If you've been following along with me on Instagram, you already know that over the weekend we acquired a new pint-sized member of our household. Today I wanted to share a bit about our first few days with this little love bug and how life has already changed because of him.
The decision to bring another dog into our home after Dylan's passing was one we struggled with for many months. When would it be the right time? Would it ever feel like right time? I think The Mister came around a little earlier than I did, but somewhere between Thanksgiving and Christmas I felt ready- ready to once again hear the pitter patter of paws on our wood floors. So we slowly began to search for a dog that would be a good fit for us.
Unfortunately, we would come to the table with a bit of baggage. I didn't discuss it much here on the blog, but the last few years with Dylan were a heartbreaking spell of intensive care taking, behavior changes, specialists and expensive vet bills. We put off trips we wanted to take and dinners out with friends to stay home, keep him comfortable and healthy for as long as we were given with him. So, we were still a bit leery of taking on a young puppy or adopting a dog from a shelter that may come with his own set of problems. That said, we were still considering these options and others when The Mister came to me with an ad for Valentino.
We spent some time with both Valentino and his family, getting to know a little more about him and the circumstances that were unfortunately resulting in his adoption out of his first home. This loving family tried everything to prevent it from happening, but they had an allergy issue to contend with and decided it was for the best. I can't imagine having to make that decision.
Luckily, we got a call back that they decided we'd be a good fit for their boy. We had a week to prepare and we were giddy and anxious throughout. A new bed and toys were selected and sat ready to welcome him home. It was a roller coaster mix of emotions the night we exchanged him, but his remarkable reaction once we brought him through the door put us at ease.
He ran with intention throughout every room in the house, inspecting, getting his bearings. Then toys were found and playtime ensued. He claimed his new bed and slept soundly his first night with us. We could not believe it.
Throughout the weekend, he and I puttered about the back yard together. I grabbed the rake and worked one side to the other, watching as he explored and found just the right patch of sun to sprawl out in. In these initial days, we spent time observing and taking queues from one another. We already learned quite a bit about what makes him happiest. Though we left the patio doors wide open and gave him free reign, we realized quickly that he wanted to be wherever we were. He rushes to the fridge each time he hears the ice machine, anxious for a small cube or two that might fall on the floor (and he's not shy about asking for one from your glass). Valentino plays hard and quickly tires, rolling on his back for a belly rub if you're willing. He's curious and inspects and falls into sleep quickly, snoring like no other being I've ever heard.
By the time our parents arrived for a visit on Saturday afternoon, we had already fallen into a comfortable cadence. It was as if he'd always been here with us. By Sunday evening, he was curled up in my lap, head burrowed under my arm, snoring away. I was in heaven. He was trusting enough to jump up on his own and reassured me that he was adjusting ok. It felt like the ship was righted somehow. I don't think the hole Dylan left behind will ever close. But, in just these first couple of days, our little family has already found balance once again.
More than anything, I hope sweet Valentino has found some balance during this weekend transition and realizes that we are here to give him a good life with us. I can not tell you how lucky we feel to have him.