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Thursday, December 17, 2015

Welcome Home, Benny!

My fifth golden retriever died from a brain tumor in April 2014. Since then, I have realized how much I miss having one of these wonderful dogs in my life.

Unfortunately, goldens are very rare in New Mexico. I know I could drive to California or Tennessee and adopt a dog from one of the rescues from which I got previous goldens, but that would mean a long road trip with my two little dogs for a 'meet and greet.' So I started looking locally.

The local animal control listed an adult male golden, so I paid him a visit, only to learn that he isn't a golden at all, but a Labrador retriever. The shelter in Santa Fe had a golden mix that looked a lot like a golden, but before I could get there, he was adopted. I found a little golden/corgi mix at a local rescue group, but he was adopted before I could complete the home visit. Friends of the family had talked about rehoming their golden, but decided they couldn't part with her. So I resigned myself to having to drive to Tennessee or California next year to find my new golden family member.

Then I got a phone call from the foster mom of the golden/corgi, telling me that he was available for adoption. She brought him to meet my dogs, which were uncharacteristically accepting of him. She completed my home visit, but she said the dog was scheduled to meet another family two days later. She would report her findings about the two home visits, and another woman would make the final decision. So I waited. And a  few days later, I got the call -- the other potential adopters had changed their minds, and the little dog (named Bailey) was mine if I wanted him. Arrangements were made for a 2-week trial period to make sure he was a good fit with my family.

Since I already have a dog named Bailey, I started calling the newcomer Benny. He fit into the family very quickly and smoothly. True, he has some rough edges we need to work on, such as staying off the furniture, not jumping on people, doors, etc., and not pulling when we go for a walk. But those are fixable things. After just a couple of days, I knew that Benny was here to stay, although the final adoption paperwork has yet to be completed.

This little guy, who looks much like a golden retriever with his long, red coat in the body of a corgi, has been through so many changes lately. So it's understandable that he remains somewhat uncertain. But his playful side is showing itself, with back yard zoomies and chomp fights with me when I sit on the floor.

I bought a no-pull harness for Benny and had it sized at the wonderful local pet food shop where I bought it. Benny is quickly learning his new name and 'sit,' but we are still working on staying off the furniture. He likes to sleep under my bed at night rather than on the soft blanket I put on the floor for him. And that's fine. Perhaps he will feel safer sleeping on the blanket as he realizes he is home for good.

I can't think of a better Christmas gift for either of us. Welcome home, Benny!