My husband retired 12/31/19. He took off half of November and most of December to use up his vacation time. Our son spent almost a week with us over Christmas, and we had a close, quiet, and meaningful holiday time together.
Between Christmas and NYE a friend of a friend came over with her petite Schipperke, Stella. Debra was looking to re-home Stella (she shows cutting horses and is gone 6 mos./year. When she’s local Stella spend hours alone in her truck, not an ideal situation for her.) Stella was very protective of Debra around Oliver and Teddy, which we expected, but we agreed to a 2 week trial after we returned from our cruise of Australia and New Zealand (more on that later).
We arrived home January 30th, and met Debra February 1st at a dog park between her home and ours. It was a cold, rainy Saturday, so we spent minimal time there before we packed up all the dogs and Stella’s blanket and favorite toys and brought her home. She was understandably confused that day, and Chris and I agreed to be patient and give her time.
The next day our trainer was offering a scent class, so we loaded up the dogs and went. Stella has had some obedience training but nothing since she was young (she’s 4-½ years old). All 3 dogs did great, and we may try it again. Our goal was to include Stella in our pack, and to make her feel a part of it.
Debra called about 2 weeks later. We’d posted pictures and Facebook updates for her, so she could be confident that Stella had a good home. Shortly after she mailed her paperwork, and I applied for AKC transfer of ownership. When that paper arrived we knew she was officially ours.
It’s now late April. Stella is in a basic obedience class as a refresher. Oliver and Teddy place 2nd and 1st respectively in Rally Obedience on Easter Sunday. Stella is definitely part of the pack; she and Teddy play frequently and she’s learned how to deal with being not #1 dog. We take her everywhere with the other dogs and she’s a solid good citizen. We still have moments where there are challenges over food, toys, human attention, but nothing drastic or uncommon. I’m so glad we had room in our pack and our hearts for this sweet girl. We are her forever home.