Maisy Jane

I think its only fair if I consider this a remotely worthwhile blog to give you the full story of how I got my new puppy. However, I have no additional pictures of her, since we're spending all our time learning how to walk on a leash, or cuddling.

Having my very own dog is something that's been on my mind for YEARS, decades even, and part of my motivation for buying my home instead of renting - I can do whatever I want. Including keeping pets, kicking out unwanted visitors, cleaning like I MEAN it, install a programmable thermostat, and God Forbid, actually control my own temperature. (Though I don't think I ever explicitly complained about the "heat & hot water included" from my old apartment, which mostly just mean that the heat was up allll the way allll winter and the only way to keep it under 90 degrees was to open windows and KILL TREES AND PROPAGATE GLOBAL WARMING)

Last week I found a shelter very nearby my house and applied to foster since they were so close. Take a puppy for a test drive, maybe? After my application was approved, even though I hadn't found a particular dog of interest on their website, it was time to start the process of interviewing Potential New Family Members. Also, I learned that that particular shelter only houses cats and its dogs are all in foster homes and I have to arrange individual meetings. Well that just isn't very efficient. So I started looking for other shelters. There was one about an hour from Boston which had a LOT of dogs on its website, and didn't give much information on each. Instead they encouraged interested parties to come to the shelter and meet the dogs, which is EXACTLY how I think it should work.

I went on Saturday morning, telling myself I was just going to play with them and see what they have "In Stock". Well there were no less than four adoptions underway when I got there, and the dogs were almost all different from the ones they had listed on the website, so the turnover rate is HUGE for this shelter, which could be good or bad. There was a huge number of puppies from two or three litters, all 12-13 weeks old, all Lab mixes, and then one bum-legged Beagle/Hound, a very overly timid Basenji/Husky (but she was WAYYY loud) and then a few larger, fiesty terrier mixes. The advantages of a puppy? Her experiences are all going to be with ME, rather than some mysterious former life causing unexpected behaviors.

Most of the puppies were busy wrestling with each other, since they were all distributed in 4 cages. When I stuck my hand through the second puppy kennel, there were three girl pups laying in the gravel in a pig pile. The one on top walked straight over to me, looked me in the face and layed her head in my hand, totally mellow, tail wagging, just wanting love. Then her two sisters came and jumped on her trying to get at my arm, and started chewing on my sleeve and such. I opened the door and walked into the kennel, and the same mellow head puppy crawled into my lap and tucked her head under my arm and stayed there, wagging her tail. After I was done getting jumped on by the other two, I re-read their cage info, and it said "Foster to Adopt available" So I had to ask what that meant.

It meant she had the black plague (a.k.a. Kennel Cough) and she was on antibiotics for another week and wasn't cleared for adoption by the shelter vet. So I would need to bring her back to the shelter in a week anyway. Sounds exactly like a test drive.

I was already wrapped around her little paw, though... I bought a crate, took her home (she snoozed in my lap for the whole hour) introduced her to Oliver, and then sent a few pictures out. She's totally mine. I already taught her how to sit and heel and go berserk over bits of hot dog (OK, she might have figured that one out on her own). When she meets new people, she says hi for a second and then comes right back over to me, she only gets up to pee once in the middle of the night and she doesn't whine anytime around me. She sleeps in my lap while I read or computerize from the floor. When I stand around the kitchen, she lays right behind me and calmly chews on the hems of my pants (and I walk on them anyway, so I don't really care) and occasionally on her toys. She's a Lab/Hound mix, and I was so smitten that I forgot to ask what sort of hound. Coonhound, maybe? I love her giant floppy ears. They're the perfect complement to Oliver's short stubby ones.

My only complaint is the horrendous separation anxiety when I leave for work. She's going to be a crate dog, and she's OK with that as demonstrated at night, but she is a total nutjob when she's not in the same room as me for more than 3 seconds. Even when I go to the bathroom and shut her in the hallway she barks. She's always calm when I get home (and I don't leave her in the crate longer than 4 hours, ever) so it may just be a matter of seeing me come home all week, or all month and knowing that I will be home soon. As a new "mom" I can't help but be worried and Google it incessantly while I'm supposed to be working.

P.S. her name was originally Colt. Which is not a real name. I tried MJ (like the redheaded girl in Spiderman!), since it was Halloween and Thriller was on the radio, but the neighbors said "oh, that's a cute name for him" even though she was wearing a neon pink leash. So I made it girly. Now she's Crazy Maisy, or Maisy Moo, and it just fits.

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