We have always adopted rescue dogs as our pets. I am a big believer in giving a pet a second chance, showing them what a good life looks like, and providing a forever home.
Last May we decided to add another fur-baby to our family. I was worried about how Jack would react, what if the dog wasn't good with kids, the extra vet costs, food, etc.
Yeah. Like most things, I worried about stuff that turned out not to be much of an issue, because look at this face:
She came to us so scared and withdrawn. She would run to the back bedroom if anyone showed up, and bury her head in the crook of our arms if we were holding her.
She wasn't potty trained. A huge non negotiable for me, but after some time and training she got it- doggie door and all.
She chewed on things. I tether trained her and reinforced her good behavior with praise. (and lots of low fat cookies ;)
She didn't sleep through the night. I could barely handle this with human babies. Momma gets a little nutty without a solid eight hours of sleep. But now she runs to her crate at night to be tucked in and has some chew bones for any busy work needed for middle of the night.
Anyone who knows me knows that I am a bit rigid in how I want things in our home. Being OCD doesn't help, but even beyond that I have some unrealistic expectations when it comes to kids and dogs.
Violet has helped me with that. She taught me that it was okay to not be perfect. That love would turn things around. That a relationship had to have a level of trust established before it could move forward. Most importantly, it was okay if there were a few chew marks in the baseboards. Amazingly, the world would continue to spin.
When you think about it, Violet has done a lot more to help me than I could ever do to help her. She has proven to be much more flexible and willing to learn how to adapt - more than I could admit to being. She trusts us and loves us unconditionally. She no longer runs to the back room when someone comes into the house. Instead she runs to them wagging her tail as if to say, "Hello! Welcome! This is my home and these are my people! It's great, huh?" She is like a different dog than the one who was introduced to us just eight months ago.
But then again, because of her, I'm different now too.