For weeks, I’ve been not-so-subtly hinting to Mike that we should get a dog.
“We’ll walk more!”
“I need furry cuddles!”
Being the adult in this relationship, Mike was steadfast that an apartment was no place for a dog. He also insisted that it would greatly disrupt our lifestyle (which, as of late, has consisted of us sitting on the couch and watching HBO after work.)
But finally, I broke him down. He agreed to simply ‘visit the shelter’ and ‘find out more about the adoption process.’ lol, okay.
Because someone can go to a shelter and ‘just look.’
Within minutes, he had fallen in love with a dog, named her, bought some toys and was already signing up for a new Instagram account. #dogsofinstagram
But multiple families were interested as well. And since the shelter doesn’t let you call dibs, it came down to drawing names out of a hat. Sadly, taking this dog home was not meant to be, at least not for us.
Looking back, it was probably for the best. We were headed to Vegas for a long trip and would have been forced to leave our new dog with my parents for a week.
Back to the Shelter
Heart broken, but not deterred, we spent all of our downtime in Vegas refreshing petfinder.com to see if any new dogs had come available. One dog, Ellie, caught our eye. Right size, right breed, and according to the shelter, the right temperament.
She just had to still be there when we got back into town.
Multiple delays, one canceled flight and a rebooking later, we were headed back to Colorado. And after a total of 10 minutes at home, we headed straight to the shelter. We weren’t going to let this dog slip away!
And as we walk in, another family pulled Ellie out for a meet and greet. We were crushed.
You think you can just show up at a shelter and take a dog home. You never expect there to be so much competition.
So while we waited, we strolled the aisles of of dogs looking for homes. Small dogs. BIG dogs. All kinds of dogs – but we had specific requirements in mind.
30-40 lbs (the perfect apartment size)
Quiet temperament, but energy for outdoor adventures
Long-haired (because apparently we love vacuuming)
That’s when we saw her.
Huddled in the Back
The dog was huddled in the back and wanted absolutely nothing to do with us. Not even the treats we held out for her were working. Instead, she stayed just out of arms reach, watching us.
Sierra (formerly ‘Addy’) was on hold for a ‘behavioral consult,’ which meant we had to talk to the trainer about some of her challenges when she first arrived at the shelter.
“When we first got her, she wouldn’t move. We had to carry her everywhere,” said the trainer. He told us that she was from ‘The Reservation,’ which meant they didn’t know anything about her past. “But every day she gets a little better. And every day she is out of this environment, she’ll be more relaxed.”
The volunteer brought her out to us on a leash to walk around the parking lot. Sierra stayed closed and leaned in when we scratched behind her ears.
“You just have to go slow with her,” said the trainer. “She just needs a little patience.”
Right size. Right breed. Calm. Sweet. And, as we’ve come to find out, full of energy for adventures.
She wasn’t the dog we came to see, but she was the dog we knew we had to take home.
Welcome Home, Sierra!
It’s been a few weeks and I think she has settled in just fine. We’ve even been on a few adventures! We couldn’t be more excited for the many years of exciting adventures, couch cuddles and Instagram fame.