Friday, March 6, 2009

Introducing Montana

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.

85 comments:

  1. Oh, she is so beautiful and wonderful! Congratulations on your new doggie girl!

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  2. Oh, I got a tear when I was reading your post!! I never knew I could love a dog so much until I had one - he adds everything to my life! Congratulations!

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  3. She is AWESOME! Congratulations! Love her name too :o)

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  4. Congrats, she is a very pretty lab. I hope that you enjoy her, it will be in a few short days that you can't realize how you lived without her.

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  5. Oh how thrilling! I'm so glad she got you guys.

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  6. Hello puppy! How adorable is she? Congrats, have fun, dog ownership is really fantastic.

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  7. Our dog is the best choice my fiance and I made. Every day he brings sunshine and joy into our lives, and we hope we bring a little of that into his. I think this is about as close as we all get to the feeling of being parents (yet). Congratulations!

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  8. She's beautiful! This story makes me so happy. Looking forward to hearing more about her as you learn more!

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  9. Dogs are the most amazing creatures - they give you unconditional love and ask for nothing in return. I'm so happy for you because they definied make a house a home! She's beautiful - congratulations!

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  10. She is so absolutely sweet. Love that last picture.

    Congrats to the new parents! :)

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  11. As we've discussed offline, you know I'm so tickled for you guys. Fair warning, you will begin to notice A LOT of overlap between dog behavior and children's behavior and not all adults are ok with you comparing your dog to their kids. I, on the other hand, find the overlap uncany AND hilarious! Welcome home, Montana!

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  12. Congratulations! I look forward to hearing more about your adventures with Montana. :)

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  13. I firmly believe that the prison programd as the absolute best thing ever! I am so, so, SO excited for you! Shes beautiful and sounds like a wonderful dog.

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  14. Congratulations! Montana is beautiful and I'm so touched by how happy she makes you already!

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  15. Oh she is gorgeous! Congratulations on having a dog... and wow how nice to get a trained dog :) We'll be getting a puppy in a few weeks and man I am not looking forward to housetraining!
    Also, Montana- cute name!

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  16. She sounds wonderful :) Congratulations on the newest addition to your family!!

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  17. She is so beautiful!! Congratulations on your girl!

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  18. THE FACE! So, so cute. Congrats! I am officially jealous.

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  19. Oh, she sounds perfect! I'm glad I chose right. :-)

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  20. Yay!!! How exciting!! I've never gotten a dog that was already trained, so that would totally bowl me over!! Congratulations!

    I think having dogs helps me get more exercise b/c I feel bad if I don't take them for a walk!

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  21. She's gorgeous...congratulations!

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  22. She is SO CUTE! And I love her purple collar : )

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  23. She's beautiful! Congrats on being a pup mom!

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  24. Oh, I just adore her and I adore you guys for opting to go this route for your new addition. She looks gorgeous in her purple color. Congratulations, Jess!

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  25. She's absolutely beautiful! I'm so glad you and your dog found one another!

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  26. What a wonderful dog! Congrats!

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  27. Oh yay, that's totally the dog I would have picked too! congratulations on your new kid, er, dog. Those are some great pictures there.

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  28. i love her! do you know how she got those marks on her face? they add character :)

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  29. AWWWW!!! Congratulations, guys!! First, i think it's wonderful that you adopted a dog from one of the prison programs. They're great programs for both the people and the dogs. But now i have to tell you how JEALOUS i am that you have a well trained dog out-of-the-box! That's just awesome. Good for you guys and good for Montana!!

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  30. She is so sweet! That's the dog I would have picked too! And you guys are SO LUCKY she's already trained. I love the purple collar; she looks like she's settling in just fine. What a sweetie. Congrats, you two.

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  31. What a sweetie! Congratulations. Our dog also has that giant ears around a narrow face thing going, and I love it too! Also, she DOES look very smart. She has smart eyes.

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  32. What a pretty puppy! Congratulations.

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  33. Hooray! I'm glad it worked out. What a beautiful dog, and I can't wait to hear more about your adventures together.

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  34. Oh, congratulations! It's great to hear how happy you are and how well trained your dog is - Montana sounds amazing!

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  35. Oh, she is so adorable! It sounds like a really great program that you adopted her from. I like when places like that inform the adopting parents so they know what they're getting in to (not that you guys didn't know, but you know how some people do it on a whim).

    I love her name, too. I had a black lab growing up - her name was Arizona. :)

    Congratulations, I'm sure you guys are going to have many, many wonderful days together! I look forward to more puppy (bc as long as they're cute, they're always puppies to me) stories and pictures in the future!

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  36. Oh what a wonderful dog! Congratulations!

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  37. Beautiful, beautiful dog! I'm so excited for you! I absolutely adore my little Matty (aka Monkey), whom we adopted in November. He has brought more joy to our lives than we could have ever imagined.

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  38. Yay! I know exactly how you feel :)

    She's a lucky girl! Congratulations!

    Now we have to get Montana and Chloe together to play! Though, Chloe doesn't sound quite as well behaved as Montana...

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  39. She is so adorable. Congratulations. I really like her name.

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  40. She is so precious and cute. Congrats on taking her home.

    Has she been distracted by rabbits on any walks yet?

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  41. She is awesome! SO cute and her personality sounds just wonderful! Congrats!

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  42. She's beautiful! And such a lucky dog to go to such a wonderful home!

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  43. Congratulations!! She sounds wonderful. It is such a wonderful thing to find the pet that just perfectly becomes one of the family.

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  44. YAY!! YAY!! YAY!! Oh she is so sweet!

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  45. Aw yay congrats! The perfect addition to your family. :)

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  46. Well helLO beautiful girl! Can't wait to meet you!

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  47. she is absolutely beautiful. I'm so happy that you found your perfect dog.

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  48. Awwwwwww!!!! She is adorable and you guys are going to have so much fun going on walks and hikes with her! Congrats!

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  49. Congratulations on your new pup!! She is beautiful... I totally understand what you mean feeling like a "parent"... I have no children but two dogs, and after 5 years I still feel that little bug of excitement to see them when I am close to home when coming from work... And then, I lie on the couch with both of them (one is 100 lbs and the other 75 - fitting takes some effort), my girl usually lies on my lap/chest and stares at me with loving eyes... at those moments I feel I could explode of happiness... Congratulations again, I think dogs are one of the best things that can eve happen to us

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  50. Hi, Jess! I have actually been reading for a while but haven't ventured a comment yet. But I just had to today! Congratulations on your beautiful dog! Montana is gorgeous, and here's wishing you many wonderful years together.

    I live in the DC area too. I think it's wonderful that you packed up and moved to a place that suited you better! I dream of doing the same thing, since my complaints about this area are similar to ones that you have mentioned.

    Anyway - sorry it took me so long to comment, and congrats on the wonderful addition to your family!

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  51. Oh, I'm so excited for you! What a cutie! You wouldn't happen to know where the scar came from eh? It definitely adds personality! I'm sure you'll get that question a lot so you could make up some awesome stories if you don't know the true destination. Maybe she got into a fight with ninjas or something. Anyway, cuuuuuuuuuute!!! Take lots of pics!

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  52. Your life is just so, so exciting right now! Wedding, move, doggie- everything :)

    Congrats darlin :)

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  54. congratulations on the new addition! she even has a purple collar - so you! :)

    (sorry for the deleted comment, apparently i can't spell today!)

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  55. She is too sweet. Congratulations!

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  57. YAY! Yay yay yay!

    I used to babysit a little boy name Montana and his parents called him "Tanner". CUTEST NICKNAME EVAH.

    Congrats!

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  58. Look at that sweet face! How exciting.

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  59. She's beautiful. I'm happy that you all found each other. Loving a pet is one of life's greatest gifts.

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  60. Montana is beautiful! I hope you will have lots of fun and hiking adventures together! Congrats!

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  61. I love that last picture. She looks like such a sweet dog. Congratulations. I love that you already have such a connection with her.

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  62. I'm so excited for you Jess! The three of you are going to make the perfect family. :)

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  63. Aww congratulations she is adorable and looks like such a sweetie!

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  64. she's adorable! you're totalloy making me want a dog now. :) congrats!!

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  65. She sounds so wonderful and I can tell you're so beyond thrilled with her! I'm so excited about all the exciting new things you've gone through lately!

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  66. Yay! You got the one I liked! :)

    I'm glad to hear she's such a good fit. Congratulations!!

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  67. Gorgeous, so gorgeous. And that purple collar looks awesome on her!

    Looking forward to some more pictures! :)

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  68. OH SHES ADORABLE! I want a dog so so so so badly. I also like the name Montana. I am whithering in jealousy over here. SIGH SIGH SIGH.

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  69. Congrats!!!!

    You will continue to grow in your love for her--almost 3 years later, I love Lucy-dog more than I ever imagined. I'm so happy for you!

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  70. I am soooooooooooooooo excited for you!!!! I just love my baby ... so I understand exactly how you feel.

    Congratulations Mom!

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  71. Oh, I love her so much. She reminds me a lot of my Olive...and I love that she has a purple collar. No surprise there. :)

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  72. She is so beautiful! I love the color of her fur. Congrats!!

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  73. Oh my goodness! Congratulations. She is ADORABLE! Yay!

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  74. She IS sweet. I was hoping she's who you would choose - it's those floppy little ears.

    Nice purple collar too. ;)

    Happy Dog-Parenting!

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