We have three dogs.
I never planned on having this many canine buddies.
When we bought our house Travis really wanted his own dog. We had my 12 year old cattle dog, Daisy, who Travis had adopted as a sort of step child, but she was my dog through and through. Soon after moving into our home, Travis found a puppy at the Pet Network that he desperately wanted. One snowy, winter day we went up to look at the litter of puppies that he had his eye on.
They were tiny, cute little cattle dog mixes with a beautiful, kind mother. Travis quickly chose a grey speckled puppy. She was tiny in his big hands. At only 4 weeks, she was too small to bring home and while he worked on some paperwork I strolled through the rest of the facility.
And then I met Pearl.
She was a tiny little puppy that they were calling a pit bull lab mix and I knelt down to pet her through the cage. She was friendly immediately and had the best dog smile I’ve ever seen. I fell in love with her.
Unfortunately, it turned out that someone had already claimed Pearl. I was a little heartbroken, but knew it was for the best. We continued on our dog adoption plan and visited our puppy whenever we went skiing. Every time we went back I would check on Pearl. We filled out an application for her just in case.
One day we received a call from the Pet Network. Pearl’s adopter had fallen through. Did we still want her?
It took some convincing, but after we both had done some research about pit bulls I somehow convinced Travis that we needed to get Pearl too. The thought of three dogs was daunting (had I known that a baby would be on the way a short time later, I would have made an entirely different decision), but we’re optimists and it would turn out that raising two puppies was excellent practice for a baby.
We said yes.
Pearl is one of the best dogs I’ve ever known. She’s sweet and kind and playful. She’s the sensitive dog in the house. And my protector. When Travis is out of town she sleeps on the bed with me and stands guard all night. Funnily enough, she’s bonded the most with Travis while the puppy he chose has bonded to me. Both of the dogs were the perfect additions to our family.
When Henry was born we were concerned that the dogs wouldn’t handle it well. We’ve been pleasantly surprised, and no dog has surprised us more than Pearl. We call her the nanny dog. When I get Henry out of his crib in the morning, Pearl stands on two legs and perches herself on the edge of the crib so she can look too. She keeps her eyes on him at all times and makes sure to ply him with dog kisses on a regular basis.
But the sweetest moment of all?
A few weeks ago, as we were getting ready for bed, Travis saw Pearl grab one of his undershirts and head for under the bed. She’s not a small dog, but every night she army crawls under the bed to her dog cave. He yelled at her and was trying to get under the bed to get the undershirt back. What he found surprised him. You see, under the bed he found:
- Another one of his undershirts
- A pair of my underwear
- One of Henry’s onesies
This crazy dog had collected a piece of clothing from each of us and was using it in her little nest. I might be overly hormonal and sentimental right now, but I was so touched by this. Because even though these crazy dogs are sometimes too much to handle, we are their family and they are ours.
Pearl was four months old when we adopted her. She had been abandoned as a tiny four week old puppy. When she came to the shelter her eyes weren’t even open yet. Until we adopted her, she had only been outside a couple of times. She didn’t have a mother and at first she was afraid of everything. She wanted to sleep in bed with us every night. She wouldn’t walk on grass and preferred concrete.
She might be pit bull. She might not. Even our vet can’t say for sure. Taking a chance on adopting Pearl is something that I will never regret.