Thursday, February 5, 2015

{It's A Girl!}

A little over a month ago, I began my search to find a dog.  I had been in my house for about 4 months & was finally settled so it was time.  The fish was a great first pet, but come on - it's a fish.  In the beginning, I was fairly certain I wanted a dog that was 2 or 3 years old & I hoped to be able to adopt it from a shelter or a rescue.  Let me tell you - it was WAY harder than I ever imagined.  I totally understand these peoples' passion for what they do & these animals, but when I would inquire about a dog, I often felt like was getting the 3rd degree & was even told no a time or two because I said the dog would be an inside & outside dog.  

And so the search continued.  There were several dogs that I was interested in at various shelters, but they were all adopted before I could go see them.  I quickly learned that "good, healthy dogs" go FAST!  I also applied to adopt a dog from True Blue Rescue, but due to some miscommunication between them & her boarder, I was never given the opportunity to meet her & then ended up adopting Nola before I heard back from them.  

Two weekends ago, I was in Houston shopping and a local rescue group in the Cypress area was hosting an adoption event at Petco. There weren't any dogs there I was interested in, but I emailed them on Sunday to see if by chance they had any labs that weren't at the event.  They didn't, but she did tell me that the Harris County Public Health & Environmental Services Shelter had a mama lab & 12 puppies they were trying to find homes for {this was the one shelter I didn't know about so I hadn't been checking there}.  Although a puppy definitely wasn't part of the original plan, I decided I would be open to the idea. I called Monday & found out a rescue group had come & picked them all up that afternoon.  I was definitely disappointed because they were adorable & exactly what I had been looking for...and it was then that I realized I really did want a puppy & not an older dog.  I was in bed that night doing my daily shelter check for new dogs & these 3 cuties caught my attention {and it just so happened to be the same shelter as the other lab puppies}.
I wasn't going to miss out on these so I called as soon as they opened on Tuesday morning.  I figured that maybe I could put a "hold" on one til I could get down there to see her, but no such luck.  She told me I would need to be there when they opened for adoptions at 1pm & to get there early because there is normally a line.  Seriously?!?  I took 1/2 a vacation day & headed down there...it was quite the interesting place in quite the interesting location.  My mom was terrified I was going to get mugged or shot trying to adopt a dog! I'll admit - it was a little sketchy. =)  I arrived early, took my place at the front of the line & waited.  Once they opened, I filled out my adoption application, was approved & finally got to meet #409.  She was even more adorable in person & there was no way I could say no to this face!  It was hard not to come home with her & her 2 sisters {but no worries, I did  call back the next day & both her sisters had adoption holds on them as well}!
Because she had been brought to the shelter as a stray {a citizen found them dumped on the side of the road}, she had to stay & clear a 3 day hold in order to give the owner time to reclaim her.  It is also their rule that the animal has to be spayed before it can leave the shelter.  Unfortunately that meant she was going to have to stay there for almost a week.  I called on Friday & she had cleared the hold and was scheduled to be spayed on Monday; she would be ready for pickup that afternoon.  

So Monday afternoon, I headed back down there to make the adoption final!  I felt so sorry for her when I picked her up; she looked so pitiful. It was estimated that she is about 12 weeks old...which any vet will tell you is way too young to spay a puppy.  But given the rules, there was no choice. They also want you to come pick them up the day they are spayed.  Again, ideally - she would have been able to stay the night to recover, but given the circumstances - she was way better off with me.  Unfortunately, car ride + recovering from anesthesia = sick puppy.  We literally were on the road 5 minutes & I had to pull over and clean up puppy puke. =)  Thankfully after that, she slept the entire way home.
Once we got home, she slept most of the evening.  I have decided to try & crate train her so she sleeps in her crate next to my bed.  I was prepared for an entire night of crying, but she slept all night {and every night since with the exception of one potty break last night!}.  I took her to my vet on Tuesday for a checkup & she got the all clear.  
But, by Tuesday night, she was very lethargic & running a fever.  She had stopped eating & drinking and was having diarrhea and throwing up.  I called back to the vet on Wednesday morning & they wanted me to bring her in immediately to test for parvo.  So, back to the vet we went.  An hour & several tests later, she once again got the all clear...thankfully she tested negative for parvo.  The vet just thought it was probably a combination of all she had been thru in the past week, along with being spayed at such a young age and all the shots & meds she had been given.  She was put on anti-nausea meds & an antibiotic and by late last night, I could tell she was definitely feeling better.
She also FINALLY got a name...it's Nola!  Picking a name was the hardest thing EVER!!  Nola was my original pick because I wanted something different...I didn't want a "traditional" name or a "food/object" name like Buttercup or Honey or a "human" name.  But I was afraid she would get confused with her name & being told "no".  My second choice was Molly, but she just didn't look like a Molly.  And again, no human names, remember?!?  I finally decided to go with what I liked so Nola it was.  

To say she is already spoiled is an understatement.  She is super lovable and loves to be held & cuddled.  And so far, she has done excellent with potty training...not one single accident yet {knock on wood}!  She stays in the crate during the day & I go home several times to let her out.  I really want her to be an inside dog for the most part but since she is majority lab - it's in her nature to chew on EVERYTHING.  So, she will either be in the crate or in a fenced off part of my backyard {I value my deck, patio furniture & future landscaping way too much to give her free rein} when I am not home. We are already working on "no" and "sit" and she now waits by the back door for me to dry off her paws before she comes in {thanks to the 3 days of rain since I got her}.  

The whole adoption thing was a little more difficult that I expected, but she was definitely worth the wait & I do believe she is going to be a great dog.  I promise not to post a million pictures of her on here or on Facebook, but seriously - is this not the cutest face you have ever seen?!? =)

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