And I mean that in the best and worst way. I know, I can practically hear the eye rolls from mothers with tiny humans but man being a dog mom is hard work. And no one warned me! At least when you have a baby people warn you about everything and have tons of advice and are always quick to point out what you are doing wrong HA. But with a dog, you only see the cute pictures on Facebook and Instagram and you don’t see the madness behind the eyes.
James and I have been talking seriously about getting a dog for over a year. Probably more like two. There were two big things holding us back. The first was that we were never ever home. All our vacation time went towards weddings and on the weekends, when we were in Atlanta, we just were never at home. The second is we didn’t know what we wanted. We LOVE french bulldogs, so so so much. We are obsessed. But we are also very active and wanted a dog that would keep us active so we also were really considering rescuing a dog or bringing home a Vizsla.
So one night when we were walking the Beltline after an amazing dinner at Kevin Rathbun’s I put out into the atmosphere that if we see a French Bulldog walk by that is a sign we need a dog. Anyone who has walked on the Beltline knows that there are always 500 dogs at any given moment but this was 8 pm on a Tuesday night so the odds were less and what do you know, about 30 seconds before our walk came to an end I saw TWO French Bulldogs being walked. There was our sign now we just needed to make a move.
This was in the fall of 2016, our schedules were finally slowing down. We don’t have that my friends in serious relationships who aren’t married yet (just us haha) so wedding season was winding down and it seemed like the timing was going to be right. One of James’s co-workers at the time had mentioned she adopted her cats from a rescue called Furkids and told James to check it out. By that Friday we were eating dinner and making a list of dogs we loved who were still available and a list of names to go with them. We were so excited. We made plans to head to their shelter, Furkids, in Alpharetta the next morning to take a look before we headed for a hike.
Little did we know the only dogs that remain at the shelter on Saturdays are the less adoptable ones HA all the other ones are at Petco or Pet Smart waiting in front of the store. So the list we wanted to look at was not there, except for one, his name was Dusty Springfield. A one-year-old Yellow Lab-Hound mix who came from South Georgia and had an adorable video online of him smiling and chasing his tail.
We tell them to bring Dusty on out to the fenced in backyard so we can meet him and within a few minutes a yellow rocket runs by me, grabs a tennis ball and brings it to me to start playing. I was in love, heart-eye-emoji to the max. His energy, size, smile and playfulness was everything I needed in a dog. It took James a little bit to warm up because Dusty was more into me HA. James was sitting on the steps and yells Chacho come here! (one of the names he picked out the night before. It is slang for Dude in Spanish.) and Dusty comes running into his arms. That was it! We had our dog and he had a name. They were pretty much willing to give him to us right then and there but I was hesitant. I loved him but I needed to sleep on it plus we had no supplies. So we submitted and application and went off to our hike- where we only talked about Dusty, I mean he was already my phone background- can you tell we were so excited!
The adoption process was kinda slow. I think they are really busy, it is a rescue shelter with volunteer workers but I also think them not being so responsive probably tests how badly you want the dog. But that is why I love James, he called until they picked up the phone because he knew how bad I wanted Chacho. We finally made arrangements to pick him up on that coming Thursday, October 27 and the rest is history.
I 100% support adopting and I know that Chacho was put into our lives for a reason but it is hard work. He had a full year to learn a bunch of bad habits and we aren’t really sure the why anyone gave him up. When we brought him home I could tell he had been inside a house before. He knew exactly where his dog bed, toys and crate were. Yes, he has energy but honestly two long walks or a being able to run around for 45 minutes to an hour and he is out and behaves. He is crate trained, he loves his crate, and pretty much potty trained (a few accidents but nothing major). I mean he loves sleeping in our bed more than his crate but in the mornings, when we knows I am getting ready for work, he will go lay in there- doesn’t mean he doesn’t give me sad puppy eyes when I leave but he doesn’t bark or whine while he is in there. He also doesn’t really chew on things. We had a few incidents during his first weekend because James thought he could sleep while Chacho roamed free alone in a brand new house but he now knows to go grab his bone . And he sometimes throws our shoes around when he wants attention aka when he wants us to stop sleeping on the weekends- hence why he is now allowed in our bed ha.
However, he was (kind of still is) TERRIBLE on the leash and extremely terrible with other dogs. Oh. my. We had seen the dog thing at the shelter on that Saturday but it didn’t seem that bad- you know love is blind. Every dog has it’s quarks, even if we had gotten one as a puppy. Just like a human, you can pick their name but you can’t pick their personality. Yes, we would have exposed him to dogs asap and got him walking well on a leash if he was ours from day one but I know it’s two things we can work on and have been working on.
The most important part of this of making the decision to adopt a dog is truly understanding if you are able to commit the time and money it takes to create an environment in which your newly adopted dog will behave. You don’t want your dog or house to be the one neighbors avoids or complain about or worse put anyone in danger. Make sure you know what you are getting into and what you can honestly commit to. Yes, they are adorable but there have been a few times even that cute smile couldn’t keep the tears from flowing. He makes us so happy and we are working so hard to make him the best dog ever, it takes worth on both our parts. But just know there is more to dog ownership than Instagram pictures.