Gone To The Dogs

That Face

This week I was going write a blog post with an update on the nesting crows.

There were a lot of things I planned to do this week.

But everything has gone to the dogs. Well, THE dog.

Our house has been dogless for over two years, since Molly, the last of the brother and sister Labrador duo, died at the age of 15.

We’ve been thinking of getting a rescue pup for the last few months. Our daughter, Lily, introduced us to lots of fabulous rescue dogs through her volunteer work with Leash of Hope, so it just seemed the right way to go.

Leash of Hope is a wonderful charity that rescues unwanted dogs and trains them to be service dogs. You can read more about the amazing work here.

Leash Of Hope Group

Photo by Lily Ditchburn

Lily and I visited some local shelters, and tried local dog adoption agencies but we found that many small/medium dogs and puppies were quickly spoken for.

We began to spend hours looking at heart-breaking photos of puppies online. Most of them were in the US or abroad in what are known as “high kill” shelters. In Canada, dogs are generally kept in shelters until they’re adopted unless found to be too aggressive or too sick to be saved. But in the US, Mexico and other parts of the world, the sheer volume of unwanted dogs means that they have only a short time in a shelter before being moved to the “euthanize” list.

It was so tempting to just send for any of the lovely little faces we saw on these web sites, but I really wanted to meet the dog we were going to share a home with for (hopefully) 15 or more years before committing.

Also, there’s Edgar. Any new family member would have obviously have to pass the Edgar approval test.

edgar watching

Then, as I had a feeling it would, the very perfect dog just appeared.

About a month ago, a Leash of Hope trainer saw this photo online and brought the puppy to Vancouver from a shelter in LA.

Shelter photo

He had only a few days left there before running out of time, and they hoped he’d be a good candidate to be a service dog.

However, his traumatic early days in the shelter (and wherever he was before that) had left a mark. After being assessed while in foster care, it was determined that he was a just bit too nervous for life as an assistance dog. And so a home was needed.

First, there was the Edgar test. It helps that Edgar is one of the most relaxed cats in the world. He was very tolerant of the pup unless he went into “let’s play” mode. Edgar, first of all, gave him a hiss and a rapid-fire series of a slaps to the face (no claws) to express his disapproval. Message received. When the pup forgot the first lesson an hour or so later, Edgar only had to languidly raise a paw to refresh his memory.

Just to make sure, we had the pup over one more time. We decided he was definitely the dog for us. An intensive naming debate ensued. Suggestions were texted furiously back and forth between family members and collected on this white board. A final selection was made. Geordie was the unanimous choice.

Edgar makes sure to add his opinion to the puppy naming debate

Edgar makes sure to add his opinion to the puppy naming debate

For one of the best Mother’s Days ever, we brought him home for good.

While his shelter profile had him listed as a Lab, I don’t think there’s much, if any, labrador retriever in his make-up. Some border collie for sure and perhaps some spaniel ..?

Edgar Kisses Geordie

Everyone is thrilled with Geordie.

He’s a lovely dog and I’m sure he’s going to be the perfect family dog.

Geordie is a great new studio assistant.

Geordie is a great new studio assistant

Making himself at home in the studio

… although he does seem to sleep on the job quite a bit.

While some puppies are boundlessly optimistic and bold, Geordie seems like an old soul. He’s been through a lot in the four short months of his life, which tends to make him a bit pessimistic about anything new (particularly vans and crates). For now, he sleeps on the floor of our bedroom, rides in the car with a seatbelt harness, and gets a little bit more optimistic every day.

Geordie cu

Geordie and Edgar have already discovered a shared interest in bird watching.

Geordie and Edgar have already discovered a shared interest in bird watching.

logo with crow

23 thoughts on “Gone To The Dogs

  1. Great story…I’ve been on the fence about a getting a rescue dog myself and now you’ve inspired me. Good luck with Geordie.

  2. HOORAY!! Glad to see all your hard searching paid off and you found your perfect dog. Geordie looks lovely. Do you know much about his life before the shelter? We look forward to meeting him at some point!
    May you have many loving years together.

  3. Looks like Geordie is settling in with your household quite well!! You definitely captured the “old soul” look in his close-up. Can’t wait to see him grow up through your blog!

  4. Great post! So glad Edgar approves. Look forward to meeting Geordie on Monday.

    Cheers, Sarah


  5. Ahh!!! What a nice story – he is adorable & Edgar looks like he has accepted him into the family. I am sure he will be well loved and bring you lots of enjoyment. Thanks for the story…………..

  6. Bless you, June, bless you for saving Geordie. He will be by your side for a long time as a way of thanks. Or is it us who should thank them? I think they bring out the best in us.

  7. It does my heart good to see this puppy adopted into a good home like your’s. Reading your story has made my day!

  8. Congratulations June! We’ve been dogless for just over a year after my sweet girl of 14 years passed. I haven’t been able to think about replacing her yet, but your story made me smile. Maybe the time is getting closer for us.

    • Hi Kelly – thanks and glad you liked the story. I’m sure you’ll know when the time is right. As I said in the blog, it took over two years for me to feel ready to fill the dog-shaped hole in my life. I guess I was waiting for the perfect dog to appear, and he did.

  9. Congratulations on the arrival of Geordie into your home and family!! I was too slow to forward that Springer Spaniel site in Calgary, but I believe everything happens for a reason. Surely Geordie was meant to be.
    Happy doggy days with your new studio buddy. xo

  10. Thanks, Rhonda! He is just perfect for us, so I think you’re right about everything happening for a reason. So many things clicked into place for Geordie to make his way into our lives, so it just had to be fate!
    Cheers, June

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