Wednesday, March 10, 2010

The New Addition

We knew from the beginning that Shadow was a social dog.  We did what we could be doggie daycare and playdates.  They certainly helped, but ultimately it was a constant conversation of what we could do this week for him.  Hiking was good, but of course the snow and ice made that difficult this winter and was only good for weekends.  We finally brought up the subject of another dog.  said we wanted two after we lost Dakota last year, but I really thought the two of them would add up to 100 pounds rather than what we have in Shadow right now!  But I can't help it - I'm in love with this dog and I'll do so much to make him happy.  And the search began.

What does a 100 pound 2 year old male black lab want???  We decided after research a slightly smaller (60-80 pounds), older (4-7 years old) female lab would do.  Let me tell you how difficult it can be to find such a thing.  The Greenville Humane Society where we adopted Shadow could only produce a 40 pound dog right now.  We started to hit all the labrador rescue groups.  We found that in general these labs were 2 years old or 10 years old.  So we kept looking.  Found two in Greenwood at 3 years old.  Getting closer.  They even had a purebred male at 5 years old, but Shadow is such a strong alpha male....

Then we hit every shelter in the upstate and there was a possibility of a black labrador mix at 5 years old at the Spartanburg Humane Society.  They are just as convenient as the Greenville one.  We called to see if she was still there and asked the big question:  "How big is she?"  The woman on the other end said, "She weighed in at 74.2 pounds."  (I love the 0.2!)  We told them we were coming to check her out and have her meet our dog.  They were all ready when we got there - even put a "hold" on her kennel so all would know she was spoken for.  They touched noses from the first moment, ran around the run to sniff all they could, and even wrestled a bit.  The tails never stopped. 

So a couple of days later we were able to pick up our new girl!  Let me introduce Raven...
We had left her there to be spayed since she had been picked up as a stray just last week.  We had made all sorts of arrangements to take her to the vet so she could recouperate before living with Shadow.  We made it half way home before they called and exclaimed, "We forgot to tell you she had already been spayed!"  Life at home changed immediately.  I was glad we had already bought a second set of bowls, rawhide chews and a dog bed!

Things started in the backyard with Shadow.  Isn't she a pretty girl?  Such style and grace...

You can really see the mix better in her with Shadow right there.  She actually reminds me of a border collie in her grace and the way she holds her ears back.
We've only dealt with a couple of fights - one over the Kong in the background above...  They've been short lived and I think just part of finding each other's place.  They did spend most of the first evening facing each other while they watched each other devour a footlong rawhide bone.  I think I need to buy stock in rawhides...And they immediately took to the favorite pasttime of watching birds (and cats) from the bedroom window.
I'll work to get some better pictures, but I just couldn't wait to share about our new addition! 

10 comments:

Kaite said...

Oh Jen, i'm so happy that Shadow now has a best girlfriend and don't they look wonderful together. Poor girl, i can't imagine the horrors that made her homeless. She's a happy girl now tho. How wonderful. I'm nearly in tears. Big hug, Kaite

Life Looms Large said...

That's such great news!! I'm so happy that Shadow has a new pack member!

We've had two dogs most of our adult lives, although Bailey is a happily single dog right now. The pack dynamics are really interesting. I wonder if there's any area where Raven will be top dog. Every time we've introduced a second dog, the hierarchical stuff was sorted out within the first week. After that, there might have been a few reinforcing skirmishes at times, but not scary fights or anything.

And two dogs really do a great job of keeping each other entertained, as I'm sure you've already discovered!

Our dog Kodi was a former stray, and there was something so strong about our connection over the years. It took him some time to trust us, but then once he did, he was an amazing dog. I still really miss him.

Congrats!! I'm so excited for you guys!

Sue

tommye said...

CONGRATULATIONS TO RAVEN TO COME TO SUCH A LOVING FAMILY! And, isn't Shadow a lucky fellow! Now, for the humans in the mix, congrats to you two as well! I'll look forward to more adventures of Raven and Shadow---HMMM... should Marvel Comics get ready for the stories?!

Jennifer said...

Thank you all - we've been so amazed at how easy this has been. The skirmishes still happen, but tails never stop wagging. She's not ready to simply take the bottom. He likes to push her around while they run. She's now taken to jumping up on him - and she's really insistant on getting between me and him. So we really need to incorporate one on one time for each of them. BUT there's been no more whining from Shadow. AND we're sleeping through the night already.

The thing I marvel at the most is that she loves to cuddle. She will climb up in my lap and bury her head in my neck or law across my chest. That may change, but we'll see...

charlotte said...

That's great! It is really hard to fin two adult dogs who go on well together. You were very lucky, and raven is lovely.

K Spoering said...

I think Booker would be jealous, so I haven't shared your news with him. he would love a buddy to play with, too, but for now at least, he'll have to settle on having Gus. They play a lot, but not like a canine buddy would.
Wooster (our lab) weighed 108 lbs. in the winter, then would get down to around 100 lbs. in the spring and summer, when he ate less and ran more. The vet always said he was never overweight, but he was a big boy (tall for the breed and quite muscular.)

Theresa said...

HOW did I miss this! Welcome Raven, you are a very pretty girl and don't let that Shadow guy boss you around too much! ;-)
Jennifer, her ears do remind me of BC. We call 'em angel ears here, and they are just as angelic and expressive on Raven.
Seems that give-away yarn had some extra special love in it. I'm so glad that to see you have a new addition to the family. God knows I've been eyeing rescues the last few weeks, but with the D man so old and a trip back home on the near horizon it just isn't the right time.
BTW, you'll need two of everything now. :-)

Jennifer said...

Thanks, Theresa!
We have gotten two of a lot of things. They keep swapping so there's really no way to know who's is who's. One thing we've also learned is that putting something out also likely means there is a time limit - i.e. food or Kongs and then take it away. It's just not worth it if they aren't going to finish them.

Laura K. Aiken said...

Hey Jennifer! Can't wait to meet Raven. She is beautiful and so lucky that you and James found her. Hope everything else is good with you. I am pretty limited on time now days since we are in the new building. COME see US! It fun having a studio of my own outside of home. I haven't forgotten our lunch date. Soon the weather will be nice again and maybe we can meet up again. Plus since you live right around the corner from Debbie. Loving your NZD pictures too. Incrediable!!!! IT must have been a trip of your life....and James. :) I just want to sit down and spend time at your site.
Laura.

Jennifer said...

Thanks Laura! It was good to hear from you and I do look forward to lunch and seeing your studio! I also need to head downtown and see the boxcars!