Fact: I am a crazy dog person. Crazy about dogs and crazy for thinking that taking care of three would be pretty easy.
Even though I love dogs, I only own one dog and only want one dog (Summit). Last week I dog-sat my mom’s two fur-babies, a 2-year-old bernese mountain dog named Agent Deeks and a 1-year-old poodle named Agent Kensi (named after characters from (NCIS Los Angeles). I had three somewhat large dogs in the house and Chris left for work the same day that they arrived, the dogs definitely kept me company, but also pushed me close to the edge of insanity.
What is a week like with three large dogs who are still quite puppy-like? Hard, but cuddles and kisses helped make it all bearable.
It gave me a chance to see what it’s like to constantly watch a few monkeys and made me really admire parents of human children (rather than fur-children) even more than I already do. I’m currently 26 and it boggles my mind when I think about how my parents had three kids by the age of 25. I really applaud mothers and fathers of young children that are all within a few years of each other. Obviously dogs are very different than humans, but taking care of any living creature can be a lot of work when they out number you!
As many destructive and mischievous moments as there were over the week, the dogs always won me over in the end. Those cute little faces and their incredibly loving hearts make it all too easy to forgive them for any grievances. My favourite times with all three dogs were always cuddles in bed, definitely dog-lady heaven. Deeks and Kensi officially went home yesterday, Wednesday March 1st, and my mom stayed to help me clean the very muddy house.
What did I learn? Dogs are incredible, but are a handful (wait, I knew that)!
Yesterday, Monday December 5th, marked my one month anniversary with our newly adopted dog Summit (See her Instagram account@Summit.the.sweetheart).
In a previous blog post, I explained the process of grieving my late dog Daq and finding Summit online. To summarize, Summit is a 2-year-old St. Berdoodle (Saint Bernard/Poodle) who was rescued when she was pregnant with 11 puppies. Her rescuers in the US sent her to foster parents who ran a Portuguese Water Dog breeding business and were familiar with handling the impending puppy situation properly. After finding homes for the puppies, the breeder then set out to find a home for mommy-Summit. When I saw her photo online, I had a weird feeling that told me she was right for us and I expressed this in an email.
Like all rescues, Summit has a colourful past that contributes to present issues, but she is the biggest sweetheart. It is believed that she was abused because of her fear of meeting new people. She loves playing with other dogs and has zero anxiety about her furry friends (even when they are strangers).
Summit has come such a long way in a very short time.
When I first brought Summit home, I was excited, but it was hard because she didn’t trust me enough to let me hug her and cuddle her the way that you want to when you get a new fur-baby. The sweet girl had never gone up and down stairs before so she was limited to staying on the main floor. I decided that I would sleep on the couch that night so that she wouldn’t be alone – I think this really helped our initial bonding.
She seemed to be picking things up really quickly! On the second or third day, she was learning what her dog bed was and even showed interest in wanting to go upstairs with me. One day when I was about to jump in the shower, I saw her little head poke up from the landing! She had come that far, but then immediately forgot how she had gotten up there and couldn’t figure out the rest of the steps (she had this thing where she didn’t understand that she needed to move her back legs). I paused what I was doing and helped show her how to climb up the stairs on four legs (I had been doing this for days like a little animal). I was an extremely proud mama when she made it all the way up and discovered more of the house.
Summit had not only never used stairs at the age of 2, but she had also never seen a TV, nor did she know basic commands like sit, lay down, stay, etc. She was housebroken, but
with moving to a new environment she did leave me a couple stinky presents in the house early on. By the end of the first week she had conquered the stairs, was cool with the weird moving pictures in the living room, and had even officially mastered the art of sitting on command!
Week two included visits from more family and friends (lots of practice at meeting new people), but Summit especially loves playing with her friend/my mom’s dog Agent Deeks. These two are so infatuated, they love playing, cuddling, nuzzling, grooming, humping (we continually break them up) – they just can’t get enough of each other. After a week and a half of bonding time, it was hard to let go of my control, but I let her off leash on a woods-walk with mom and Deeks.
With her friend at her side it was more likely that she’d stick with him, she did such a good job and had so much fun! By the end of that week she had learned the lay down command and was growing even closer to me.
Week three was fun because Summit and I went on a road trip to see my sister who lives four hours away. My sister has a Bernese Mountain Dog named Dude (brother to Deeks), a German Sheperd named Sidney Prescott, and two cats named Rafi and Taco. Summit was fast friends with her cousins, especially Sidney who seemed to be ecstatic to have a girlfriend since she was always surrounded by males. The dogs had a ton of fun and I can’t wait to see them reunite for the holiday season.
This last week has been nice, Summit seems completely at home now.
Looking through the front window
Standing on the backyard deck to guard her kingdom
Napping on her bed all day
Going for walks to Poke-stops
Playing with her dollies
My made-up songs and dances in the kitchen
Cuddling with me in bed
Playing with other doggos
This month of so many firsts has been hard work that has already proven to be well worth it and I can’t wait to share more of these experiences with her fur-daddy. Chris has been away for five weeks and is coming home in a couple days – he will finally get to meet the fur-baby that he has grown to love through the constant receival of unfiltered photos and videos each day. I can’t imagine how excited he must be.
We are so lucky that we found a new dog to share our love with and to spoil this Christmas. She still has a lot to learn and so do we as new puppy-parents. She is two, but has so many firsts that dogs her age would normally have already experienced that we are going through puppy stages and also getting used to such a playful girl compared to our gorgeous old 12-year-old labradoodle (we still think about her every day).
Dogs, like people, aren’t perfect and it is often the imperfections that we grow to love most. Do you have a rescue dog and have some helpful anecdotes to share? Let me know and give them a kiss for me!