Today is National Dog Day. PBS had a great article about the day and how we are celebrating our furry best friends in these new times, and even includes some tips if you plan to adopt a pup. I just want to add that I agree that all of my fur babies (kitten included) have been such a comfort these past five months since the pandemic changed our lives and viewpoint forever. They are most definitely a part of our family since the day we fell in love with them and adopted them (hubs even has a special provision in his will donating a portion of his estate to our local shelter where we adopted Reno, our fluffy little black & white pup--I need to get on top of that. I have at least 3 local charities that mean very much to me, so I also need to update my will, so there will be a special designation to those charities as well...)
These poor babies have been cooped up the majority of the day so far. We're wrapping up the installation of our new entrance door. Finally, we have the correct door and it's looking really nice. Hope hubs agrees--not sure when he'll be home tonight.
Thought I'd take a moment to celebrate why each of these boys means so much to me and our family and share their adoption stories. Both boys are 9--Primo turned 9 in late January, and from knowledge and belief, we believe Reno was born somewhere around June 1st--we celebrate his "birthday" as June 4th, which is 6 months after his adoption date when they told us he was about 18 months old, and he is also 9--about 5 months younger than Primo.
When we adopted Primo in the spring of 2011, we had another American Eskimo at the time, Saki (Sakari is one of many words for "beautiful" in an Inuit language--yes, Spitzes are German, but the only name that kinda-sorta fit for me was Schön, which is basically pronounced Shane (there is a bit of rounded "O" sound in there too, but I haven't fully mastered that yet)...Shane just didn't fit her personality. lol She crossed the Rainbow Bridge very young--not quite 7 years old. I still miss her as I think she was perhaps my Familiar.). We brought Saki with us to pick out her new little sibling. Primo was not afraid of her at all--in fact, I think she might have been a little terrified of him and his litter mate. The litter mate was super shy and reserved, but Primo was completely infatuated by Saki and us, so he basically picked us. Sadly, we didn't know that Saki had an autoimmune blood borne disease at the time. The vet said it was normal to slow down at her age (she was nearly 6 at the time) but she was slowing down because she didn't feel well. We thought she just needed a puppy playmate because her only furry friend was one of the cats, so Primo was supposed to be that playmate. Sadly, she didn't end up having enough energy to play much with him, and she didn't mother him either, so for her sake, it didn't really go as planned. Primo has been an absolute joy though. We do call him Devil Doggie--he is extremely high energy (even at age 9!!) and very protective of his family. He's our ankle biter, so we don't have big house parties anymore like we did when we were younger. Saki was protective too, but once she saw the people who came into the house were friends, she chilled out enough and didn't try to destroy anyone's ankles. Primo's favorite things are his papa (hubs is TOTALLY Primo's human! It's very sweet.), his Lamb Chop squeaky toy and belly rubs. He'd much rather have a belly rub over a treat, so he is not the easiest little dude to train, but we have managed.
About 6 months after Saki crossed over, I was finally ready to think about getting a playmate for Primo. We needed a pup who could keep up with him and was similar in size. I'd checked a few other times (mostly online, but I did visit the local shelters a couple of times) but this was the end of November 2012, I had just won another NaNoWriMo, and was working full time as a paralegal. I got a full hour for lunch, so on a whim, I decided to pop into the shelter. Reno was the first pup I saw, and I fell in love with him immediately. As soon as he cocked his little head, as if to say, "Please take me home with you. I will love you forever and forever and forever. I will hog your bed. I will lick your toes. I will potty on your floor. I will sit on command. I will get in your trash. I will be your forever friend." I was completely smitten by him, but he was the first dog I saw. I told him he was very cute, but I needed to see all the other pups to be fair. (In my heart, I was already head over heels in puppy love, but he was a tad bigger than what I was looking for as a playmate and best friend puppy pal for Primo). Walked the premises and came back to Reno. Who already had the perfect name!! See, we got married (almost 22 years ago now) in Reno, NV AND Primo, Reno. C'mon. It was a match made in heaven, right!?
I had to get back to my job, but as soon as I got back to my office, I called hubs. I said, "I think I found our dog." I described him and asked him if Reno sounded like a good fit. Of course, hubs agreed. I called the shelter and said I wanted to adopt Reno. Their requirement is that the entire family comes to meet the dog and interact with them before they allow the adoption. This was a Friday--they told me to come back Saturday morning, with my family (my daughter was away at college, so it was just hubs & me by then), and we could spend some time with him to see if he was a good fit.
We got there bright and early on Saturday--9am on the dot. However, there was a line ahead of us and there was one more family interested in Reno. I was crestfallen. We were in the waiting area at the time, and I see him go by with this other couple, and I tell my husband that I think we showed up too late, because that is Reno, the puppy boy I fell in love with. The couple takes him out, they all look happy, and I'm just certain we won't be able to adopt him.
As luck turns out, he barked while they were out with him, thus they concluded he was "too barky." Having a barky dude already (Primo), that wasn't our concern. So, we got to spend some time with him too. He was super excitable, but so sweet, smart and friendly, that hubs agreed that he should be our furry son. We had to go through some red tape (proving we were responsible pet owners, etc.) but we got to pick up Reno the following Monday. He and Primo were best buds until Reno starting having issues with his hind legs. Once Primo played too rough for his mobility, Reno preferred the company of the tiny old lady kitty we had (Xing-Xing--she never grew bigger than a kitten and was an absolute sweetheart--she crossed the Rainbow Bridge last year in August. She and Cressie have many similarities, so I sometimes slip and call Cressie Xing-Xing, but she was even more laidback. Cressie definitely still has her feisty moments, though she is a complete and total love, too.) and they became besties. Unlike Primo, Reno LOVES treats. LOVES them so much, he practically lives for them! We have to watch it, because he'll have more than leg/joint issues if he gets too chubby. His favorite toys are tug toys, but he hasn't shown a ton of interest in those lately. He'd rather snuggle, so he's become our lap dog.
That is a very long post to say how much I love those two puppy boys. Thanks for hanging in there. And...love on your babies. Dogs remind us of how fragile and short life can be, so love them as much as you can for as long as they share this world with us.