Sunday, December 8, 2013

Introducing Odin

Without any further ado, meet our newest family member:
Welcome little Odin!  All the way from Mississippi via Maine, Odin has traveled more in his 14 weeks than I have this whole year.

I've been watching Petfinder for Border Collie/Lab mixes for a few months now, and in early November, I fell in love with a little puppy called Tauras, a dead-ringer for our late, great Cooper.  Even Eric was impressed.  He took one look at his photo, looked at me, and said, "Where is he, and when can we get him?"

I filled out the adoption form, and the long, arduous wait began.  I cried myself to sleep on more than one occasion.  To say that I fell hard for Tauras would be an understatement.  It was like our new puppy was so near, yet so far.

I stared at Tauras' photo that I had by now saved to my desktop, and went to check out his Petfinder profile umpteen times a day.  He was part of a big litter relocated to Maine from Mississippi by a non-profit dog rescue organization called Helping Paws headquartered in South Portland, Maine.  Not only had Tauras piqued my attention, so did two of his litter mates, Teddy and Tristan.

Two weeks later, with no news regarding the status of our application, I dejectedly put Tauras' photo into my recycle bin.  At that exact moment, a new email popped up!  Our application had been approved!  We could have a puppy!  Yippee!

Alas, I was told that Tauras' foster family decided to keep him (who could blame them?) but that little Tristan, Tauras' littermate, remained available.

It took a week for Eric and I to coordinate our schedules so we could both make the trek to Maine together.  As we drove down, I had a nagging feeling in the pit of my stomach, a sort of dread, wondering what I had gotten us into...
I had been emailing Tristan's foster-mom.  We bantered a few emails across the ether, and I had a good vibe about her and the care she was giving Tristan.  When we walked through the door, Tristan greeted us like long-lost family.  All of our our doubts melted away in an instant.  We knew we had found our dog.

I can't begin to tell you just how well Tristan had been looked after.  His foster-mom cared for him like her very own.  He sits, he's learning how to stay and come, he's great on a leash, and he's crate-trained.  He asks for the door, and he's good in the car.  He's used to dogs, he's used to cats, and he's house-trained.  He sleeps curled up beside me, and let me sleep in until 9:30 this morning, something I've had the luxury of doing exactly twice this year!

Odin, as we obviously baptised Tristan, is the perfect puppy.  We're over-the-moon in love with him, and have spent the last few days getting accustomed to one another.  The cats are on the fence.  While Tessie used to block Cooper on the stair all the time, she's not sure about this newcomer and spends a lot of time upstairs, using her best stealth-cat techniques to move around the house.  BobCat is taking things in stride and lets Odin lick his face.  BobCat has reclaimed his spot on the couch, and has no problem putting the young 'un in his place while tolerating his canine affections.
Capucine for her part, has already re-assumed her regular schedule, and last night, came into the bedroom as is her habit, and said goodnight while Odin watched her from the bed.  She keeps a watchful eye on him.

Lookit those pink puppy paws!  Lookit that spotted baby belly!  At 14 weeks, Tristan is already 23 pounds.  Cooper weighed 14 pounds at 13 weeks.  It looks like we'll have a big boy on our hands.

My little Mississippi Mud Hound, as I affectionately call him.

To say we're beyond lucky is an understatement.  Odin is such a good boy.  I've been wearing him out with long walks up and down the hedgerow, to the back-end of our property.  We've been to the pet store to pick out new toys, and have visitors who play fetch until Odin tires out.  Every day is filled with excitement and newness.
It's wonderful, seeing the world through the eyes of a dog once again.
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