Thursday, March 5, 2015

Along Came Sandy...

This is the first time I saw her face. It was on the rescue group's (Love and Second Chances) website. She was 3.5 months old and her stage name was Vesta. It was love a first "site". Even though I was "just looking" and mostly at Old Timers, I somehow came across this sweet face and then couldn't get her out of my mind. 

I inquired about her via email and then got a response that she was an International rescue, who was in Taiwan. What? I was somewhat disappointed. "She has to come from Taiwan? What does that even mean?" It meant that she was from Taiwan and was a rescued street puppy who needed a new home, just like rescue dogs in the United States need new homes.  She would have to fly to San Francisco and be picked up there, if we were approved as adopters. I didn't know how I felt about an International adoption of a rescue dog, but after reading about all the good work that is being done in Taiwan to rescue the many dumped and feral street dogs, I began to see things in a new light. A rescued dog is a rescued dog, no matter the zip code. 

So long story short, we moved forward, got approved and had a date to pick up the puppy at SFO on Monday, February 16. Of course, this was after very long discussions about the reality of having a puppy. It's not easy and I knew that going in. I needed to make sure everyone else knew that going in. We all agreed, even though we still didn't know exactly what we were getting ourselves in to!

 On that fateful Monday evening, we loaded up the car and headed out to pick up my little princess. 

Yes, I had her flight mapped on Flight Aware.

Once, she arrived at the gate (which took FOREVER, because of customs) we had to sign some paperwork, but we didn't take her out of her crate until we got to the parking lot.

Of course, I had water for her, as well as towels and wipes and THANK GOD I did because after so long in a crate, you can imagine there was a mess. It was so hard for me to think about the conditions in her crate that she had to be in for so long. Because of the late flight, there were no dog washing places open and, I must admit, that whole scenario was very stressful.  But, being her mama,  I just wrapped her in two towels (pretending not to smell a thing) and held her tight, so she knew she was safe. I held her in my lap all the way home. She slept so sweetly.

Now that I know her better, I can see the fear in her eyes here. Poor thing.



1st night home. 

Luckily, during our first week with her, Lucas was off from school and it allowed them to form a special bond.  


And she had quality time with Dominic too.


Buddy? Well, this picture sums it up. I really thought he would be happy because I know how much he misses Dingo, but it hasn't really turned out that way.
(I really miss my Dingo too. It's still so hard for me.)

She's trying really hard with him, but it's just way too much puppy for Buddy's Oldtimer, Terrier-self. He's not much for chaos or fun, for that matter. Plus, she's kinda rough with him and that's a big "no-no". 

This is Sandy.

So far, she is the smartest dog I've ever had. She will need a strong leader and lots of training and socialization. She is very willful already and I'm working really hard to understand and get to know her, so we can have a beautiful, long life together. 

Even though I thought I was getting a medium sized dog (50lbs fully gown), the vet says she's only going to be about 30 lbs. I was a bit disappointed, but she will still be a good guard dog, just not a big one. 



So Along Came My...
Yes, I picked the name. It took me forever, as I have all boys in my life and didn't even know where to begin for a girls' name. I tried to find a good girl's name from Taiwan, to honor her heritage, but none seemed to fit her or me.


But, then, it came to me like a ghost from the distant past. She will be Sandy, just like my Grandma Jessie and Grandpa Ben's dog, all those many years ago. I was looking at my blog and saw the sidebar picture of my grandpa and 6-month-old-me and, also, in that picture is their Sandy (my first dog ever) and right then I knew, that I needed my own.

Mama's Princess. 

Now, to be honest, as romantic as it seems, this transition of adding a puppy to our house has been anything but perfect. Getting a puppy is not for the faint of heart. It is so much work that I almost can't believe it. There have been times I've already cried and wondered what the heck I did! I know it will be worth it and we love her beyond measure, but the road is not smooth and I feel like I don't have a second for anything else in my life and the constant worry over her and her potty habits and her training and she and Buddy being in the same room has been immense.

But, in the early morning, when it's just she and I and we are having our snuggle time, I treasure this experience and hope to have many wonderful years and memories with my girl. 


Yep, every day of the week.


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