An unexpected friend. Who will eat your hat.
While I’m not much of a sentimental person, all the crazy things my family’s dogs do has started to make home feel like home. We got them both in the height of the pandemic, adopting Noche as a puppy in 2020, and Frankie in the summer of 2021. Before, my parents were hesitant to get a dog- it had been promised in the past, sure, but with our busy lives and moving states and towns, a dog wasn’t exactly feasible.
Once we all were firmly stuck in place in 2020, my mom started to feel differently. While my mom had been the one who had previously been critical of the idea of adopting a dog (as a kid, I did a lot of research on finding the “perfect” breed), she was now the first to start considering it. The roles had reversed. I felt like this was coming out of nowhere. Why should we adopt a dog now, of all times? What makes us equipped for a dog now? Would the extra time afforded to us during the pandemic be enough? I voiced these concerns, and to her and my sisters’ credit, they stepped up. My family became enthusiastic about the idea of a dog, and began to look into shelters, breeds, and after our meeting with an adult dog didn’t go so swimmingly, they started looking into puppy equipment. I still wasn’t sure.
One day, my mom was looking through the website of the shelter she liked, and she found him. A small, black Labrador mix puppy, who had been born in a litter in Alabama. He seemed perfect- a week or so away from being able to leave his fosters, and he would grow to be 60 pounds. (This was actually on the bigger side for my mom, since she was looking for 50lbs or less. It didn’t matter too much in the end- he’s currently around 75-80 pounds.)
Once he was fully ours, we encountered a few issues. He was getting over Coccidiosis, which the foster parents had helped us with figuring out, and seemed so small. He didn’t have much of an appetite (at first!), but was very clingy and was not a fan of being in his crate alone. He would cry all night. Little did we know how fast he would grow and change!
Despite his small size, he also absolutely loved to eat anything and everything. My pencils? Gone. My socks? Don’t even try to get those back. How was he even getting in my room? I swear I would close my door and later find my clothes chewed.
Over time, he mellowed out. He’s still very talkative and sassy- my dad likes to say he has a bit of hound in him. His howls are truly uncanny- sometimes we howl back at him. I’ve never seen a dog stare at anyone like they were truly affronted until we did that. He would always start grumbling and whining once we refused his requests, which most often were for a second dinner.
Currently, he loves to bask in the sun- I swear all that dog does is sleep and beg for food. If he’s not sleeping in the sun, he has his dirty paws up against my parents’ white walls, splayed out in what seems like a very uncomfortable position to doze in. He still bickers with his brother (the Shiba), but has been gaining some confidence and understanding with him. Noche was even able to sleep on Frankie’s bed recently. If my dad hadn’t taken a picture, I wouldn’t have believed him.