09 August 2011

New Beginnings

Recently hubby and I were talking about blogging and he was saying how nice it was when I blogged because it was a great journal to look back upon our trips and adventures. Over the weekend I received a lovely note from Exseno saying that after a long absence of her own she was going to start blogging again. So I have been inspired. I miss it too. I got sucked into the void that is Facebook but find that it is not fulfilling what blogging did. Blogging is really a sort of diary of our short little journey and as I get older and I find that my memory is not what it used to be I think that is quite nice. I have also met some great people who share their lives in return.
Probably the biggest change in our lives since last year was the addition of our new family member- Zdeno. (pronounced Zah-Day-No).
After we lost Polaris last summer I thought I would need a long break from having another pup in our family. But I missed having a buddy to take walks with, someone to keep me company as I work alone in my home office most days, and someone to snuggle with and keep me and the chickens safe. So, in early October I filled out applications with a couple of dog rescues. I wasn't sure what type of breed I wanted, but I knew I didn't want to 'replace' Polar so another Malamute was not what I wanted. I was really hoping to get a white dog though. Then he and Blizzardora could shed the same color. I was thinking a little guy like a Shiba Inu mix where Art, of course, wanted a BIG dog like a Newfie mix.
We visited a lot of shelters but never got the feel that any pup was right. We were not in a hurry by any means. The only reason I started in October was that I heard it could take up to two years to get a puppy. I definitely wanted a puppy so that I could train the dog to be around the chickens. That was a stressful part with Polar as he would attack them. One of the groups I applied to was a White German Shepherd Rescue called Echo Dogs. They are a group here in NH, but they rescue shepherd's from all over. We filled out an application, they checked our references, and they even came to our house to do a home assessment.
To my shock and delight they called us just a few weeks after we applied to say that they may have a puppy available in Connecticut.
It was a strange process. The lady that had the pup was not computer oriented and didn't have a camera. She was also not sure if she wanted to give the pup up. She had adopted the puppy from a breeder in Minnesota. Turns out they were terrible breeders. When she got the puppy he was sickly and had giardia. He was also fed a solely raw diet. So the lady spent a great deal of time taking him to the vet and trying to get him to gain weight. He had constant diarrhea and the only thing he would eat with any regularity was his poo. On top of that she had a three year old dog that did not like the new puppy and would attack it any time they were in the same room. So this poor sick puppy spent most of his life trapped in a laundry room listening to another dog growl and knowing that if he asked to go out to do his business he would likely be attacked. Yet the lady wasn't sure she wanted to give him up.
I spent weeks talking with her on the phone assuring her that we would be a good home and agreeing that her situation was not good for the pup. After she backed out of the deal twice and didn't show up when she said she was going to drop him off she finally arrived. Up until the second I saw her car I didn't really believe that he was going to come! Keep in mind that I had no idea what this dog looked like. I only knew that he was born on the second of July and he was a sickly pup.
We did get a few things to prepare though, just in case she actually showed up. We got a kennel this time. I wanted to kennel train as it was such a nightmare with Polar and we already knew that he still wasn't potty trained. I made a little mattress in their with a fleece pillow case and we got a few toys.
She arrived in an SUV and had him in a little dog carrier. When she opened it up and let him out I just choked up. There was this adorable white fluffy bundle of joy that bounced out of the car and ran right over to me. I couldn't even believe how cute and happy he was! Art came out and had an instant huge smile on his face! The pup ran right into his arms.We had done a little prep on what we would like for names. We knew his name was Zoltan but didn't want to keep that. Art had a cousin with that name and it just seemed so severe. But we did like Z names and thought the puppy would have an easier time if we kept the sound similar. We settled on Zdeno. If you have not heard that name you are probably not a hockey fan. Zdeno Charra is the team captain for the Boston Bruins. He is also the largest hockey player currently playing and he is a big 6'9" teddy bear. Back to Art wanting a big dog I thought that we had potential for Zdeno to be big as his breed can often get up to 120 pounds or more.We took the lady around the house and yard and introduced her to the chickens. She lives in a suburb of NYC for all intents and purposes so I am sure our yard was not what she expected. I gave her some fresh eggs, some syrup that was made from the maple in our yard, and some jam made from our raspberries as well as a hat that I had knitted over the last winter. After she was on her way we just cuddled and snuggled and played with Zdeno all night. His favorite toy was a nubbly green ball. He was very good at running after it and bringing it back. He seemed instantly at home. He went right into his kennel exhausted at the end of the evening.
Welcome home Zdeno!

1 comment:

Renna said...

Shannon, it's so good to see you back blogging! I wish I could motivate myself to begin again. Maybe someday.

Your new pup is gorgeous, and what a happy ending to a story that started out so sad. :-)