After watching our dog, Rory, spend a fun weekend carousing with two puppy friends, we could deny no longer that she needed a friend. We flew through the deliberative process and, against my better judgement, we followed our hearts and adopted an adorable young puppy. Just like Rory, Max (short for Maximus) comes from the Kansas Humane Society, where he had been given up for adoption at a tender, young age. Considering he is currently only 2 months old, that age was tender indeed. A Brittany spaniel / Labrador mix with enormous floppy ears, silky soft chocolate waves, and eyes the color of the ocean, Max is most definitely a heart-breaker. He is confident, outgoing, and enormously playful – to Rory’s mixed delight and chagrin. Already weighing in at 12 lbs, he appears to be well on his way to matching Rory’s size – or at least coming close. His back legs seem too tall for his front, and he lopes out to frisk among the fronds of grass with an endearing, sideways canter. Our first night together showed that for all his bravado and spirit, Max is indeed still a young puppy. He cried for hours before we broke down and allowed him a spot to curl up next to my chest in bed. Our sleep was fitful, but this morning I could already see progress as he learns the ways of our household. His wide eyes soak up everything we do – and especially everything Rory does, so already we are working to demonstrate commands and reward Rory generously for performing well – and show him how to sit. We’re worried, of course, about guiding him well through this developmental stage into a dog we’ll be happy to have as part of our family for many years to come. We’re stressed – it takes so much energy to watch EVERYTHING he does all the time! And of course, we’re tired. But when he nuzzles me and looks up with those big blue eyes, yearning for approval, I can’t help but think that there will be a happy ending to this story.
He moves quickly – so good photos are difficult to snap, but this gives you some idea of what our bundle of joy looks like.
Rory, the Queen of Cute.
We recently completed a huuuge project on our to-do list – the “industrial chic pallet daybed” I’ve mentioned. The daybed lives in the office, where it plays host to occasional visits from me and frequent lounging from Rory. I have since rechristened this piece of furniture the “doggie daybed”. The daybed itself is awesome – Tyler built it, so of course it would be. The base is made from reclaimed shipping pallets and Tyler took this project a step further, using an extra pallet for scrap wood so he could build extra support for the base. This thing is sturdy. We bought a twin mattress (and a waterproof mattress protector-note the drool spot in the photo between Rory’s paws) for the top.
I ordered a daybed cover from West Elm to bring the whole piece together. That sounds like an awesome idea, except that to my chagrin, West Elm skimped on the construction of said cover, using BUTTONS (buttons?!) on the short end to construct an impossible envelope instead of using a zipper on the long end to make for easy mattress insertion. The mattress WILL NOT FIT in their existing pocket. I measured the case and the mattress and the case has plenty of room to accommodate the mattress (we bought the extra-basic thin mattress, not the gigantic pillow-topped ones that are so popular today). After stewing angrily for a few days over this shoddy piece of workmanship, I took matters into my own hands. After 45 minutes with a seam ripper, the cover is successfully on the bed and looks pretty good- from three sides at least ; ). Much better than the wrinkly sheet in the photo, that’s for sure. Of course, the fabric store was out of 100″ zippers so I have basically sandwich bagged the cover around the mattress for the time being, but this is a start. I’ll post soon with final glamour shots and a how-to.
Rory and I have been having the most amazing time. Depending on what part of the country you hail from, Wichita either got a lot or a very little snow this week. We had a couple inches to play in, and when it comes to snow, I will take what I can get. Rory loved everything about the snow: the taste, the feel, the way she can slide in it or burrow in it or toss it into the air with her nose. She thinks of snow as an all-you-can eat snow buffet and stops every couple of seconds to take a bite of her new favorite treat.
We have played outside in the snow more times than I can count and we even ventured out for a 2.5 mile hike yesterday. There was no one else around – just me and my snow-loving dog. The snow really brings out the Great Pyrenees side to Rory and for once her coat doesn’t look as white! The forecast for the next week shows us remaining cold and possibly seeing a few more flakes. I hope the fun lasts ; ).
Rory has been a part of our little family for more than a week now and, being the over-involved “mom” that I am, decided it was high time to update the internet on her progress. She’s a doll! Not only is she sweet, she’s a very fast learner. Within 2 days she had already learned how to “shake” and now I would say she has mastered the technique. She’s also caught on to “wait” and “ok”, which are crucial. We go on walks every day and she is extremely well-behaved on a leash. She has even learned to curb her instinct to lunge after squirrels and rabbits and instead sit and look at me, longing for permission to go after the rascals. We don’t allow her to pull or walk ahead of us. She’s still a puppy, so she tires easily, but I have faith that she will be an excellent running partner for me for years to come. Brushing her in the evening has become a ritual that we both enjoy. She seems to think it is some sort of special treat for her and it reminds me of the way I used to brush my dolls’ hair when I was young.
Rory relaxes with one of our friends.
Rory loves to be with people, and her devotion to us makes her the perfect companion. I love to have her follow me around the house and sit at my feet. In fact, she is laying by my computer chair as I type this. We’re also working on different games – she didn’t really know how to “play”. She’s learning how to play tug with her rope, and Tyler is beginning to teach her how to fetch. Fun for everyone! We feel really lucky to have found her!