Adding to our family

One of the functions the mudroom was designed for is being fulfilled. A row of hooks is now holding leashes, collars and old towels.

Last week, Ellie and I added Cigo to our family.

I was not looking for a dog. But something made me click onto the SPCA website. There I saw an easy-going 3 year old boxer lab. That all sounded very familiar, and we had an amazing experience last time.

Without giving myself time to think, I put in an application. A few days later we went to meet him. Ellie liked him and he was good with her–my most important criteria. The next day, we heard from the adoptions coordinator that we were approved and he could come home with us.

Cigo (See-Go) has been a nice addition to our family. We’re all still adjusting, and it’s definitely a juggle. But seeing Ellie with him is incredibly special and having him with me as I write at night is comforting.

His overall disposition is awesome. He’s good with people, children and dogs, and doesn’t bother with our food or Ellie’s toys. He doesn’t have a lot of training, so we’re working on basics like not pulling on the leash, stay and our house rules.

He loves the farm and likes rolling in the snow, checking out the smells when we go snowshoeing and running around the driveway with Ellie.

A week in, he’s starting relax and know what’s expected. And we’re getting to know him and what he needs. It feels good to share the love and joy of our family.

Ready for Rover

Matt and I are ready to expand our family. But not in the way you might think.

We’re expecting a furry, four-legged bundle of joy in the next month or so. Last year we were distracted by our four furry, four-legged feline bundles of joy. This year we’re hoping for something of the canine variety.

We haven’t met our new addition yet. We’re planning to adopt, so we’re keeping watch on the local shelter and foster web sites.

In the meantime, we’ve been readying his or her room. There was already a dog run behind the driveshed, but it was a little run down.

Collage of pictures of a rundown dog run

Homey, no?

Matt and my Dad spent an afternoon clearing out the barn doors, pallets, rocks and weeds. They patched the siding, built a sun shade/elevated perch and made the gate swing the right way.

Dog run

My job was the house, which is an insulated box inside the driveshed. (Ignore the clutter around and on the house. Cleaning up the driveshed is on the summer to-do list, right below playing with our new dog.)

Insulated dog house.

I converted the house from a duplex to a one bedroom and blocked off the second entrance. I also had the pleasure of cleaning out the interior. I don’t know who the most recent residents were, but no self-respecting dog would create such a mess in its den. In addition to the… mess, there was a piece of carpet, a few bones, a couple of toys and some hunks of ropes. Cleaning it out was a lovely job.

However, the job is done and now our doggy will have a lovely home.

Patched barn board siding

Doggy won’t be expected to spend all of his or her time outside. We want someone relatively energetic who will go for runs, hikes and long walks with us, but also someone who is relaxed enough to be inside the house when we’re cooking dinner or watching TV.

Anyone have any suggestions on breeds with a good balance of energy and calmness? I’d like a big dog (the bigger the better in my opinion), but Matt’s a fan of the smaller varieties (not tea cup or handbag size, but a funny looking Boston terrier is his ideal).

What about advice on adopting a dog? I like the idea of helping a dog who needs a home, but I’ll admit that I’m concerned that we might end up with a dog that has behavioural issues. I’d appreciate any tips anyone has.