Monday, May 4, 2020

One Year of Loving a Rescue Dog

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Hey y'all! I hope you had a great weekend! Today, I'm going to share about a different passion of mine: being a dog mom! I have always had dogs in my life since I can remember. For most of my childhood and teenage years, we had five dogs at my parents house! Right after Josh and I got engaged, I asked him for a dog as my birthday gift for my 22nd birthday. I had always wanted a beagle and I found a dog that was supposedly a beagle on Craigslist, of all places. This puppy was the runt of the litter and as cute as can be. Josh drove me a couple hours in the the mountains to literally the middle of nowhere to get this $50 puppy. When we got there, it was a older lady who lived alone with so many different animals. Our puppy had literally been nursing from a goat because her mother wasn't there. It was such a crazy situation now that I look back on it over 12 years later! That puppy is our beagle mix named Maggie and she is still so loved! We got another dog (it's a long story but we got him from the Walmart parking lot; someone was giving away puppies) and we had him for about 9 years. He passed away almost two years ago. 

After we lost Toby, we knew we wanted to get another dog to be a companion to Maggie and then comes Jethro...

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Before, I tell more about our experience with getting Jethro, I wanted to mention that I had originally named this blog post, "One Year of Owning a Rescue Dog" but as I created the graphic, that title did not feel right at all. Adding Jethro to our family has been much more meaningful than just owning a new dog; we have absolutely loved adding him to our family!

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Okay, back to his adoption story. About eight months or so after Toby passed away, I knew I wanted another dog but at the same time, I also kind of didn't. We are a family that is always on the go and adding in another pet would make things a little more complicated. We've had Maggie for so long and we could leave her inside or outside with no problem. I had kind of settled on not getting another dog but then I kept seeing adorable dogs being shared from our local shelter. I had never really considered adopting a dog from the shelter but as the weeks went by, I kept falling in love with their adorable faces. I tagged Josh in so many dog posts on Facebook. He was always like, okay let's get it but I would make excuses why we shouldn't.

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Well, this dog named "Baxter" showed up on the shelter's Facebook page and he was a dog that I immediately tagged Josh in. He had the sweetest face! He was approximately three years old, great with kids and other dogs, and was looking for an active family. Well, I didn't fill out the application because I wasn't certain and the next day, his post had changed to "adoption pending" so I just considered this a sign that he wasn't the dog for our family. A couple weeks went by and then he came back as available! From what I understand, it just didn't work out with the family that originally planned to adopt him. I don't exactly know the details but I did know that I had to meet this guy now. Luckily, it was spring break so I had the time and flexibility to take the girls over to the shelter and meet him the next day. Josh encouraged me to go and trusted me with deciding if he was the dog for us. I also must back up and say, that I was in thoughtful prayer about this decision. I remember even talking to my friends at Bible study (the day before I met him) about it because adding another member to our family, even a pet, is a big decision. 

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So, the girls and I went to shelter to meet "Baxter" and I have to also add, this was out of my comfort zone. I had personally never visited an animal shelter before this moment. I'm an enneagram one and not knowing what to expect there, kind of freaked me out. But, I went anyway. When we got there, I told the lady that we were interested in meeting "Baxter" so she went and got him for us. We took him to the fenced in area that was outside of the shelter and got to know him. I still have a video on my phone of this experience and I couldn't get over how friendly/playful he was. He was so excited to play with us and during those ten minutes, I felt at peace with the decision to adopt him. I Facetimed Josh while we were there so he could "meet" him. Then, he told me go forth with the application to adopt him, even without meeting him for himself. So I did and we were approved to adopt him! He would first have to be neutered before we could take him home so we had to wait about five or six days before we actually brought him home.

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On April 22, Jethro was officially adopted and became a Soto! His name was a name that I picked out even before Toby passed away. I just knew our next boy dog would be named Jethro. It's actually a Biblical name, it was Moses' father in law! We picked Jethro up from the shelter and brought him home... but the whole way to the house, I was so nervous about how Maggie would respond to him. But, it wasn't a bad experience at all. They sniffed each other and then instantly became siblings. I would say the first two or three months of having Jethro in our home were not as easy, though. We don't exactly know any details but we can tell that he endured some sort of trauma in his last home. He is very possessive over food and was very aggressive towards us at first before we really understood what triggers him. I remember calling Josh and just crying, telling him that I didn't think we could keep this dog. He also had bathroom issues for probably the first six months. He didn't want to use the bathroom outside but again, I think being alone outside was another trauma trigger for him. We definitely had some very hard moments, where we second guessed our decision to adopt him. But beyond the hard stuff, he has brought so much joy to our family! I can't even really explain it but he's just really been an amazing addition to our family and a great companion to Maggie. He's incredibly loving + affectionate (he gives the best hugs and kisses), he loves to play ball (his ball playing skills are pretty amazing) and his snuggles are calming at the end of every day. There are absolutely pros and cons in the decision to adopt a rescue dog but the pros definitely outweigh the cons for sure! We can tell he is grateful for us and we are even more grateful for him!

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