Our new family member.

A long time ago, in a far away place, we found a puppy. We put up flyers and after a few days, when no one claimed her, we named her Penelope, or Penny for short. She was a sweet dog until she turned around a year (not really sure her age but she was about 4ish months when we found her). After she was a year old, she and our sweet, loyal Lily started fighting. And after an especially messy fight we were forced to choose one dog. Lily remained and Penny left.

It has been almost 2 years since that fateful decision was made (it will be in November I believe).

Will and I have talked about getting another dog companion for our family. We've talked purebred puppies and rescues from the shelter. We've looked at dogs until we didn't think we could look at another sweet face. We knew we wanted a male dog because Lily loves her boyfriend, Blue, and we wanted a larger dog as well (larger than Lily that is).

And then, I saw his face. A young, black retriever was found wandering the streets, the animal shelter had named "Sebastian" and put his beautiful face up on Petfinder. I saw him, but did nothing at first. I found a few suitable young males that day.

I sent the pictures to Will, on Monday, who said they all looked fine. The next day Natalie and I went to the animal shelter and looked at them. One of them was adopted, one was pending. And Sebastian was there, looking like a big, slobbery, black dog. He had a big doggy smile, and Natalie and I talked to him for a while.

The next day (Wednesday) we went back and walked him. We talked to the ladies about adoption and introducing him to Lily. They said to bring her over and we'd do a meet and greet. I filled out the paperwork and placed a"Pending" sign on his cage. At home Lily was all over me sniffing my pants and hands and getting so excited about the doggy smell I was coated with.

Wednesday night I barely slept. I was worried about introducing him to Lily. I was worried about the implications of adding a second dog to our family. I was terrified that they would fight and it would be bloody. I have a little but of anxiety left from the Penny incident, okay maybe I have a LOT of anxiety left from that, but Lily loves her friend Blue and Bella (the pomchi) and she tolerates Bella (the chocolate lab) and is always excited to meet other dogs. But I knew I needed to take her to meet him. I knew if I didn't I would always regret it and know it was simply my fears taking over.

On Thursday the girls and I took Lily to the animal shelter and introduced "Sebastian" to her. She bristled for half a second and then was all about sniffing him.  The meeting was perfect. We submitted our $25 and placed an adopted sign on his cage. It felt so good to put that big green sign on his cage. I wish I had taken a picture of it.

Friday he was sent to the vet for a quick check-up. Then at 4, Gwen, Natalie and I picked him up to bring him home. Will and I had discussed the best way to introduce him to our home and decided that we'd walk him and Lily around the front yard, then take them to the back yard. When they had calmed down, we'd let them off the leashes and Lily would show him the dog door and the house.

It worked out that Will picked up Rhayn from Cross Country and we all arrived at home at about the same time. Will took Lily, I took "Sebastian" who we decided to name James, and Rhayn watched Natalie.

It worked almost perfectly, Will had to use his belt as a leash because we couldn't find out second leash. But other than that... the introduction was great. And when we let James off of the leash, he bounded happily around the yard. His ears flapping happily as he checked out his new space. Lily ran with him. Then she took him inside.

The night was rough, filled with little sleep, because we weren't sure what to do with him. We aren't sure if he'll chew up the kids' toys or void himself in the house. So far... so good. He did decide that the 2 pound hand weights we have are perfect for carrying in his mouth. And he chewed up some mesquite blocks. But really nothing bad. 

We still are not sure how old he is, but Will thinks he is pretty young, his paws are big and he seems awkward. He needs to put on some weight. But he is quite a gentleman even with, what looks like, no obedience training at all. Natalie loves him, Lily is happy with him, and I am pretty sure bringing him home was the right thing to do.

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