|The face that stole our hearts and we couldn't resist.|
Bobby and I have been "puppy parents" for almost 48 hours now, and we are having entirely too much fun. We brought Royal home from the Humane Society on Monday evening, and he has been a joy ever since! (Interesting fact: Royal, formerly known as 'Brandon', is from Joplin. He wasn't misplaced by the tornado, but was moved to Springfield in order to make room at the Joplin shelter for other animals who were.)
That night, Royal made himself right at home. He was still a bit drowsy from his surgery (a fact which we realize even more now that he isn't), but he was very friendly...lots of snuggling and kisses! We like to think that he was grateful to be ours.
He slept through the night, with no whining, barking, or otherwise bothersome puppy behavior. Bobby and I were quite impressed, especially since there was a storm that night, complete with thunder, lightning, and rain. And, for a puppy at a new home sleeping on the patio, we were a bit worried about him. But, when we got out of bed at 2:30 a.m. to sneakily look out the window, he was neither upset, moving around, or otherwise disturbed. All seemed to be well. (Of course, we still had a hard time falling back to sleep. We are new parents, after all.)
Now, after two days of settling into his new home, Royal seems to be a playful (chasing his tail, robins, or running around with a leafy-stick seem to be his favorite hobbies), happy (that tail hasn't stopped wagging!), and loyal dog. He seems to handle being alone decently enough (he lived in a shelter, after all), but he really, I repeat, really, wants to be close to us all the time. In fact, he rarely leaves the patio by himself...which means that he also doesn't use the patio's doggy-door of his own accord to "go potty". Hello,
house patio-training! The bad news is that he treats the patio as though it's indoors, and waits for us to let him out; the good news is, he (usually) waits for us to let him out.
The plan is for Royal to stay an outside dog. But, he really is happiest when we're with him, and the fact is, we love hanging out with him, too. Bobby said last night, though, that he doesn't want to live outside...which is pretty much what we've done for the past two days in order to spend time with our new pet. I was incredibly adamant during our pre-dog days that our soon-to-be-dog live outside, although multiple people tried to tell me that that never works. This is how we learn, I suppose. So, we'll see. There is most certainly a lot to consider!
In any case, Royal is now learning how to sit, how to deal with being on a leash, how to use one spot of the yard to "go potty", and that it isn't okay to bark at people. As my mom said, it's hard to know if some of his current behaviors are a result of a) being a puppy, b) his breed--Golden Retriever mix, in case you were curious...we're pretty sure there's some Beagle in him, too, c) living in a shelter for months, or d) all of the above.
We've got some work to do, but he seems very teachable, and very eager to please. The biggest lesson I hope he's learning is that we're not going anywhere. No one's going to take him away, and we'll always come back. It's fun to think that maybe he's starting to understand that....
Bobby and I have a new joint "project", a new shared love of another living thing, and we're really enjoying this adventure together. If the excitement we feel about waking up early in the morning to see our "baby", the absurd number of photos I've taken to capture it all, and the joy we're experiencing in loving (and being loved by) this animal is any indication of what parenthood is like.... If being a puppy-parent is even remotely comparable to the joy that being a person-parent is...well, that's pretty incredible, and definitely something to look forward to.
Welcome to our family, Royal. You're a keeper! We hope we get to love you for a long, long time.