Monday, January 14, 2013

Holly and Lucky

We had an unusual Christmas this year.

For one thing, it was the first without my sister, who was spending her first Christmas with her husband's family. But even that was sort of forgotten, because this will forever be remembered as The Christmas We Unexpectedly Acquired Two Dogs.

Let me back up.

For years, my grandmother has wanted a dog. This hasn't been a secret. And over the last year or so, she ramped up the pressure, to the point that her Christmas list this year included multiple mentions of a dog. ("Item 1: dog." "Item 6 dog." Etc.) My grandfather's list included "Item 4: New husband for Grandma if she gets a dog."

Bispo is not a dog person, generally speaking. 

Anyway, having seen this, my mother finally decided that she was going to pursue this in earnest. She discussed it with Bispo. He, rather reluctantly, agreed that if the right dog could be found, Grandma could have her dog. 

Cut to months of Mom scouring websites and shelter listings. Finally, a week before Christmas, Mom and Dad brought home Holly (we named her), a 5-ish-year-old shih tzu, from the local shelter. She was a stray who was found with terrible fleas and a lingering skin condition, but she was sweet, adorable, and could be treated. Done. 

The problem was, over the course of the next week, Mom and Dad fell for her. And she for them. By the time I got home on the Thursday before Christmas, they were joking about finding a different dog for Grandma, because they wanted to keep this one. Which is how we found ourselves out on the Friday night before Christmas, meeting a lady from a local rescue and a small dog named Lucky. And lo, he was the cutest

Lucky was about one year old, a dachsund mix (though he really looks more like a very tiny yellow lab), who was kicked and beaten by a previous owner and wound up at a local animal rescue. He had a number of broken ribs and severe internal injuries, but he was treated and loved and given a clean bill of health. 

Anyway, on Monday (Christmas Eve morning), Dad picked up Lucky. SO. It was Christmas Eve, we had TWO anxiety-ridden shelter dogs at our house. And it was chaos. 

On Christmas Day, we loaded up the car with presents and suitcases and two dogs with all of their gear (crates, food, leashes, toys, beds, yadda yadda), and--over the river and through the woods to grandmother's house we went. We arrived in time for dinner and the big reveal:

Lucky arrives from Hannah DeJarnett on Vimeo.

Lucky was gifted to Grandma, and the whole thing went smashingly. We were a bit concerned about leaving him there, as he is a bit more....energetic than we had expected. But they have both fallen head-over-heels for him and, if the frequent photos we get from Bispo are any indication, it seems to be going well. 

He dragged his bed out to the
porch all by himself!

Back at home, Holly has settled in brilliantly with Mom and Dad, has conquered the stairs (which at first she would go up, but not down), and is generally getting along great. 

So ladylike.
So that is the story of our Christmas dogs. Conventional wisdom says that the holidays aren't a great time to adopt pets, as so many of them end up back in shelters after the novelty wears off and reality sets in. I agree with that assessment, and we would never have done it if we hadn't had back-up plans for both dogs. But let me tell you, it's far easier to get through those tragic Sarah McLachlan ASPCA commercials when you've just given homes to two of them.

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