had to make the decision whether to drive all the way to Shrewsbury to meet the dog.

If I remember correctly, I was in contact with the foster mom from Shrewsbury next and we talked about a time to meet Buddy. I was really nervous and I told the foster mom that I would feel so badly if I didn't think the dog was right for us. I think Chris thought I was insane. But he went along with it. He usually does if he knows its something I really want. And then before you know it Chris and I whisked off the kids and headed out to Shrewsbury right after a soccer game one weekend.

We met Buddy and I think I instantly fell in love. He came right up and leaned right into me like he'd known me for years. He was so much more handsome than the pictures showed. To this day, I think he is mixed with hound. His fur is so soft, but not quite as thick as the other labs I've met. The shape of his face is just a little different. He had a big scar across his nose and a couple little ones on his legs. But he was just stunning...and I knew that I wanted him.

I drove to back to Shrewsbury with Luke one morning to get him. Aside from some minor stomach stuff right after I got him, he has been virtually perfect in every way. He's that dog that everyone loves. He truly fits his name. He loves everyone he meets. I have found both FedEx and UPS guys on the ground scratching his belly. Our mail carrier lights up when she pulls up and he is waiting for his daily cookie.

Here are some pictures of my handsome Buddy:

With Jack on his first day of school, and snuggling with Ben.



In his glory with Luke, and with Chica as an infant.

And right by her side as a toddler.

Some candids of my handsome boy. He is as wonderful as he is beautiful. We are truly lucky. Hopefully anyone who reads this will realize that you can adopt some seriously awesome dogs from rescue organizations! Go check out petfinder.com !!! Buddy was truly meant to be for our family. One of the best things I ever did.




1 comment:

sagui said...

I too have submitted an application to adopt a dog from Good Dog Rescue and have sent them several emails with no response :-(. I was wondering how long it took for them to finally get back to you?