Note: Not a triathlon post, but a post that made me cry to write. I've been pining for a dog for about 6 months now. I had fallen in love with a few Italian Greyhounds and really wanted one. But Troy did not. We had a running joke in the family after he told me that we (he meant "I") could get a dog if I won my age group in Hawaii. When I told Annie this, she said "Awwww, he said that because he knows it's never going to happen" which honestly made me laugh in hysterics for quite awhile. The way she said it was totally honest. Ha!
Troy is a cat person, Apollo is his BFF in the house and even though I was the one begging for the big orange cat at the shelter, Apollo and Troy have bonded like no other. He sleeps on Troys chest every night...so yea...! Because Troy tends to be the one to keep the whole house fed, watered and functioning, the dog decision really was his call. I knew I needed extreme buy in. So I kept working on him day by day, week by week. I finally got some traction when he said that we could get something like a border collie or a cattle dog. The cattle dog Ranger across the street is awesome, as was Audras border collie Levi (I wanted to abduct Levi at one point). So of course I immediately went on Pet Finder.com and found border collie cattle dog mix puppies that were being fostered by a rescue organization in Denver. Troy had to say yes (yup, I backed him into a corner) and I submitted an application.
The next day I went for my long ride and I was so hyped about the fact that I had put in that application to meet those puppies. On the way home form my ride I checked the website to see if the puppies were still listed. One had been taken off. Just by chance I clicked on "Events" and it said there was an Adoptathon happening Saturday from 11-4. It just happened to be Saturday 11:30!!!! I considered it FATE.
I picked up Annie from the babysitter (Troy was off playing paintball) and asked her if she wanted to go to a dog Adoptathon (I really didn't know what that was), but she was game. I was hoping that since the rescue hadn't answered my application (it had been a mere 20 hours) that I would find my way to these puppies. So we loaded up and drove across town.
As we pulled in, I was a little overwhelmed. I quickly realized that this was a huge adoption event with about 15 rescue organizations coming together and bringing MANY dogs for a massive group adoption event. It was pretty awesome. In Colorado and I'm sure other states as well, there are groups of people that get together and run rescue organizations. They rescue dogs and place them in foster homes and then work tirelessly to adopt them out. Colorado is a very dog friendly state!
As a segway here, Annie was bit by a dog in the face when she was little. I grew up LOVING dogs but after the bite I found myself very protective of Annie around dogs, and I became apprehensive around most all dogs myself. That's why when I meet well behaved gentle dogs, I am quite wooed. I LOVE dogs, but I am scared at times of them after what happened to Annie. She is also very apprehensive around dogs that move quickly or suddenly, but she OH SO wants to love and engage with dogs. We are all a work in progress.
So we walk into this adoption event and there are dogs everywhere and I'm a little taken aback and on guard with Annie. I bee line for the rescue that I put the application in with and immediately introduce myself and inquire about the puppies. The lady in charge of that rescue says that the puppies aren't here, they are with their foster home and to just wait a few days for them to get in contact with me. They never actually did now that I think about it.
I'm like humm? But I look around and there are like 300 dogs there, and like 40 puppies, so I said to Annie, let's go play with some puppies!
We played with ALL the puppies. That place was awesome, they have a sponsorship with a pet product company, they write pet product reviews so they have tons of toys to play with. We visited every single one and I was definitely looking at each of them to see if I wanted to adopt them. There were puppies everywhere and we spent time, picked up, and played with every single one. One of the rescues on the fringe was Waggin' Tails and we went over there to play with a cattle dog looking puppy they had. We picked him up but he was so pooped out from playing that he was just a sleepy limp noodle. The ladies were very nice and I found myself chatting with Lejla. She was holding a leash with "Cindi" on the end and who to me was just another of the many adult dogs looking for a forever home. As I was talking to Lejla I started petting "Cindi" and Lejla started telling me about her. "This is the best dog, she's so sweet, we fostered her for three weeks, this is how she is all the time...etc etc" She really knew the dog and I just kept petting her.
I wish I could say it was love at first sight but I wasn't sure. She wasn't the look of the type of dog I would choose. You can't really say what she is...mutt with a capital M, and her eyes are kinda creepy to me, a crazy shade of brown. But the more I pet her, the more Lejla told me, and the more Annie snuggled with her, I was falling deep. "Cindi" is a passive dog, lacks some confidence, but is sweet and kind. She did not make one sudden movement. "Melts like a puddle" is a good way to put it. Before I knew it she was on her back in my lap wanting belly rubs. But she was 1-2 years old...not a puppy.
I needed a walk. We went and played with all the puppies a second time and I was getting a bit attached to this black puppy with a silver collar. We came back to "Cindi" and pet her some more and I thought...unknown puppy that will 100% pee on my carpet...VS...adult dog that I know is sweet and calm. I had to walk away and think. I called Troy....paintball...voicemail. I called again, and again...voicemail. Annie and I walked around. I called again. We bought a lemonaid. We went back and asked to take "Cindi" for a walk. We walked her around, she was chill, just hung with us, no pulling or lagging, just hung. Troy called. I told him about her and he said "GET HER"...so we did.
Okay...TWO crazy things came out of this and then I talk more about "Cindi" who is now "Lolli".
One: I friended Waggin' Tails on facebook and Lollis foster mom Lejla and her wife Mollie and I have a mutual friend, who just happens to be Paul, Angela Duncan (Naeths) hubby! Triathlon world and dog rescue world collide! In fact, they had seen the video blog I did with Angela. What??!! They recognized Annie! What??!! Molly knows Paul from middle school. What?!!
Two: Remember the puppy with the silver collar. Well, my across the street neighbors daughter adopted it. I didn't even know she was at the event, and it wasn't until a few weeks later that she was house sitting and I recognized the puppy and we put two and two together. It gets better. The daughter was house sitting for her mom, and left the puppy in the bathroom while she went to work. The puppy got in the sink, pressed the stopper down, turned the faucet on, and flooded two floors of her moms house.
The universe has never been so clear that we made the BEST decision to adopt Lolli.
In fact, I really think that she adopted us. The care and tenderness that she has with Annie has melted my heart. Troy loves her and I see him really loving the first dog he ever has in his life. She's SMART, so smart. I went to Cali for a week and Troy taught her sit, down, stay, come, and is close with heal and back. She anticipates needs and watches over all of us. When we are all in separate rooms she makes the laps to keep tabs on everyone. She is PHENOMENAL on the leash, doesn't pull, doesn't lag. And she can run. She's been healing for me. Very healing.
There have been zero negatives. When I think that she was on the 72 hour kill list at a high kill shelter in NM before being rescued I want to cry. I just want to cry. I am so thankful to Waggin Tails for saving her life.
Annie cut Lejlas head out of the photo! Sorry!! This was at the Adoptathon.
Our first car ride. She curled up on Annies lap and we were trying to figure out a name other than "Cindy" for her
This is when she and Troy first met, one of my favorite photos of her. She looks so happy and cute!
Day 1 - she's a go go dog and just wants to be where her people are
That first day we walked her for hours. She was SO good on the leash, how could we not!
Everyone needed a nap!
That first week she was very attached to me and did not let me out of her sights. I took her everywhere because I didn't want to cause her more pain. I had to pull over several times because she would crawl into my lap while I was driving. She doesn't do that any more, but she just had to be close that first week.
In the front seat, with her people.
This was the first week as well. I knew so quickly that she would love and nurture Annie. She checks on her constantly, and is always right there with her, never any sudden movements and always with care and tenderness. This from a dog who was surrendered to a high kill shelter, close to the end of the line, in foster care with a loving family, and finally to us, and yet still has the capacity for care and love. How?
Just cute. I can't even take a bath without her in the bathroom. It's gotten better now that she is attached equally to Troy, Annie, and I, but those first weeks it was all about mom and staying with mom.
Yup, pretty much sums it up!
I love this one.
When Annie goes into the front yard to play and doesn't take her along, she sits just like this and watches her play. She did this for almost 2 hours on this day. When Troy goes to yoga she will sit here, watching, and waiting for him to return.
In the car, she's in Annies lap 90% of the time. She doesn't exactly enjoy the car rides, but it's much better than being left home. Last week Troy took her on a long car ride with him and she laid in the back and had dreams of chasing bunnies. She was howling and the feet were running!
On her normal walk (to Starbucks) she gets to go by what I call "Lollis bunnies" She loves them and wishes she could chase them. She will freeze and stay VERY still watching them. Sadly, she thinks our downstairs cat is a bunny and has tried to get it a few times. The upstairs cat and her are fine. It is very strange. She's totally fine with cats that don't care about her, but downstairs cat is really scared of her, and so she thinks she can chase it. Yikes!
Yup, they sometimes sleep together and this makes Lolli a very happy dog because all of her people are in the same room and she can relax. She is snuggling with her hedgehog here, whom she ripped the legs off of! haha!
Needless to say, we could not be happier. I'm so thankful to Waggin' Tails Canine Rescue for rescuing her, and to Mollie and Lejla for fostering her and being such great foster moms. I never saw myself adopting an adult dog but I'm so so so glad we did. There are so many loving dogs that need homes. I know you hear that all the time, but wow, I did not fully understand what great dogs are out there. I had this misconception that they were damaged goods, but it couldn't be farther from the truth! We were the ones RESCUED!