We lasted a whole 9 days without a dog in the house.
I'm not a religious person, but I do think the world works in particular ways. Life/Death, Fire/Water... things are cyclical... the four seasons, water cycle, etc.
Last Sunday, after our family discussion about getting another dog, I sat down and did some web searches. I also visited the local humane society where we adopted Maya in 2003, made a donation and contributed all of Riley's unopened food items, but I didn't find any dogs that fit our requirements: Active. Good with cats, dogs and kids. Fuzzy.
I did a search at petfinder.com and the only one within an hour that made me turn my head was a 3-month old retriever mix named Willow from Genesis Rescue Group, a non-profit, no-kill rescue group in Charleston. I showed her to MacTroll. He thought she was adorable. I took a deep breath and decided to take the first step.
I registered at the web site and filled out an application. The web site said since the rescue was run entirely by volunteers it might take 3-5 days for them to process it. I went to bed Sunday night and by 2 p.m. on Monday, I had a call back that we were approved for her. They had called Quigs as a pet reference and Dr. Mary at All Creatures Animal Hospital. And apparently the references were glowing, and I answered the questions okay. Then Sandy, the rescue representative, and I talked a while. I told her that we'd like to come down and meet the dog and get a sense of who she is and if she'd fit in well with us.
I sent them photos of my house to show how tall the fence was and to give them an idea of the space she'd be living in, and on Saturday afternoon, we drove down to Charleston to meet her. The dog met us at the door with the current live-in adult dog (who was awesomely calm for a dog being terrorized by a puppy in her own home). :-)
Then we talked with the rescuers for a bit and then went into the backyard with Willow. X-man had been given the low down in the car about how she was a stray that had been picked up by the Shelby County Shelter (not to be confused with the Humane Society in Shelby County). The County Shelter euthanizes a lot of animals. And Willow, even at her highly adorable, fluffy, three-month-old, totally adoptable size was scheduled to be euthanized unless one of the rescue groups picked her up.
He was awesome with her, and she was glad to have a smaller pal to run around with. When we all decided she was our dog, we filled out the paperwork, handed over a $200 adoption fee, said thank you and headed back to Savoy. We also threw out ALL of the names we'd talked about on the way down. We thought she was going to be kind of simple and kind eyed. But really, she's very plucky and lively in real life. We didn't want to keep Willow because, well... Our kid is named Xander. Our last dog was named Riley. They're fabulous names by themselves, but throw in Willow, and you've got a Buffy fandom meeting happening (Not that we don't love Buffy, because we do.) So we decided to unanimously call her Lily, and then smacked our foreheads when we got home and remembered we'd just flip flopped one of Allyson Hannigan's character's names for another... Sigh. :-)
As it turns out, the day the rescue picked her up was the exact same day Riley died (See comment about life being cyclical above). In that week, she got her shots and got spayed and chipped. On Monday, I have to call Dr. Mary to make an appointment to have her sutures removed and have her examined and hand over her medical records.
We bought her a crate at Prairieland Feeds, along with puppy food, and some toys and treats. As I type this she's got her puppy Nyla bone and puppy chew toy going at the same time on the carpet in the living room. She slept most of last night (10 p.m. to 3:15 a.m.) before having to go out, and then I couldn't sleep, but she woke up again at 4:30 a.m. and decided she was up for the night. My guess is we'll both be napping this afternoon.
Right now, she's trying to win over the cats. This is our 13 1/2 year old cat, Clawdio. He is our oldest out of our bunch. Notice he's having a bit of post traumatic stress disorder as he channels back to when Riley came home at 6 months... and Clawdio was only 3 1/2 years old then... I'm sure he's thinking, "I'm too old for this shit."
Nyssa had the same, "What the hell have you done?" look on her face. Both of them are doing their best to stay in places the puppy can't reach them like on counter tops... Luke is on the floor, but he's keeping his distance. Maya and Lily have already licked each other down and smelled butts, so they'll lie within inches on the couch and the carpet. Kind of like when X-man was born -- Maya is very patient. That's just how she rolls.
So now we're even in the house: 4 girls and 4 boys.
We're focusing on enjoying all that is Lily. Things are obviously different than when Riley was here, and we miss him terribly. It kills me to know I won't look into his brown eyes any more or hear him snore at the end of my bed. Part of me wishes he was around to meet Lily and sigh at her puppiness. Lily is not a replacement. She is her own dog, with her own crate, pink collar and leash and new toys. She's got no one's paws to fill, but her own. :-)