Sunday, September 18, 2016

Welcoming Mya

This is Mya

I didn't have pets when I was growing up. My mother was always a very fastidious housekeeper and didn't much like animals, but I always loved them. I would be the kid playing with the family dog or cat instead of socializing with the other children. To be honest, I still gravitate to the pets when I'm at social gatherings in someone's home.

Dogs have never made me feel socially awkward or shy. They are endlessly forgiving and appreciative of our attention. And as we say  in our family, 'dogs are good people.'

I welcomed my first dog into my life the day before I got married. My sister had called to ask is she could drop her wedding gift because it was fragile and she didn't want to bring it to the wedding. She showed up to our apartment with a 12 week old Lhasa Apso puppy in her arms.

That was Max. Maxwell Smart Dog. While we hadn't registered for a pup, Max became the best gift we ever received.

Max the wonder dog
He was a natural clown and traveled well. We even had friends who would fight over who got to take Max if we were going away without him. He lived to be a grumpy old man of over 16 and the boys' fiercest companion.

When Max died, the kids were 9 and 11. We promised them we'd get another dog; that the right dog would find us, but that we would need to wait until Spring. (Max died in December that year.)

Come Spring, the kids reminded us of our promise, and off to the rescue organization we went. Neil was out of town and I told the boys we were just looking. That I didn't want a puppy, that certainly not a large dog, or one that would be a big shedder.

Then I saw this brindled pup and lost my heart.


Tigger found her home with us and when we got her paperwork, discovered that she was born on the day Max died. She was a sweet and loving pup - easy to train and eager to please. She and I formed a visiting therapy dog team and she was a certified therapy dog for many years.

When the kids got older and were no longer 'puppies' to the dogs, we looked for a companion for Tigger and 5 years ago, brought Dustin into our lives.

This is NOT a Lhasa Apso
We were initially told that he was a Lhasa Apso. Not so much. Jack Rusell Terrier and something floofy is our best guess. If Tigger was 'good dog', then Dustin became 'other dog.' It wasn't that he was *bad*, he just wasn't as well mannered as Tiggs and a lot harder to train.

He also had a significant degree of fear-aggression around other dogs when on leash. This is still a problem, though a lot better that it was, thanks to lots of work with a dog behaviorist and Tigger's influence.

When Tigger died suddenly this summer, Dustin became very lonely. We knew he needed to be part of a pack and he needed the right companion. It had to be a female, a dog that was both playful and submissive. And because we have a dog door, the dog couldn't be more than 40 pounds. It took some time, but we finally found Mya.

She will be coming home tomorrow.

I know that dogs don't replace one another in your heart any more than people do - she's not Tigger and we don't expect her to be. We are just thrilled to welcome a new member of the family.

Stay tuned for a flood of Mya photos in the coming weeks!


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1 comment:

  1. Sorry for your losses, but dogs will always be a part of you even after they're gone. It's great that you're welcoming in a new addition to your pack. Mya looks like a happy camper already! (Adorable doggy smile)