I wrote only two posts here about Blue Boy, our first dog, a lovable chocolate Labrador who left us too soon. But if you had access to our photo album, you’d see that he’s in nearly every video and every picture. Once you notice his round brown shape, the sound of his walk and shake, you can’t miss him. Scrolling through the last seven years, he is everywhere.
That’s what dogs do. They permeate the background, sometimes the foreground. You smell them and hear them even when you can’t see them. It’s a lot. It can be overwhelming, and when Blue left us, the empty was nice.
So I was surprised at how quickly we all wanted another dog. Our first reaction was to apply to be a host on Rover, a dog-sitting service, like Airbnb for dogs. We passed and started getting hits immediately. We hosted a half-dozen dogs. We met a hyper-energetic 11-year-old German Shepard. He was too much. We met a really old Irish Setter. His breath was terrible and he somehow made it down to the creek and wandered downstream before I caught up with him. That was a big scare.
Our favorite guests where the doodles, the new trendy “designer dogs” that are usually a cross between a Labrador and a poodle or a Golden Retriever and a poodle. My girls took to both of the doodles right away. The asked me to have them stay with us again. Then a neighbor we’d frequently see on our way to the bus stop in the morning walking her doodle asked us if we’d babysit. My girls were very excited.
Before I knew it, we were sending adoption applications to shelters for pre-approval. The one we liked the best, Homeward Bound Goldens, approved our application after speaking to my wife. They had a young doodle, “Mini Murphy“, who was six months old and already passed through two families. He was staying at a foster house while they found a permanent home for him.
The foster parent wasn’t sure about us. The last family had young kids and he was too much for them, but she agreed to let us meet him. We drove out to Sacramento hoping for the best, that we’d meet our new friend and fall in love at first sight. What happened was pretty darn close.
Murphy is old for his age. He has puppy vibes, but he calms down quickly, and then a happy old man comes out. He likes to nap. Scratch that, he needs to nap. He loves to cuddle as close to his humans as possible. He gets scared when he hears a new sound. Importantly, he sleeps through the night, quiet as a mouse. And he doesn’t shed!
It’s early for me to claim victory; we’ve had Murphy for all of three days. I can tell my wife and my girls have feelings for him. Is it love? Maybe, but it’s certainly heading that direction. I’m happy for Murphy, and I’m happy for us. So far this is a great fit.