Meet our new dog, formerly known as Dog A, Montana:
Is she not the most precious thing you've ever seen in your entire life? Ever?
Both she and the other dog (whose name was Tessa, though we would have changed it) absolutely captivated our hearts from the moment we met them. We had been leaning toward Montana already, and meeting them cemented it because Tessa, while adorable and sweet, was on the large side (probably 70 pounds, though she's listed at 60, and our apartment has a limit of 65), and VERY active and also quite strong and likes to pull a lot on the leash. Ultimately we decided that she would likely be better off with a bigger family with kids that will run around with her all the time.
Montana, on the other hand, is more mellow but still likes to go for walks and hikes. She can lie around the apartment all day with only short outdoor breaks while we're working, but she'll also love coming out with us for longer treks on the weekends. And you guys, she is just the sweetest, smartest, most adorable thing ever.
And damn, is this dog well trained. She's house-trained (and although we were expecting a few accidents with the stress of moving into a new home, she learned right away how to tell us she needed to go out). She's crate trained. She knows how to sit, lie down, come, stay, and heel. She knows tricks including shaking and rolling over. She is trained not to beg at the table and she knows to wait her turn. She doesn't bark and she's not destructive. But oh, is she smart. She definitely tested us, and is still testing us. The handler showed us a perfect sit-stay-come, and then we tried it, and she stared innocently off in the other direction as though she hadn't heard a thing. But we are passing her tests, and she's learning who's in charge. I took her for a walk yesterday and had her at a perfect heel, and we walked right past another dog, who was straining at his leash and yapping up a storm, and while she was definitely interested, she did not break her heel and we strolled right by, incident-free.
And oh, she just has the best personality. She's a little timid, but that has already gotten better, and we have high hopes that once she's relaxed and learned that we are a safe and loving home that is not going to give her up, she will start enjoying all the toys we bought for her. She has already chosen the kitchen floor as her lie-down spot of choice (probably because the tiles are cool), but she also likes to be with us and will walk back and forth between our offices, spending a stint under each of our desks.
She's a little thin--mostly just lean, but when she breathes in you can see her ribs, so I think she could stand to gain about 5 pounds. We'll talk to the vet, because we definitely don't want to over-feed her and give her weight problems, but I think she's just a hair too skinny at the moment.
After we picked her and filled out the paperwork and gave the check, she was taken away from us to be prepared, and then we attended a two-hour "go home" class together, where about 10 dogs and their handlers (inmates at the women's prison) came into a room and we were shown all the things they can do. And seriously, watching her? And how she sat in a perfect stay and then daintily picked her way among the crowd of walking dogs when called to come "in traffic"? I cried. I just can't believe she's ours. I love her so much. Now I have an inkling of how parents must feel. I love everything about her--how alert she is and yet simultaneously still timid, how she tries to test us but is ultimately obedient, how she elegantly scarfs down her food, her giant pointy ears like wings on her narrow face, the scar on her nose. She was absolutely worth the wait.
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