I talked briefly and cryptically about the awful few months of dealing with the reality of not being able to keep our dog, Bryson, once we had Addison. It was heartbreaking and utterly draining preparing for and saying our goodbyes to him. One of the hardest things I’ve ever faced.
But our experience with Bryson did little to sway the fact that Clayton and I are unashamed Dog People. We nearly get into accidents if we spot a canine hanging out of a car window. We’ve been known to stop into pet stores when dogs are available for adoption with no intention of adopting; we just like looking. And, even now, if people have a baby and a puppy out in public, one guess which of those we will enjoy playing with more.
After somewhat processing Bryson’s absence, the question was not if we would get another dog, but when. Either we acted quickly so we had time to adjust to our new companion (and vice versa) before the baby came, or we waited until things settled down after baby. Worried that things wouldn’t “settle” until Addison was about 11 years old, we opted for now rather than later.
Searching for a new four-legged friend was tedious. Coming off of our ordeal, we had quite the list of non-negotiables when it came to personality and temperament. And I even added size requirements, knowing the honest truth that if Bryson had weighed 9 pounds rather than 90, we probably would have had a lot more options available.
After a failed “sleepover” and other meet and greet’s through a beagle rescue, our original go-to breed was out. Turns out beagles aren’t huge fans of my husband’s innate desire to pick up, dance with, wrestle with and otherwise smother his canine pals. They’d rather spend nine hours alone in the yard sniffing circles around the fence. Pass.
As usual, I started getting antsy and impatient. On a whim one afternoon, I looked up several shelters on my phone in a random parking lot. I perused the dogs listed and had my eye on a puggle that seemed promising a half hour away. When I arrived at Animal Services, the receptionist told me to head on back to the small dog room to see the puggle. I walked in and immediately to my left was a scraggly, wire-haired, doe-eyed cutie just sitting calmly and looking up at me. Every other dog in the room was yapping its head off (welcome to small doghood), but this little one just sat and stared.
I tried not to listen to those heart strings tugging away. After all, this was supposed to be a completely rational, thought-out decision not at all based on looks. But as soon as I glanced at that fugly puggle down the row, I went right back to the tan sweetheart at the front of the line. And I asked to play with her. And then I begged Clayton to go back to look at her that night. And then we talked about it for two weeks during which I had four more play dates with her. And then we found out she was only 6 months old and a terrier mix (NO PUPPIES, we had sworn, and NO TERRIERS WITH THE BABY, I had proclaimed).
To make this long story less long, I think we all know the conclusion. I’d like you to meet Maya Noa.
She has the sweetest disposition and, with the exception of some shoes sacrificed to her puppy energy, the last few months with her have gone extremely well. Even though we still have a Bryson-shaped hole in our hearts, Maya’s wagging tail and affectionate nature have definitely helped us heal a bit. We are so excited about the many adventures waiting for Maya and our family of four.