Puppy love

Within minutes of arriving, Scout was chasing a large tennis ball in our backyard. Bounding, prancing, awkwardly hopping the way a young dog does. Matt and I looked at each other without saying a word. There’s no other way to describe it than … puppy love.

Before we tell any more of this story, we have to thank the people that made this happiness possible: the wonderful volunteers at True Heart MinPin Rescue. Based in Richmond, Ky., foster mom Gail drove almost seven hours to Michigan this morning with precious cargo.

As Scout hopped out of Gail’s car, we noticed he didn’t look much like his online profile pic. He was much thinner (his puppy paunch was gone), his nose seemed more slender and in general he seemed smaller than we expected. And, to top it all off, he was beyond adorable. In a way a puppy profile would never be able to accomplish. Puppy love, indeed.

While we were all standing in the yard, Gail confessed that her husband didn’t want Scout to go. They had become close buddies in the last couple months, and her husband told her, “No one will be able to take care of him the way I do.”

With the compassion of an animal rescue worker, she assured him Scout will be OK, that she was sure of it. And by him letting go, that opened a spot to save another dog. I tried to imagine myself letting a sweetie like Scout into my home for a couple months, knowing eventually he would move on to a loving adoptive home. I don’t think I have it in me. The loss and grief would be too much. Gail and her husband are cut from a special cloth. She told me the first time she and her husband turned over a dog to a new family, they drove a block away, pulled over and sobbed. She said it gets easier, especially knowing when a dog is going to a great home.

See Scout. See Scout play.

Lexie is nonplussed. In fact, she’s taking a snooze right now. Their initial meeting went well, and it was followed up by a thorough butt sniffing in the back yard. Ya know, pups need privacy. You can’t just make a move like that on the front lawn!

And Pink could care less. She seemed more interested in snagging some of his puppy chow than hanging out.

And Matt seems content to have another furry friend to share the couch at naptime. As Matt took a catnap this afternoon, Scout lined up several squeaky toys and ropies along Matt’s belly.

Good dog.

Help us rename Scout!

When I told my mom we planned to let ya’ll pick Scout’s new name, she laughed.

“But you already have the name picked out, right?” she asked.

“No, we’re asking for suggestions, then we will put the top names in a poll. Our blog readers will select the name.”

I can’t remember her response, but I’m pretty sure my mom said we were crazy.

Perhaps, but we’re more than happy to involve you in our puppy journey. I mean, you’ve been here this far; I can tell you are invested. So why not help with the name?

Send us your suggestions, either in the comments below, on the Finding Furever Facebook page or by emailing us at findingfurever2012@gmail.com.

We will pick the top names then post them in a poll, where you will make the final decision.

So far we’ve received a few interesting submissions, including Kitty, Walter, Rocket and Mocha.

Keep ’em coming.

EDITOR’S NOTE: The poll has closed. The name will be revealed tonight! (June 25)

Falling in love

When you’ve found the one, you just know it. That’s the way it was with Ranger.

It all started with the humane society where I had adopted Lexie 13 years ago. It made sense to go back.

So in preparation, we started poking through profiles, and both stopped at one that made our hearts go pitter-patter. He was 9 months old, and looked almost all brown nose, with some white fur a few freckles added in. His name was Ranger, and he was a German short-haired pointer. I wanted this dog. I looked to Matt, and he squeaked out an “Awwe!”

Matt meets Ranger. It was love at first sight.

I went back to the profile, and saw that he had heartworm. This did not slow me down at all, as I had adopted a dog with the disease 15 years ago. I understood the risks and special needs involved.

The next day, I stopped at the shelter without telling Matt. I had to be sure this pup was as cute as his pic. I was running late and had exactly six minutes to get back to his cage. I found an absolute sweetheart waiting for me. He was so quiet, and his ears were soft. I don’t remember much else except for what I captured in a 21-second video I took with my iPhone.

I met Matt at a family function, and swiftly confessed to my dangerous liaison with Ranger. Then I pulled out my secret weapon: the video footage. As Matt watched, I smiled as he said “Awwe!” over and over. He took my phone and showed the snippet to relatives all evening. By the end of the night my ruse had worked. We would go to the shelter in the morning.

As we drove to the humane society, we knew we were in a dilemma. We clearly liked the dog, but the next morning we were heading up north for a weeklong camping trip.

I already had my approved dog pass, so once we got to the shelter we were able to walk right back to Ranger’s cage and ask a volunteer to let us take him for a walk. Since Ranger had heartworm, and he was still in a perilous part of his treatment, we were limited to a slow-paced five-minute walk. It was just long enough for Matt to fall in love.

We spent the better part of an hour talking with the head volunteer, and explained our living situation and general background. That I have an aging dog at home, and a cat. That I had a dog with heartworm before. She thought all of this was great news and that it made us excellent candidates for Ranger. She was ready to take us up to the adoption table when we disclosed that we were about to go on a camping trip. Her face fell.

“If he’s still here when we get back, then it’s meant to happen,” Matt said, hopefully.

“And who wants a dog with heartworm?” I added, half hoping she’d get my sarcasm, half hoping I was right.

NEXT: Things fall apart.