About three months ago I was reading a book to Soleil that revolved around two siblings. About 2/3 of the way through, Soleil asked me who her brother was.
It was a profound moment. I’m 99 percent sure she’ll never have one given our 40 something status, and the difficulties we experienced having Soleil. She will be an only child.
One thing I have learned over the past year or so is that toddlers and geriatric pets are not a great mix. Our two cats, 18 and 16 respectively, and Junior (an 11 year old pug who may as well be a cat) just don’t have much play in them anymore.
Caitlin and I started discussing the matter. We felt Soleil needed someone more youthful to play with at home, especially given that Daddy “the play guy” is at work during the business week. A slow three month search began for our new dog, someone a little younger who would enjoy Soleil’s attention.
We began working with Homeward Trails, a local rescue organization, which happened to come in second place for most donors during Give to the Max Day. As the GM of that $2 million giving event, I was thrilled to work with this local community rescue.
At one of their local dog rescue events in Arlington, I walked into the pen. Michelle, an American Fox Hound/Beagle mix, came right up to me. She was as sweet as could be.
We went to a private stall, and introduced her to Soleil. The two got along famously, playing catch, and Michelle tolerating Soleil’s incessant hugging of all things furry. A match was made, and three weeks ago we brought Michelle home.
Things have been awesome, though Mom and Dad are adjusting to a two-year old dog with lots of energy. Michelle is a real dog, unlike Junior, who will counter surf and even consumed a whole loaf of bread. But she is still as sweet as could be. Bonus miles: Because Michelle is a real dog, she actually barks when strangers come to the door, a new thing for us.
Most importantly, Soleil has a playmate now. Michelle will trot around the kitchen table while Soleil chases her, and will sleep with the little girl sometimes. Michelle tolerates Soleil’s rough and tumble nature to a much higher degree than the older pets, who simply run away from her. And yes, we’re actively working with Soleil on respecting animals.
Our third rescue experience has been awesome. There are so many animals out there that need homes. While we considered getting a bred Labradoodle, this seemed to be the more mindful path for our house.
Soleil has her sibling now, and you can hear many more sounds of little feet going pitter patter throughout the house.
Do you have pets? How did you find them?