Accio, Puppy! In Love with Luna

If you follow either Jon or I on Facebook (or Instagram or Twitter, but not Snapchat as that would be a bridge too far and also I am old and can barely figure out how to work Snapchat on the best of days), you probably already know that we recently adopted a puppy.  You already know her name is Luna (because Harry Potter, obvs), and she’s a three-month-old German Shepherd mix, so I’m not going to tell you all about our new-puppy experiences here.  I figure they’re like most of your new puppy experiences–fun, wiggly, and cuddly while also being exhausting, overwhelming, and fairly bite-y.  Luckily for us, she came potty-trained and crate-trained, so we’re way ahead of the ballgame already.  No, I’m going to tell you her pre-Stopster story and why a “rescue” dog vs. a “breeder” dog was so important to us.

Luna Stopster

Luna was born in Wichita, part of a litter of five.  Unfortunately, her “owners” had several dogs, none of which were spayed or neutered, and this was the second litter of puppies born at this particular residence in about two months.  When Luna’s litter was about four weeks old or so, a neighbor tried to reach in and touch one of the puppies, and Luna’s mom reacted, as any mother would, by biting him.  He called animal control, and her owners were facing several massive fines and charges from the city.  Rather than pay for any of these, they surrendered Luna, her mother, her brothers and sisters, and the older litter of puppies.  They did not, however, surrender the mother of the older puppies.

Besties

In the shelter, Luna’s mother became Super Dog Mom, stepped up, and took care of all ELEVEN puppies.  I know.  Sadly, because the older puppies were bigger, they often pushed the smaller litter out of the way.  Moreoever, because she had bitten someone trying to protect her pups, Luna’s mom was considered unadoptable and was scheduled to be euthanized as soon as someone could be found to take the smaller puppies. By the time Paws Crossed (the shelter we worked with) stepped in, this was the situation:  11 puppies being nursed by one female who is now almost skin and bones trying to provide nutrition for so many little mouths, 11 puppies with flea-induced dermatitis, five smaller puppies with ringworm, and five smaller puppies with severe malnutrition and low blood sugar.  They were a mess–an absolute, scraggly, bag-of-bones mess.

I'm sooooo comfortable!

But, they got them into foster homes, and they got them into treatment.  They fed them and medicated them and loved them, and now all 11 puppies are doing well and up for adoption, if they haven’t already found homes.  Poor Mom is battling heartworm disease, but she’s being treated as well, and as soon as she’s healthy, she’ll be up for adoption, too.  (She’s gorgeous, btw, you guys.  Looks like a pure black German Shepherd.  Amazing looking dog.)  Luna’s foster family said that when they took her home, she was sleeping for about 22 hours a day.  Now, we have to run her senseless to get a quiet hour or so during the day.

Frenemies

This is why we adopted.  No, she doesn’t have any papers, and she’s never going to win any medals.  She’s not a “status” dog.  However, she’s loving and playful and smart as a whip (sit, stay, down, leave it, off, and [sometimes] fetch in five days, my friends–well, when properly motivated with treats, but still…).  She’s super-cute, and she already loves our family, particularly Maddie.  And she’s not going to love our family any less because she didn’t cost upwards of $500 and come with an AKC certification.  I know many of you probably have gone through breeders, and to you this may sound a little confrontational, but I promise it’s not meant to be.  I’m mostly trying to encourage other people to at least consider adoption, just take a spin on Pet Finder, before settling on a purebred dog.  Perhaps this is a little preachy, but after hearing about the conditions she and her doggie family were living in–frankly, I don’t care.

Buddies

Before we signed on to adopt a dog, we spent a lot of time trying to decide if we were “dog” people.  It’s a huge commitment, and being very used to the relative freedom that cats give you, we weren’t sure if we were ready to basically take on a third child.  Over the last several days filled with snuggles but also very painful nips and lots of “No, off”, “No biting”, “No, don’t chew on that”, I’ve been trying to determine whether I think we’re dog people now.  The answer is, I don’t know.  I don’t yet know if we’re “dog” people, but I do know that we’re this dog’s people, and we’re so happy she’s home.

Yoda ears!