Wednesday, January 11, 2017

In Other News (2.0)...

The sad thing about being a pet owner is pets do not live as long as humans do. The sad thing about some humans is that they're totally fine with leaving a perfectly good animal to rot at an animal shelter. There is a silver lining in that there are so many pets in shelters for animal lovers like me and many others to adopt that we can have an animal that's perfect for our lifestyle... even though that still means there are pets left behind. This problem could be easily eliminated if more people chose to spay or neuter their animals, but I digress. Last year I had to put my beloved Dorkie to sleep, and it's safe to say I was not in good spirits for the rest of 2016. But even though I was heartbroken about Keisha, I still kept an eye out for dogs that might fit our household- on the small side, terrier-like (because I like dogs with spirit), and good with other animals.

On New Year's Eve day, we went to the local shelter because they put up a listing for a similar-sounding dog. When we walked into the dog kennels, I wasn't so sure the dog would be a good fit- she acted a bit aggressive, and Torrie, my schipperke-kelpie mix, throws off a bad vibe for those sorts of dogs. I asked to see her anyways, despite the shelter volunteer telling me she had allergies, wasn't housebroken, and was going to be a "challenge". Once she was in the meet and greet room, I knew she would be perfect for our household. "Princess" as she was known, had a sweetness reminiscent of Keisha, and didn't seem interested in going to bark at the other dogs once she was out of her kennel. Though she wasn't yet spayed and couldn't go home with us that day, I signed the adoption papers without qualm (though the volunteer seemed convinced that I'd be bringing her back- perhaps because I had my cane?).

After leaving the shelter, I began preparations for "Princess" (who my mom and I decided should be called Leia instead). Since she wasn't housetrained, I prepared a crate with potty pads. Because she was still in the puppy age (they think she's a year old), I cleaned up my room to puppy-proof it. By the time we got home on the 3rd with her, I was prepared for any outcome- if she didn't like George, if Torrie didn't like her, if she was actually a vicious little attack dog who put on airs of being a "nice" dog.

Leia was drowsy, but because she was so calm we decided to do introductions that night (probably not a good idea for some pet households). I brought in Torrie, who thought Leia was a weird dog but was good with her and left her alone. I let George out. George thought Leia was an alien and wouldn't stop looking at her. Even in her drugged-up state, Leia thought the same of George (what a strange looking dog), and she never stopped looking at him when he was in the room.

Leia with a stolen toy


Leia remains convinced that George is a small dog like her, and wants to play with him the same way as she does with Torrie. Because George thinks he is a dog (most days) he's fine with that, but is a bit miffed that he's no longer the "baby" of the family, nor the most energetic of the bunch. Leia does have allergies, but she is housebroken and hasn't pottied in the house- I think it may have something to do with the fact that Leia was being used as someone's breeding dog and thus hadn't had proper vet care, leading to no one noticing she still had a puppy from her last litter inside of her. Once her reproductive organs were removed along with the retained fetus, she has an easier time holding her bladder. Apparently Leia's former owner had called the shelter about her, but never came to get her. Personally, I'm glad about it, because Leia is the perfect fit for our household, despite her allergies (which has her constantly attempting to scratch at her spay sutures).

I have no real idea of what exact breed Leia is- at the shelter, they said shih-tzu mix, but I had a shih-tzu and he didn't look like her. I believe she's best described as a terrier on stilts- she has a coat that's almost wirehair, but not. The hair on the top of her head is shih-tzu-like (in other words, like human hair), but she has a smooth coat alternating with a semi-wire coat over the rest of her body. She's about 13 pounds, the same height as George (who is a medium sized cat), and she looks like a true mutt. She actually has Siamese-like coloring, with a gray body and black at the extremities and face. Right now her coat is medium length (in the areas she hasn't chewed), but I'm not sure if it'll grow any longer- the hair at the top of her head is actually quite long. As an amateur dog groomer, she does present a challenge, but I plan on simply bathing her until I figure out how she's supposed to look without the chew spots. Also, despite her odd, mismatched appearance, she's really cute. She becomes less cute when she whines, but perhaps that puppy-ish trait will disappear with time.

If you're in search of a furry friend, I definitely recommend looking at your local shelters and rescue organizations- there are many cute critters to choose from without funding animal breeders' bad habits.


  1. Aw Leia sounds absolutely adorable! I'm picturing Torrie and George's reactions to her in my head and I can't stop laughing :D Having a multi-pet household is certainly entertaining! I'm so glad you're such an advocate for shelter animals. In my opinion, they don't get enough credit. You don't have to go to a breeder to find the perfect pet and animals from shelters can be just as loving and adorable :)

    Laura @BlueEyeBooks

    1. I think George being all wide-eyed about Leia *was* the funniest thing I've ever seen- she's brought a lot of joy back into our household, even when she's thieving toys and chewing them up (she actually chewed up George's favorite toy yesterday, but he hasn't noticed yet- I'm going to try to repair it).
      I actually saw there was a puppy from Keisha's breed (Dorkie) that was for sale from a breeder around Christmas- but I'm so glad I waited for a shelter pet/Leia. Leia's adoption fee was $74, and her spay cost the shelter about $400 so we had significant savings there since we didn't have to pay for it. With breeder dogs, all the vet care they usually come with is shots, if you're lucky, so the medical care plus the sale price of the puppy is super expensive. After learning about Leia's situation with the retained puppy, I don't think I'll be considering anything but a shelter pet ever again!
      Thanks for stopping by and complimenting Leia, Laura!
      ~Litha Nelle


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