We really believed we wouldn't be getting one until our next base. However, the more we talked about it, the more we realized it might be nice for Emma to already have an established friend for wherever we end up next.
We talked about getting rabbits, but from all the reading I have done, they seem like more work than a dog with less rewards (bunnies don't fetch as well).
Jared and I made the decision Tuesday night that we should get a dog. It would be a family dog, but mostly Emma's. Not ones to let moss grow, we went to the shelter on Wednesday (after dropping Gramma off at the train station) to see what dogs were available.
We "test drove" two different dogs. Chunk is a cute Boston Terrier, but he didn't seem super interested in Emma. He seemed fairly well behaved.
Next we met Riki. She was a sweet pit bull mix and was great with Emma but had WAY more energy than we are ready for.
We had horse lessons to get to, so we decided to stop back on Friday. We met Samwise who reminded me a lot of Icky. He is a pit mix with food intolerances that caused sever skin issues. He had no interest in us at all. He was a good boy, but again, more work than we are looking for right now. Then we noticed Bailey.
Bailey is a five year old (they think) female terrier mix of some sort. We are thinking schnauzer and something else, but we are not sure. She was brought in as a stray Monday last week. The law is they have to wait 72 hours before strays are available for adoption. The shelter gives owners an extra day to recover lost pets.
She is a super sweet little girl. When we met her for the first time at the shelter, she was so excited to be able to run around the kennel outside that she spent a fair amount of time sniffing at all the smells.
That being said, she came over to us almost every time we called her. I thought that was impressive.
Just to test the waters, I asked Bailey to sit. And she sat. Sweet! She also laid down with only a little coaxing. Again, totally cool.
I had Emma run around the enclosure and Bailey either ran next to Emma or ignored her. She never chased after Emma. Another score for Bailey.
When Emma crouched down, Bailey would come over, but not try to jump up at Emma's (or my) face. In fact, we had to half pick her up so I could get the following photo.
Emma and Bailey
We visited a bit more and decided that we wanted to come back with Jared to see what he thought of her.
So, a few hours later we went back with Jared. We fed her some treats and she was super gentle. Jared watched her run around with Emma. He chatted and just was there (to make sure Bailey wasn't afraid or against men).
Jared was a bit concerned because she is a tiny little girl (I would guess 10 lbs or less) and she seemed to run funny. His first thought was she might have hip issues.
Other than that, he had no objects, so we placed a hold on her so we could talk it over at home that night. We talked about how a smaller dog = smaller food bill (and smaller poop), smaller crate, smaller toys, etc. We also decided that if she ends up needing some sort of expensive procedure for her hips, that she will probably need to find another family. We will make her an appointment this week.
With those two concerns hashed out, we decided she was just what we are looking for! So, after skipping out on my self-defense class (I actually went and we had three other instructors that were more than happy to cover for such a fun reason), we headed over to the shelter to pick up our newest family member!
Headed out the door with Bailey.
This is Bailey sitting on Emma's lap on the car ride home.
(Bailey seems to do well in the car)
A girl and her dog.
Some down time- Emma is reading next to Bailey but otherwise just letting Bailey settle in.
Bailey seems to love snuggle- but don't worry, we are aware of the signs of an unhappy dog and we are keeping an eye out for them.
New bedtime routine- reading and petting Bailey.
We really didn't plan to let Bailey on the furniture, but she gets off the couch when we tell her too so I am not worried that she will aggressively guard her spot. That being said, at this point she will only be allowed on Emma's bed and only when invited. Bailey will not sleep in Emma's bed, but in the crate next to the bed. But, I see nothing wrong with Emma and Bailey snuggling during bedtime reading.
Bailey has done really well today. She has whined a little, but I am pretty sure I would too if I lost my family and was in a strange new place. We took her out quite a bit and she did well with no accidents. We also took her for a walk around the block. She seemed to pull a bit, but nothing Emma couldn't handle (another plus for her small size).
She ate pretty well and had no objections to eating from Emma's hand or being petted while eatting. She even let me put my fingers in her food bowl with no complaint.
We will see what the next few weeks bring us, but I have a good feeling about this little girl.
Welcome to the family Bailey!