Everyone knows by now that we're animal crazy people. I've volunteered for 5 years at the animal shelter, and Hank and I have fostered several dogs and kittens together. We were perfectly happy with our 2 dog/2 cat situation, which made fostering really easy. We simply didn't have room (or hands) for a fifth permanent animal. And then Brees happened.
The foster plea email came to me on a Friday afternoon. Normally I can blow off all the sweet faces that I see on an hourly basis. But this little one stood out. She was a 6 week old shepherd mix puppy who had been picked up off the side of a really busy street, and was far too young to be spending time at the shelter. They wanted her out immediately. I forwarded the email to Hank, who replied with "Just go and get her." We were just two weeks out from our wedding, with a crazy busy schedule. I thought there was no way he would agree, but didn't hesitate at all and drove in Friday traffic to pick her up.
|Leaving the shelter and heading home.|
|Playing in the yard her first day home.|
We knew that our next dog (when were were down an animal or two) would be a dog that Hank could eventually run with, and given the size of her paws, there was no doubt that she would grow big enough to handle the exercise. So in our minds, we were able to justify that the timing of our plan was just happening a little sooner than we thought. And seriously, do you see that face?!
The other pets tolerated her puppiness, and when we officially made the decision to keep her, we knew we would need to come up with an official name. The shelter had named her Bonnie, but we had a good friend with the same name, and it just didn't seem to fit our little girl. Since we are both big football fans, and her black and tan coloring reminded us of the Saints, we decided that Brees was more fitting. She even has her own jersey that she will likely outgrow before football season even gets here.
In the almost 3 months that she's been with us now, we've certainly had our fair share of puppy shenanigans to deal with. Potty training was easy (crate training is a must!) but the biting/jumping/general naughty behavior keeps us on our toes on a daily basis. If the house is quiet, then you know that trouble is brewing.
|Marley is like "I had nothing to do with this!"|
We made a first attempt at a Puppy Training class at Petsmart, but the instructor ended up in the hospital and missed two classes. So we'll be starting from scratch next Tuesday at her first Hearts and Paws puppy class. She's a smart girl, and already knows sit and down. But there is a whole lot left to learn! She'll also be spending one day a week in playcare at Mud Puppies. We're hoping that playing with dogs most of the day will make even the smallest dent in the amount of energy she has. Plus, the socialization will be great. She is super dog friendly so far, but Maddie and Marley can only take so much of her.
She's doing great on walks, eats like a champ, and loves playing with her toys (duck is her current favorite). But I think her most favorite thing is water! She refuses to go to the bathroom in the yard when the sprinklers are on, but pull out her kiddie pool and she dives in head first! She's a water dog for sure.
|Brees and Maddie having a stare down over duck.|
While she wasn't necessarily in our plans, we can't imagine our life without her. She's been so much fun to have, and we're looking forward to watching her grow up into a beautiful (big) girl. I know there are many arguments for getting a pet from a breeder vs from a shelter or rescue group, but I think Brees makes a great case for the quality of dog that can be rescued. We wouldn't have done it any other way.