Puppy Love

When my first child was born, I remember being surprised by how I instantly fell in love with her.  From the very second the doctor put my daughter in my arms, I was completely and totally in love.  The same thing happened two years later when I had my son, and then again many years later when I first laid eyes on my newborn grandson.  It surprised me because that’s not how I usually operate.  I may decide that I like someone very quickly, but it usually takes a while to actually fall in love.   For me, falling in love is a process that has to unfold in its own good time.

That was certainly the case with Finn, the dog we adopted from the animal shelter last February.  When I first saw him sitting in his run, looking at me with friendly interest, I was immediately attracted.  After spending some time with him at the shelter where he had to stay until he was neutered, I grew to like him very much.  And when we first brought him home, I liked him even more.  But I didn’t really love him, and he didn’t really feel like “my” dog.

It didn’t particularly worry me, because I know there’s always an adjustment period when we bring a new dog into our homes and that it takes time for us to get to know one another.  We learned that Finn is a sweet soul who is very affectionate, energetic and just a little bit more stubborn that we’d prefer.  (In Finn’s opinion, just because I’ve told him “no” forty-nine times when he tries to join me on the couch is no reason not to try for the fiftieth time.  He is the eternal optimist.)

Finn’s persistence can be annoying, especially on the days when I’m babysitting my grandson and Finn insists on trying to share his toys and lick his face.  I know that Finn would never intentionally hurt my grandson, but his attentions are sometimes overwhelming for a toddler and so I have to separate them a lot.  And remind my grandson that Finn’s toys are not for children and remind Finn that my grandson’s toys are not for dogs.  Over and over.  Those are the times when I wonder just exactly why I selected a young terrier as our next family dog, rather than say, a fourteen-year old Basset Hound.

But honestly, it doesn’t matter why I picked out Finn, or how many annoying habits he happens to have.  Because sometime in the past few months, it happened.  I fell in love with Finn and his pushy little self.  I still get annoyed with him from time to time, but he has definitely wormed his way into my heart and that’s where he’ll stay for the rest of his life.  He’s my dog now, absolutely and completely.

As an animal shelter volunteer, I see so many dogs that are returned by their new owners just a few days after their adoption.  I’m sure a few of those people have legitimate reasons for doing that, but I firmly believe that most of them are making a big mistake.  “Just give it time,” I want to tell them.  Because none of us are perfect, whether we walk on two legs or four paws.  And all worthwhile relationships require a certain amount of effort and patience.

But if you trust and believe, the love will come…..

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84 thoughts on “Puppy Love

  1. Finn is very handsome. Don’t tell him I said that – it will go to his head😊The most fulfilling relationship in
    my life has been the current one. A thousand times I mused to myself, “I’m done with this one, I’m outta here, I can’t take anymore.” Again and again I stayed to try one more day. Like you said, we just got to give it time. Nice post, Ann.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks so much, Larry! I’m glad that you are putting the effort into your current relationship, and that it is paying off. Sometimes the things that require the most from us are also the things that give us the most!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. So glad you are in love with Finn. How could you not love that face???? I agree Ann that sometimes things and people have to grow on you and not the instant love that people wish for. Finn is a lucky boy to have landed in the Coleman house . Feel very bad right now for the animal control dogs without volunteers. Just imagine Macklind without. It would be a sad state of affairs for all of them. Sigh……….

    Sent from my iPhone

    >

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I absolutely love the line, “I fell in love with Finn and his pushy little self”. It is said that when we fall in love, it has as much to do with the imperfections…the flaws, so to speak in our beloved, as well as their good points. How true this is…the very thing that grates upon our nerves, may actually be endearing. The reality is, we fall in love with the whole deal, the real deal, which is as imperfect as we ourselves are. Great post!!! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh, Linda, you are so right! (No surprise, since your blog has shown me that you are a very wise and loving person in general.) But once I realized that his pushiness was really just his way of trying to stay close to us, it made it so much easier to deal with. He’s a good little dog, just needs to figure out the concept of “boundaries.” Meanwhile, we just love him…….

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Hi Ann. You’ve been a Follower of mine for some time now, and so you know it took around 18 months before our beloved Ray started to “turn around”. In fact we think that it was his third year with us when he became the lovable cuddle that he is today … so yes, expecting an adjustment within days or even weeks is totally unrealistic.
    If I may promote my book here which documents the first 18 months of living with Ray. “Who Said I was up for Adoption?” would be a good introduction to the emotional roller coaster ride that was our life immediately after adopting Ray. While he may well be unique in a number of ways, he is also most likely a good representative of any canine that has to adjust to a totally new lifestyle and would be a good book to read before anybody adopted a dog.
    Link to amazon.com is below, and should show Reviews.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Ray landed in just the right home for him, didn’t he? And I love how you use your blog to promote the adoption of shelter dogs, particularly those who are deemed “hard to adopt.” With time and patience, most problems can be resolved. Thanks, Colin, for helping spread that message through your blog and your book!

      Liked by 1 person

      • I am sure that if more people took the trouble to work with a shelter dog, not only would the dog be so much happier … but so would the adopters! I would never go anywhere other than a shelter for a dog because an adoption not only gives a dog a second shot at a good life, but it also frees up a space for a newly rescued dog. Double bonus! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Love is love no matter how long it lasts or how long it takes. I just can see you after an afternoon of Finn and grandson resting on the sofa with a glass of wine and wondering if the toy you are looking at has either dog slobber or kid slobber on it. These are the moments that last, priceless. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    • Oh, that is exactly what I’m wondering! Any why I often have to wash both the dog toys and the child toys….. But you’re so right: ultimately, it’s priceless. And I love the way that the very first thing my grandson says when he enters our house is, “Hi, Finn!”

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Finn is certainly fortunate to have become your pet. I do not know why some dogs have a streak of stubbornness in them because they are certainly not stupid. It may have something to do with his previous life, or perhaps it’s been passed down to him genetically.

    Liked by 1 person

    • You’re right, it could be something that happened when he was very young (he was at least a year old when we got him) or it could be those terrier genes. Terriers are known for being very intelligent and very persistent. Luckily, they are also very loving!

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  7. That face! I was told by a vet that I should return our lab puppy because she hadn’t been properly socialized. He then said she could be kept, but we’d have to work with her. My son asked that I give it two weeks, and the dog made a remarkable turnaround. She’s now the best dog ever. People give up on animals too soon.

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  8. It’s been interesting to follow your honestly-written posts on Finn. I totally understand how getting used to a new dog could be a bit of a challenge, especially following a great dog like Lucy. Dogs all have different temperaments and personalities, but I find that most of them try to please their owners, which is such an endearing quality. They do grow on you, and I’m so glad to hear Finn has won you over!
    I always enjoy it when people post pictures of their dogs, and that’s an especially awesome picture of Finn. Thanks for the update!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks, Des! It was actually taken by a professional photographer who specializes in animals and their people. I think she did a great job, and I was so glad to get the photos because with his coloring, it’s very hard to get a good picture of Finn with a simple cell phone.
      And yes, it really does take a little bit of time to get used to a new dog. I always expect them to act like the old one, and of course each dog has it’s own unique personality and that’s actually a good thing. I’ve learned to give it time, and then I always move from “liking” to “loving” them!

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Oh Ann, he is adorable. That little tilt of his head would have captured my heart from the beginning. We don’t have a dog for various reasons but, every once and a while I think how nice it would be to have one. We have babysat our granddogs over the years and they are always a comfort to have around.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m sure the day will come one day when we can’t have a dog either, but I’m not looking forward to it. For all the trouble they give us, I still believe that a house isn’t a home without a dog (or two) in it! I’m glad you have those granddogs in your life, and actually admire the fact that you recognize that you can’t give a dog a good home right now. That really is putting their best interest first!

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  10. I had a very similar story with Riley, a ‘strong-willed’ Jack Russell that I grew to love beyond reason. Her annoying habits faded in my eyes (though others weren’t so charitable) and I bonded with her more than I have any other animal. When her time came, I cried like a baby (see ‘For the love of a Dog’). If the connection is real, then our pets become family.

    Liked by 1 person

    • The connection is the most important thing for sure. I’m always surprised when people want a certain breed or a dog who looks a certain way when they’re searching for a new dog. I’m looking for one that I can connect with! We can’t always tell that right away, but I think we do see the potential and that’s what draws us to a particular animal. I would love to read your post about Riley!!!

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Oh this is such a delightful and heartwarming post! The photo… I mean …that face and that expression are just amazing.

    Words of truth ~ every single rescue or shelter dog we have had took at least six months just to trust and not be anxious. So often they have experienced so much trauma – and of course new owners don’t really know how extensive , that it takes time for them to settle and really let their true relaxed selves shine through. Yes it would be a reallly good thing for every adopter to truly understand and absorb. Time and patience are essential.

    So enjoyed reading this post!!

    Peta

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Peta! And that’s a good point about rescue dogs, we don’t know what they’ve been through and the more trauma they’ve experienced, the longer it takes for them to relax and trust us, so it takes a long time to see their true personalities. Finn had spent time at two different shelters, but I don’t think he was abused or neglected, since he seems so confident and well-adjusted. But being stubborn is rather common in terriers, right up there with being loving, energetic and very smart!

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  12. Wonderful pic of the little pal. I am too much of a softy when it comes to dogs. Most of my life I would say I am not a cat person. Today, after a couple of years into marriage, where two cats reside, I have drawn close to the meowsers. However, my dog is my “son”. Hoping my life ends before his. The heartbreak will probably kill me. Here’s to Finn! -Alan

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Alan! And I know what you mean….the only thing wrong with dogs is that they don’t live long enough. The grief when they die is very real and very, very strong. I hope your dog lives a good long while, and I’m glad that you’ve learned to love cats too!

      Liked by 1 person

  13. Finn’s adorable. I’ve also found that it takes awhile to really bond with a new pet. I’m not sure why some people give up so quickly. They don’t seem to understand the commitment that pet ownership involves.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I know! I mean, we don’t give up on a friend the first time we have a misunderstanding, or get a divorce the first time we argue with a spouse. Relationships do take time, whether we’re developing one with another human or with an animal. Thanks for the comment, Sheryl!

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    • I know a 14-year old Basset Hound couldn’t jump on the couch…which is why I think that might have been a good choice! LOL! But Finn is our dog now, and we love him, even when he is a pain in the rear. He’ll get easier as he matures (our old dog, Lucy, was so much worse when she was young) and when Finn is old and calmer, I know I’ll miss how he’s acting now!

      Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Alan! I think he’s lucky too, especially when I forgive him for getting up on the kitchen table to see the back yard better. Especially since he has a window seat just a few feet away that he IS allowed to use!

      Liked by 1 person

  14. So very true!

    When I adopted Sugar (one of my two cats), I was aware she gave with problems of her own. I’m not sure how many people would have given up on her and taken her back to the shelter, but I love her and could never have taken her back. We requires more “work” than the average cat, but she makes up for that in love.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I love how you are sticking with your cat, and how you focus on her positive points. I’ve had pets that required more effort than most too, but you’re right: they always make up for it with their love!

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  15. Awww we have a puppy as well! Having a puppy is no joke, they are a lot of work. But I wouldn’t change our pup for the world. He’s a rescue pup and those are the best breed 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  16. A beautiful story, Ann. Like you, I will always remember the moment they placed my daughter on my chest. I never imagined how deeply I could love another – then there she was. Two years later, my son arrived as well. Finn sounds like a stubbornly lovable guy. Wonderful post, as always! =)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Brenda! I still remember how surprised I was by the depths of my feelings toward my new born, so instantly. But I guess that is one of the joys of motherhood. As for my pets, the love takes a little longer, but it still comes. Even with a pushy little dog like Finn! He has a good heart, just missed a few lessons in good manners……but he’ll learn!

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