“Something I am grateful for is that I got a new dog this week!”

Something I am grateful for is that I got a new dog this week! I was at work, and I work kind of near an animal shelter. So pretty frequently, we’ll see, during work meetings, the volunteers walking dogs around our building. And for some reason this dog really caught my eye, it was – it looked like a lab, but it was really tall. So I wasn’t sure what kind of dog it was, but I assumed it was maybe a lab or a golden mixed with something else. So I went over to the animal shelter and, originally, I was just interested in looking at the cats, maybe petting some dogs. But I started to think about it more seriously, so I put my name in and they don’t hold dogs for anyone, but they told me that this dog would be available on a certain day. So when dogs are brought in by Animal Control, there’s a period of time that they’re kept at the shelter, just in case the owners show up. They obviously check for a chip right away and if they’re able to contact someone they will, but otherwise they just keep them for a while waiting for the owners, possibly. And this dog seemed really taken care – well taken care of. It was neutered and has some training at least, so they were pretty surprised when no one came to get it. Shortly after we adopted, we looked all over Michigan on different websites to see if somebody had lost the dog, but we weren’t able to find anything.

But anyway, I saw this dog, was interested, filled out the paperwork. Eventually, when the dog became available, I brought my partner over there and he was interested in getting a second dog, but feeling a little bit cautious because our first dog is really reactive. She will play with other dogs and it’s okay, but she has to know them pretty well. The first, you know, few minutes of her meeting a dog are scary enough that it’s not something we do super often. She’s never actually like bitten a dog or anything, but she really snarls and with smaller dogs it’s worse, so we just try to avoid that altogether. But larger dogs, it tends to be okay. So we were hopeful that they would get along, and after maybe five minutes of her being really snarly, she calmed down and they were playing and having a lot of fun. So that was really good news, and it doesn’t seem so far like the dog is reactive in any way. You know, the first step was introducing her to our dog to see – or, he, I guess. Introducing him to our dog to see how it went, and he was fine. With people, we haven’t had anyone by to see him yet, but he warmed up to us super quickly, like, within, you know, a couple minutes. So I think that that might be okay, too.

We haven’t decided on a name yet. We were talking about… So, it’s a guard dog, this dog that we got. A livestock guard dog, traditionally, and – ’cause they eventually told us the breed. And my partner had been watching this documentary and it was about, in the National Hockey League, I guess like, in the 90s primarily, there were these people that were sort of unofficially called “enforcers”. But my understanding of it is, there were offensive players that were really really good and they kind of had this unofficial “enforcer” who if you were to like injure, check really kind of aggressively, like, too aggressively, this offensive player, the defensive player, the enforcer would come and basically retaliate. So people started to learn, “Oh, we’re playing this team, if we play too rough with this player, you know, this person is gonna really mess us up,” basically. But it got to the point where there were really, really good offensive players that were saying like, “I’m not going to be traded without my enforcer.” So because we got a guard dog, we were looking up different names or nicknames of enforcers and one of my favorites, it was an American named – or his nickname was Knuckles, so I thought that was pretty funny. So, my partner’s like less keen on the Knuckles angle, so we’ll have to see. We’ve also talked about Oat Milk, which is so stupid, and we’ve just brainstormed some other names. So I’m grateful for the opportunity to have this dog, really excited that he seems to be settling in really well. He doesn’t seem anxious or stressed out which is great. My dog – I came home last night at like 10 pm, and I was like, “Oh no, my dog,” my original dog, “is so depressed and sad she can’t even lift up her head.” Like, “she’s just, she’s angry,” and then my partner was like “No, she’s exhausted. She’s been running around all day playing with this dog. She’s just really tired.” So anyway, that’s one of the great benefits of having two dogs, they can play with each other and get their energy out.

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