Sometimes you get what you need, not what you want...
It took someone to remind me of that to fully appreciate the new four-legged friend I recently adopted. On April 12, 2019 it was four months, and to be honest, it was a rough few months adjusting to her presence. And I think she would say the same of me.
Her name is Cora, or Corabelle...
I have always taken in dogs with a bad past, most scared of people, not dog friendly and scared of their own shadow on some days. I am used to all of the issues that come along with these types of dogs. But, they were always a "type" of dog...Huskies, Great Pyrenees, Flat Coated Retrievers...big, long-haired dogs with a certain style of personality and looks. I am very much drawn to big, calm and independent. It was never a decision to adopt these type of dogs, they just happened along the way. I have always joked that I like my dogs like I like my men...big and quiet, lol.
So, when the time came to think about saving another life I spent hours on Petfinder looking for that type. A few came along that I really wanted to meet, but were adopted before I could even start the process. I knew it had to be the complete opposite looks from Evie since that would be too difficult for me. I knew I could not adopt a full Pittie, which has been my dream, because of not being able to take it to work, etc. I filled out a few applications, each time I explained what I was searching for. This was the first time I was actually able to choose a dog rather than ending up with one and it was a big decision. I wanted another companion, one that would be by my side for many years hopefully.
One photo was for a sad looking tan and white girl with big ears that stood up miles above her head and a big belly from recently giving birth. There was a little Pittie look to her, and those ears...oh, those ears. I contacted the rescue but was told she had a meet n greet the day and then told she was adopted. So, I put her out of my mind.
A few days after that the rescue contacted me and said the first home was not suitable and was I still interested? I spoke with the foster a few times after and explained again what my situation was and what I was searching for...must like cats, must be calm and quiet so I could take her to work, and must like to go on drives and do things with me, etc.
Fast forward a few weeks and I drive to pick her up, excited, but nervous.
I am not sure what the look on my face was as the little, skinny, timid dog walked across the parking lot towards me. It was probably a little bit of shock. She let me hug her and walked with me to the car. On the drive home I sat in the back seat with her and she sat on top of me, shaking and visibly confused and nervous.
Once home, she would not lay on any of the beds I had for her...she would crawl up to them and touch them with her toes. She would not take treats because they scared her, she would cower when I showed her the toys I had gotten her. She trembled and trembled and trembled a little more, with an occasional whining fit in between. I really hate whining. Her skin was a mess, her teeth were horrible and her spay incision was not healing well. She did not know words such as treat, walk or come.
Ahhh...so much for the big, calm, quiet type.
The next few weeks the whining continued, the projectile vomiting in the car was constant, the neediness was prevalent, walks were no fun. The only thing that was going well was sleeping and eating. She did both like a champ.
I could see she was trying but I was having a difficult time with my attitude and the inability to shake the annoyance and disappointment with the situation. I tried to take her to the dog park because I was told she liked other dogs and she had done well on a few walks with other dogs with me. That was a horrible experience, we never made it further than the side of the car where she began to violently shake and snarl like an alien had taken over her body.
I really did consider giving her back to the rescue after that, feeling she deserved a home different than mine, but knowing also I was the one that who to change. How was she going to become my companion like this? I had worked with this type of dog many times, but have never lived with one! So, I decided to talk with a trainer and told her my concerns. A few days later I spoke with another type of trainer and shared my concerns again. Both were very nice and told me things that I already knew, and a few that I didn't. Both gave me a reason to keep trying.
Sitting at work one day not too long after a co-worker asked me how we were doing and my response was that it was difficult, but we were getting to know each other. Her simple response changed everything...sometimes you get what you need, not what you want. It was as if she gave me permission that I needed to be okay with this dog and my attitude magically changed. No kidding.
Since that day things have gotten better because she senses the change in me. She is still a whiner, which I will never get used to. But, the vomiting in the car has mostly stopped, she loves her beds and her toys and she definitely loves to eat as the six pound weight gain has proven. She loves her belly rubs and kisses on her head. She loves to run around the yard throwing the ball up in the air and run zoomies around the house. She thinks rolling in absolutely everything is the best thing ever.. She snores like a freight train and likes to snuggle inside all the blankets I have for her. And she is more confident which has, of course, led to being very stubborn, lol.
When I look at her now I don't see that small, annoying dog. I see her for "who" she is and the good things she brings to my life. She loves, loves, loves people and it is a joy to watch her say hello to everyone she sees. She does well with most dogs and it is a treat to see her run and play with them. She loves to snuggle with me on the couch while I tell her stories and rub her belly. There is still a lot to work through and deal with so that I can be the best human for her issues, and I still have that sneaky feeling that she would maybe have done better in a home with lots of people and dogs to play with. But she deserves to have someone be there for her. I guess I am that one and that I must have needed her "type" without knowing it.