After months of weighing the pros and cons and how it would affect my lifestyle, I have adopted a dog. Her name is Lola and she is a 4-year old Boxer.
I want to thank the amazing volunteers at Atlanta Boxer Rescue who are committed to saving these wonderful animals from a certain death, nursing them back to health and placing them with families who will love them for the rest of their lives. I want to specifically thank Terry E. (adoption coordinator) and Jennifer S. (Lola’s, formerly named Dora, foster). You guys ROCK!!
Lola is the first dog I’ve owned as an adult and I was somewhat anxious about it. The last dog I lived with on a daily basis was my dad’s Irish Setter, Kelly, when I was 10 years old and my dad allowed me to walk him alone at night in our neighborhood.
On her first day with me, Lola paced the floors for about an hour before she settled in front of the television. With some prompting from me, she went into her crate for the first time. Now she goes in the crate on her own. She walks well on her leash looking back to make sure I’m still there and if she gets too far ahead of me, a slight tug on the leash will prompt her to come back to my side.
The only information about Lola’s past I have is that she was owner surrendered after her last litter of puppies. However, her reaction to certain things leads me to believe there may have been some abuse by her previous owner(s).
On our walk yesterday morning, I stumbled and tripped bumping into her as I was regaining my balance. The way she ran from me, cowering with her tail tucked, broke my heart. Immediately I got on my knees to comfort and reassure her she was safe. slowly she stopped trembling but she was on edge for the entire walk.
Just this morning, I was petting her while I was sitting on the sofa when I feel something near the top of her head. I reach to move the lamp closer for better lighting. As I lift the lamp, she cowers again and attempted to retreat.
This little girl will need lots of love and reassurance that whatever happened in her past is never going to happen again.
On a more positive note, I got her to sit on command this morning using positive reinforcement with some doggy treats. YAAAYY for Lola!!
Another milestone, mines and not hers…I had to pick up her poop for the first time on our walk last night. YIKES!! The key to me doing this without losing my lunch is to disconnect completely from the task. But maaaan, look…nothing quite prepares you for the warm mushy feel through the plastic. NOTHING!!!
Yeah. Welcome to pet ownership!!
Although we’re only three days into it, I am happy with Lola and I am positive this is the beginning of a very rewarding experience for both me and Lola!