Try Again

Sometimes, we just have to take a leap of faith.  I never thought I would be quite this nervous at the thought of adopting a new dog, since I have always loved dogs and almost always shared my home with one (or more).  So when our beloved dog Lucy passed away last September, I honestly thought it wouldn’t be all that long before my husband and I got a new dog.  But I was wrong.

For one thing, the loss of Lucy hit us a little harder than we had anticipated.  I guess I thought that since Lucy was almost seventeen when she died, her death would be easier to accept.  Sadly, it wasn’t.  And when we finally did open our home to a new dog by fostering a sick shelter dog named Stanley, we had our hearts broken again.  We had hoped to adopt Stanley when he was well enough to be available for adoption.  But as he recovered we began to see his true personality, which included some very serious resource-guarding.  Since we have a one-year old grandson who visits our home regularly, that was a risk we simply couldn’t take….and Stanley went back to the shelter.

So when a cute, scruffy-looking black dog caught my eye at the shelter, I had distinctly mixed feelings.  I checked out his paperwork and learned that he was two years old and had come from a shelter down South.  He wasn’t yet available for adoption because he still had to be neutered, which meant I had some time to think about this.  I took him for a few walks (I’m a volunteer dog-walker there), talked to the shelter staff, and brought my husband and my grandson down to meet him.  The more I got to know him, the better I liked him.

And yet I hesitated.  It had been sixteen years since I’d actually adopted a new dog, and the only time since then I had brought a new dog into my home it hadn’t gone well at all.  I knew I didn’t want to go through that disappointment and guilt all over again, but I also knew I was ready for another dog.  I was basically a nervous wreck, scared to move forward with the adoption and equally reluctant to miss out on a chance to adopt what seemed to be a lovely little dog.

fullsizeoutput_4edbThis morning, I finally took the plunge, going down to the shelter and signing the adoption papers for “Tux.”  He’s going to get a new first name as soon as we decide on a good one, but his last name will definitely be Coleman.  I know it’s going to take some time for us to really get to know each other, and for him to settle into his new home and figure out the house rules.  I don’t expect him to be a perfect dog, which is only fair, because I’m not a perfect human.  But somehow this just feels right, and sometimes, we just have to trust that things will work out…..

95 thoughts on “Try Again

  1. I’m so glad you adopted him Ann. And I also can’t believe our similar our stories are. I remember how devastated I was when we had to put our beloved Bluey to sleep after 15 years. I never thought I could love another dog as much. And sadly our second dog Cozzie, also turned out to be a “guarder” and we had to let him go. But then we adopted Harry. That was 13 years ago. He was scruffy, medium height, hardly perfect, a bit neurotic in some ways but he’s been the best dog for our family. Gentle, kind, fun loving and with eyes that I swear have been here before. I wish you all the best with your new family member Ann. Things will work out. I think fun times are ahead for you all. Enjoy. xx 🙂

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  2. He sounds like a good match! Replacing a girl with a boy is very different … especially since he hasn’t been neutered. Be ready for marking … and trust he will be the most loving dog and a firm Coleman family member ❣️

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    • Oh, yes, that’s a whole other issue! Luckily, he has been neutered now. The shelter doesn’t adopt out animals until they are “fixed.” He does mark a lot outside, but so far only tried to do it once inside and stopped when I told him to. We can work with that…the only thing I can’t tolerate is aggression, and we have seen no sign of that at all!

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  3. I’m so excited for you! Tux is adorable. And bigger dogs seem to be so gentle with little ones. Unfortunately, we have two little and 1 medium dog and we have to protect our grand children from them, for various reasons. It’s very scary. But I understand your decision to take Stanley back. Tux will be perfect! And I like his name!

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    • Thank you! I know, you can sometimes make it work, especially with a dog you have already lived with for some time. But Stanley just got worse and worse, and that made us very scared for our grandson’s safety. So we had to take him back, as hard as that was…and believe me, it was awful! Tux, now Finnegan (Finn for short) seems to genuinely like small children, so we are so relieved!

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    • Thanks, George. We have decided to name him Finnegan, and call him Finn or Finley for short. (My husband picked the name, which is only fair since I picked the dog.) I think everything is going to work out just fine. We already love him!

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    • Honestly, unless you are planning to breed your dog, spaying or neutering is the way to go. Especially with males, it helps them to adapt to the domestic life and not dash off madly whenever they get a whiff of a female in heat or to respond aggressively when they encounter another unaltered male. Finn (formerly Tux) was neutered the day before we brought him home, and it doesn’t seem to bother him in the least. He only marks outside, thank God!

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    • He is cute, isn’t he? Plus, he’s black, which means that his fur won’t show on my pants, which are also usually black. But the most important thing is that he’s a nice little dog and seems to love our grandson!

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  4. Adopting older dogs can be dicey. I guess what these fellows experience in their first year under the sun has a lasting impact on them. That said, imparting good training works wonders with most of them. The last dog we had died tragically when he was merely two and a half years old, but memories he etched on our hearts are proving indelible. I wish you the best with the handsome black yet-to-be-named chap.

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    • You’re right, the downside of adopting an adult dog is that we weren’t the ones who shaped their formative years. But the upside is that they are fully mature, so what we see is what we get. And that can be a good thing. I’m so sorry for your loss of your beloved dog at only two years old…that had to be heartbreaking! And thanks for your good wishes…so far he is working out quite well. My husband named him “Finnegan” and we will call him Finn or Finley for short!

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  5. A new dog is exciting for everyone! I hope you can discover his true name… He does have pretty eyes with a spark of intelligence!! Lucy sounds like she was a wonderful, once in a life time, member of the family. I’m hoping that this new addition is a keeper!

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    • Thank you! Lucy was a once-in-a-lifetime dog. But what I have to remember is that she was also a pain in the butt when we first adopted her. All dogs require a certain “settling in” period, and our new one is no different. My husband named him Finnegan, and we will call him Finn or Finley for short. So far, all is going great! He’s a keeper for sure….I spent today babysitting my sick grandson, and Finn was so good with him. If anything, he likes him too much! Which is a problem I’ll happily accept….

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  6. Ann, this new dog looks very much like my dog “Dallie” that I lost many years ago. She was a shelter dog. A boarder collie, blue healer mix. Has the same white color on the front and some white toe socks on her front paws. I miss her still to this day. Congratulations for pushing down your fears and giving it another try. Best wishes for the new family member.

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    • I’m so sorry about Dallie! And believe me, I get it. I still miss Lucy terribly, and grieved for a very long time for every dog I have ever had. After Stanley, it was so hard to take the risk again of bringing a new dog home, but I’m so glad I did. Finn (his new name) is a great dog and I’m thrilled to have him as part of our family!

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    • Thank you! Sometimes it is hard to trust our feelings, especially after we’ve had a bad experience. But ultimately our own inner voice knows what is best for us if we just listen. And now we have a lovely dog sharing our home….

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  7. Ann,
    For your sake I hope the new Coleman works out. I’m not a doggie person – beyond enjoying them from afar – but I’ve followed your doggie stories and I know how much this means to you. So, I’m going to pray for you and the new one. Don’t be afraid to love again. A broken heart is a stronger heart.

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  8. Lovely dog, we had three poodles but we only have one left now and he’s getting on a bit, I’m a bit of a softie and will cry my eyes out when he goes. We have no intention of getting another dog or cat but some years ago I had no intention of getting another cat. However, a friend of mine gave me a cat for Christmas which she said you don’t have to keep, he needs a home though. I looked in the box and was met by his beautiful eyes and couldn’t say no! I called him Oliver and later he became part of a story I wrote in one of my children’s books. Oliver the cat who went to the top of the world.

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  9. He looks like such a sweet dog! I like the name “Finn” for him as well, it seems like a good fit. I know sometimes it takes a while to adapt to a new dog, but I have no doubt Finn will fit right in. I hope you post lots more pictures as you and your husband get to know him. Congratulations, Ann!

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    • Thanks, Des! He is settling in pretty well. And I’m sure I’ll be writing about him a lot! I’m still trying to get a really good photo, as his eyes are basically the same color as his face, so it’s hard to capture any expression in a picture. Plus, sitting still is not his strong point. But I’ll get one!

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  10. Congrats!!! I wish I was as brave as you to take the step to adopt another dog.. How are you I hadn’t seen your posts so I haven’t been keeping up with you .so happy I saw this one. Tux is a handsome boy!

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