...the newest member of our family...
...she's a 3 year old Miniature Schnauzer...
...and she spent all but the last two weeks of those three years as a breeding dog in a puppy mill. :(
I'll be honest...I've never thought of myself as a dog person. I've always liked dogs more in theory than in practice. However, over the past year, the idea of getting a dog has been one I've batted around more and more. The kids had brought it up a lot, and I kept putting them off. But then we'd go over to the nearby park and see all of the people and their dogs and I realized...I wanted to be a dog person.
So I started scoping out the Petfinder.com listings now and then in the past few months. If we were going to get a dog, it needed to be a small dog that would remain small. I preferred for it to be female and not a puppy. Short hair was also a preference due to Chris's allergies. I thought maybe a Yorkie or a Maltese would be nice, but I never found one that really struck me as right for us. And then last week I did a search for mini schnauzers...my grandmother had one of these dogs when I was a kid, and I loved that dog! She was great. And so I searched and suddenly -- there was Muffin. I don't know why, but I knew she was the right one.
We're basically doing a crash course, learn-as-we-go, of how to deal with a puppy mill survivor. It's clear that patience is going to be key as she learns to trust us and learns what it is to be loved and to be part of a family. Surprisingly, she loves to be held, loves to cuddle. She's slept each night in my daughter's bed. After spending her first full day here mostly sleeping, she finally has begun exploring her new world today, and she finally started to eat as well. Pottying...well...that's going to take time, but we'll deal.
Last evening, I was the only one in the room with her and she was looking around for the kids. I called to her, as we're trying to get her used to her name, and for the first time, she came over to me on her own. It might seem like a simple thing, but I think for her, it is a big, big thing...it was a sign to me that Muffin is going to be ok.
And so now I find myself wiping doggie paws after we've been outside, and calling my daughter from the pet store to have her measure Muffin so I could buy a little jacket to help keep her warm when we go out to do the potty thing. And I find my heart just oozing and melting when this little face comes over to me and wants to be picked up.
My God, I think I am turning into a dog person after all. :}