Monday, January 30, 2012

Lucky & A Puppy

Yesterday was exactly one year since we had to put our Lucky down.  Hard to believe it’s been a whole year already.  I remember making that dreaded trip to the vet as if it were yesterday. 

Nothing prepares you for how the loss of a beloved pet is going to affect you.  For us, we lost a member of our family.  He was our "first" son. Never treated him as anything less.  Here I am a year later and though I will never get over losing Lucky, we decided it was time to get another dog.  

When we got Lucky back in July of 1997, he was 7 weeks old and we purchased him from a place in NJ called the Puppy Barn.  Now I am in no way badmouthing the Puppy Barn because Lucky was the absolute BEST dog ever.  And we never once regretted the decision of buying him.  That being said, having learned over the years that there are too many unwanted dogs out there and that 'puppy mills' are only out to make money, we decided this time around we would definitely adopt.

Well having no idea what the adoption process was like, we went into it clueless.  We quickly found out its not as easy as one thinks and I say that as more on an emotional level as opposed to what we physically have to do for it.

Back in December, a good samaritan found on the side of a road, a box filled with 7 puppies in Chester County, Pennsylvania.  The puppies were brought to the Delaware County SPCA.  And before that I was still reluctant in getting another dog, for the sole reason that I wasn't sure my heart was healed from losing Lucky.  To which now I finally realize, my heart will never be fully healed from the loss of Lucky.  He will forever remain inside of my heart.

My hubby had actually sent me text a few weeks before Christmas and suggested we get a puppy and I told him I'd think about it.  Because I had many pros and cons that needed to be weighed out.  Well when I saw the Action News (WPVI Philadelphia) story they ran about the "Chester 7" puppies, I immediately felt the desire to get one.  Well, they were heavily promoted thanks to the various news outlets and social media, that MANY people had the desire to have one too.  They were to become adoptable the Saturday before Christmas.  So I informed my hubby that I was driving over to Chester, PA (an hour ride from our house) to try and adopt one.  Of course hubby and our son, Matt came along with me.  We woke up early and made the hour trek over to the Delaware County SPCA, which didn't open until 12:00 pm. 

We arrived there 2 hours before it opened and guess what?  There were already 50 + people there and no where to park.  So we knew there was zero chance of getting one.  Which I'm glad the dogs got adopted and we figured it wasn't meant to be. Since we were already out, on our way back home I searched on my phone for other dogs and shelters.  We found a cute terrier mix nicknamed Forest, who was 4 months-old and he was at a no-kill shelter in Lindenwold, NJ.  When we got there, they didn't tell us that there was already an application in for Forest and we didn't find this out until AFTER we had a meet and greet with him.  And absolutely fell in love with him.  We still filled out an application knowing we probably wouldn't get him.  And after a couple days they informed us that he went to the other applicants but that we were approved for any other dog we might want.  To say we were disappointed would be an understatement.  

We did actually go see another dog there but when we went back down there, the other family was there to pick up Forest.  Talk about adding salt to the wound.  UGH!  We met with another dog, but weren't sure.  There were 2 other families who also wanted the dog we were meeting and since we had first dibs on him, we decided to let one of them have him.  We did this knowing he'd be getting a forever home and that the dog for us was still out there somewhere.  I have to say it was hard for about a week because my son kept asking if the shelter called to say the other family brought Forest back...if they did we would be the first ones notified.  They never called.  :(

So our first adoption experience didn't go as planned and though were slightly disheartened it didn't deter us from trying again.  And as with many things in life, timing is everything.  Or at least I believe it is.  Right before Christmas, a woman we know who also volunteers at Brookline Labrador Retriever Rescue told my mother-in-law about a black lab who had just given birth to 12 puppies.  Sadly, 3 of them didn't survive.  

Anyway, the lab had been pretty much abandoned and the rescue took her and gave her to two wonderful ladies, who would become her foster moms. They nicknamed the lab mom Virginia (Ginny) and all of the puppies got Christmas-themed nicknames. They were obviously way too young for adoption, so the woman we know suggested we put in an application so we could at least get on the list.  The rescue was closed for a couple weeks for the holiday.  So we had to wait until they reopened on the 8th of January to hear from them.  A volunteer from the rescue got in touch with us and said our references were great, so the next step was a home visit.  To which we did that and a couple days later we were told that we got full approval and that we were officially on Ginny's puppies list.  YAY!!!

The puppies are still with the foster moms, but we were able to visit with them last Sunday.  All the families on the puppy list were invited.  So it was pretty cool to have all of us there.  As soon as we walked into their home, we were greeted by Ginny, who is as sweet as can be.  And she looks fabulous, considering she is a new mom who popped out 12 puppies. We were lead to where the puppies were and the moment we walked through the doorway, we were each handed a puppy to hold. 

And I cannot tell you how wonderful it was just to hold them, be around them, watch them...they are all so sweet and adorable. And as of right now we still don't know which one we are getting.  All the puppies are either black or black with a tiny bit of white on them.  But there is one they named "Snowflake" because she is white with black. She actually resembles a a little cow and my son affectionately refers to her as "Moo-Moo" and she is our first choice.  She's feisty and most definitely the alpha-pup and in a way she reminds me of Lucky.  To which I believe she is Lucky reincarnated.  LOL!  But we are 6th on the list so there are five families in front of us.  Not sure Snowflake will still be available.  I held one named Jangles and he fell asleep in my arms.  So sweet.  He's our second choice but in all honesty, we will be happy with any of them.  And in a way, its kind of cool not knowing.

Ginny and some of her puppies!

The puppies are 6 weeks old now so we have to wait until they are 8 weeks old to bring one home.  So two weeks to go!

We know that Lucky is up there smiling down on us and giving his stamp of approval. We want to give another dog the same love and wonderful life that we gave to him.  

Lucky supporting the Flyers!

I said on my Facebook status yesterday, that Lucky may be gone but he will NEVER be forgotten.  We will always miss and love him!  

Click the link to find out about Brookline Labrador Retriever Rescue.