The Emerging Home has welcomed a new furry family member! It has been almost two years since we lost Qin and Latte, our persnickety cat, and our loving Pitt Bull-Boxer mix, within days of each other. Since then, we’ve often talked about situations or events that reminded us of them. But adding a new family member was not discussed…until now. Perhaps that’s what is meant by allowing yourself time to grieve, then open your heart again. Recently, we started to feel like there was a furry family member looking for us and we needed to go find him or her!! So, on a weekend when our daughter was visiting from university, we all went to the Humane Society. It was the same location from which Latte had joined us 8 years earlier.
A PittBull/Lab Puppy Found a Family
Walking around the facility we enjoyed intense activity, noise, and even the scent of being around cats and dogs again. It wasn’t long before my husband and daughter had a puppy out of her pen and were sitting on the floor playing with her. She was a beautiful, lively, chocolate-colored Pitt Bull /Lab mix running in circles, jumping on us, and offering generous kisses. We connected with her lively, fun, loving personality. Her intense, beautiful, golden eyes cast a spell on all of us that we could not resist. She came home with us that day.
Discovering That We Need a Better Plan
Knowing we could not keep our eyes on her every minute of the day, we decided to get her, and us, some professional help. Assuring a new puppy fits safely into the family we chose a 2-week, highly rated “boot camp” where dogs go to learn how to respond consistently to their Puppy Parents. We signed her up and it wasn’t long before we were preparing her food for a full two weeks and trying to grasp not having her with us during that time. Mocha became a family member quickly. She was easy to love and could be very intense at times. She needed to learn the rules to avoid hurting all of us around her.
Since then, there have been some genuinely crazy times. Our new puppy requires a lot of attention! Otherwise, she will chew the place to pieces! Several walks a day, throwing balls with her in the back yard, encouraging her to do zoomies with the neighbor dog back and forth along the fence has all helped burn her ample energy. When we are inside the house we keep a close eye on her. Otherwise we would have chewed furniture legs, gutless pillows, and frayed rugs.
Training, Consistency and Love to Keep Everyone Safe
The camp was very helpful. On her return, she no longer required two leashes (one connected to her collar and one to her harness) to keep her under control during a walk around the neighborhood! She heeled as we walked and only rarely pulled the leash taut. We used proper commands to support her 2-week training and walking was a more pleasant experience for both of us. We’ve learned a lot and, with diligence, Mocha will continue to make progress. Now it’s our job to help Mocha remember what she learned at camp, be a good girl, and keep her human family safe and visitors uninjured while she grows through her “very” puppy stage.