Last January our very precious house dog, Holly, died at the ripe old age of 12 (quite old for an 85 lb chocolate lab). It was a hard loss as she had been a constant companion to the kids and I as we worked around the house, homeschooled, and worked and played outside for many years. Three of the children don’t even remember not having her in their lives.
After the loss we needed some time to settle and heal. But the last month or so all of us have really been yearning for another companion dog in the house with us. I miss having my little shadow following me around as I do chores and teach. I miss having a dog sleeping at my feet as I knit. I miss having a doggy vacuum cleaner to clean up all the crumbs and messes the kids tend to leave on the kitchen and dining room floor (I have had to sweep several times a day since Holly died – I hadn’t even realized how much “cleaning” she did for me).
Last week we found our new family companion dog! We adopted her from the pound. She is 3 years old and we named her Bella.
She is a Beagle, though she lacks most of the negative behaviors that are associated with Beagles. She does not bark incessantly or howl. She does not dig. She does, however, follow her nose wherever it leads her, even into trouble. She is super kid friendly, and loves the kids playing with her, taking her for walks, and petting her. Thanks to her nose and food drive she is an excellent kitchen and dining room floor maid. I haven’t had to sweep since she arrived! She is settling in to the rules of the house. It is clear she used to be allowed on the furniture, and eat human food. We are a no-pets-on-furniture household (we do provide the pets their own pet furniture though). And besides the floor vacuum duties, we don’t feed dogs human food.
She is super smart and learning the new rules quickly, though with her nose I doubt we will ever be able to trust her with food left on an end table. She is also learning obedience very quickly. She is very happy to please us. I think she will be an excellent dog for the kids to teach tricks to once she fully settles in.
She has already bonded to me pretty well, and is doing an excellent job being my shadow. Which is exactly what I love having a dog do. She follows me as I work around the house and sleeps at my feet. Here she is right now as I type this post:
…half asleep with her head by my leg.
No dog will ever replace Holly, but we are all excited to have another beloved family pet!