Thursday, August 25, 2011

Our New Addition

In case you didn't know yet, I volunteered at the Fayetteville Animal Shelter for much of the summer.  I spent a lot of time petting, playing, and bathing animals and doing my best to find the cat and dog orphans forever homes.

Well, it doesn't take a psychic to figure out that we would end up with a new puppy of our own.  Believe it or not, at the beginning of the summer Russell was the driving force behind puppy fever.  We met a little guy at the Farmers Market and Russell fell in love with him.  

Initially, I was anti-dog.  We have Genna.  We love her.  She's high maintenance and expensive.  She would be so sad and jealous if we got another dog.  I didn't want to deal with another wrecked puppied house.

I went back and forth all summer between wanting a dog and not wanting a dog.  We talked about it, I had dreams about it and I'd tell Russell about all of the cuties I saw every day at the shelter.  He even came to visit the shelter and we settled on not getting a new dog right now.  

Then it happened at the last minute.  When I say last minute, I mean cars were packed headed out of town.  We were making a last minute stop at the Farmers Market to get one last bag of peaches.  I needed one last animal shelter farewell so I went over to their tent where I saw some of my very favorite pups.  We pet them and I talked to them and Russell even held a few.  We were staying strong and confirming that a dog was not in the cards for us and that those darling dogs WOULD find homes.  

We were rounding the corner to leave the market and head to find a souvenir Arkansas shirt for me when we saw the Roach family.  The Roach family is an adorable bunch.  They're a family of 5 and the Dad brings the three kids (probably 2nd grade, 4th grade, 6th grade) to the animal shelter to volunteer.  They had volunteered for the weekend and were walking a puppy around the market.  I had to stop and chat with them and say goodbye to Janice the dog.  

Then it happened, Russell fell in love.  I already loved Janice.  She'd been one of my favorites from the day she arrived at the shelter.  She lumbered over to Russell and sat down to let him pet her and let me pick her up.  She was so shy but very sweet.  I picked her up and she lazily licked me on the face.  We said goodbye to the Roach family and on we went.

We talked about it for the next thirty minutes- "Would we get a dog?" "What do we want in a dog?" "Should we get a little one or a big one?""Boy or girl?"And the decision was made.  We were expanding our dog family.  We decided on Janice because she was the best fit to our doggie adoption criteria.  We wanted another female, younger than Genna and submissive so that she didn't compete with Genna but we didn't really want a puppy.  Janice fit all of the requirements except for that she is only 6 months old.  

We called the shelter, answered their questions and made arrangements for my brother to pick her up when she was ready to go.

We spent the weekend in Benton preparing for Janice.  This time I feel like a smarter parent (like in the Luvs diapers commercials- you live you learn and then get Luvs).  No full price PetCo and Target shopping for me.  We hit up Tuesday Morning and Big Lots and found some fantastic bargains.  I highly recommend both places for great deals and quality products!  We polled our friends for new names for our girl and we talked to Genna about getting a new sister (like she knew what we were talking about or cared).  

Tuesday came and we loaded Genna up in the car.  We wanted her to be with us when we picked up our new girl so that she wouldn't be surprising her at home.  We met Hunter in Russellville and Janice officially became Hattie.  As expected Genna was not crazy about the idea of another dog in the car.  We buckled them both in and the second Hattie cried and tried to get close to Genna, Genna snapped at her and growled so I moved into the middle seat and loved both of them for the rest of the way home.  

After Genna's initial reaction, she refused to acknowledge Hattie for several days, no eye contact, no sniffing, literally no interaction.  Hattie is resilient and persistent and has followed Genna around for a week trying to make a friend.  They've had lots of time to bond during our travels from AR to Durham and yesterday it happened. 

We found Genna and Hattie playing in the living room totally unprovoked.  I wouldn't call them best friends.  I'd say that Genna thinks she's been given a pet since she doesn't really think she's a dog.

Over the past week and two days we've spent lots of time getting to know Hattie.  She's VERY sweet and loves people as well as other dogs.  She loves to have her belly rubbed and is great with children (so far).  She's very laid back and sleeps a lot and has not shown any interest in getting in our bed (score! One dog in the bed is enough).  She has a quirky way of eating- she gets a mouthful of food, takes three or four steps back and lays down to eat.  She doesn't seem easily scared and she appears to have no hunting or tracking instincts at all, unlike Genna the warrior.  She learned to sit and lay down in the first 48 hours of becoming a Bloodworth although she's not really getting that they are actual commands and not tricks.  As of now, she has not chewed up any furniture of shoes but she does have an affinity for paper.  She can find paper ANYWHERE and she will eat it.  Gross.

We had a visit to the vet today because Hattie came to us with a runny nose and cough and Genna has a wart on her ear (poor girl).  It was all good news!  Hattie does not have pneumonia and Genna does not have cancer so we're good to go :)

More on Hattie and Genna to come but I'll leave you with pictures for now!

This is a great one to show you the difference in our two girls.  Hattie quiet and relaxed hanging out on the ground like a real dog should.  Genna insisting on being in my lap so she can be close to her mommy like a kid.

Here is one of the first signs that this new sister relationship would work out.  Our tired girls sleeping in the same space.  This may be a small step for some but for Genna, this was HUGE!


  1. Everybody should have at least two dogs! We have two, a cat and a rat. Congratulations on the newest member of the family!

  2. Taylor! I had a rat growing up! Some people may say gross, but they really do make great pets!