New Year, New Dog!

It’s the first day of a new decade, and I’m looking down at the sweetest furry face you’ll ever see. Sitting by my side as I type, she gently rests a paw on my lap and asks with soulful eyes for her chest to be rubbed… But wait, let me start at the beginning. As some of you know, we were left dogless last year. It was a long year of too much quiet and not enough dog hair. Still, I didn’t want to rush into anything, and so months of scouring shelters and humane societies had ensued. Finally, on the 18th of December (coincidentally, my soul dog Mojo’s birthday) I found new love at a southern California county shelter.

Sierra, as I’ve named her, had been brought in as a stray two days before I spotted her online. Because she was wearing a collar with county tags, she was put on a 10-day hold in order to give the owners time to claim their dog. A volunteer allowed us to spend time with Sierra in the getting-to-know-you area, and she seemed extremely gentle and affectionate. In that first visit, I knew I had found my dog. I filled out a “contract to adopt” should the owners not show. The next day I brought my husband to the shelter. Sierra turned on the charm, wagging happily, jumping up and planting kisses all over his face. Good girl! And so we waited. When no one came for her by the 30th, we were able to take her to her new forever home.

I’m sure you’re wondering what mix of breeds Sierra is—well, I’m wondering too! My best guess is collie or miniature collie mixed with maybe German Shepherd and Samoyed or some other northern breed. Most folks who see her say she looks like a miniature wolf, and many have already asked whether she is actually part wolf. I seriously doubt it, but I do find it ironic, after working and living with wolfdogs all these years and making a conscious decision not to get another one. Sierra only weighs about 40-45 pounds, which is completely alien to us, as our dogs have always weighed in between 90 and 120 pounds. It’s actually quite nice to have a dog I can actually lift for a change! As to age, judging from her teeth, she’s only about a year old.

The shelter had told me Sierra had been brought in and then adopted out this past September. When we got her home, I figured out pretty quickly why that might have been. The first thing she did when let out into our back fenced area was to walk the perimeter checking out spaces between gates and posts, and gazing thoughtfully at the top of the chain link. Although our fencing is high and our other dogs never would have jumped it, we’re not taking any chances. Next week, the fencing guy arrives to attach lean-ins and maybe a bit more height.

As to temperament, Sierra is an absolute love bug. Her mission in life seems to be to spend as much time possible being cuddled and petted. I happen to love that, and she’ll find no shortage of affection here. She also loves to run, and when I took her to an enclosed park yesterday, she proved herself to be part rocket! I believe she’s even faster than my German Shepherd Soko was, which is saying something. I’m also happy to say that she seems to like every dog she’s met so far.

Another bonus is that Siera is already housebroken. Of course she needs training, and that will start today. I expect there will be behavioral challenges along the way, especially as she’s only been here two days. I’m already taking steps to prevent separation anxiety, which I see as a potential issue. She panics in a crate, which we’ll need to work on. But for now, the first morning minutes of 2010 were spent cuddling with a sweet, gentle, gorgeous dog on her plush, comfy bed. I can’t think of a more joyous way to begin the year.

20 Responses to New Year, New Dog!

  1. Kevin Myers says:

    I’m so glad you found each other. Here’s hoping that many other matches like this are made in 2010!

  2. Jaqi Bunn says:

    She’s GORGEOUS!! Just wait til the Spring though and that coat ‘blows’… Hope you’ve got a good cleaner!

  3. Dave Thorpe says:

    what a lucky dog to have found you.

  4. Mary Hunter says:

    What a cutie!

    I’m sure you’ll have fun with her this year. She’s pretty lucky to have found you!

    Happy New Year!


  5. Lisa Spector says:

    How wonderful for all of you! She’s beautiful and she found the perfect home. Can’t wait to hear more about her.

  6. Jennifer says:

    Congratulations. She is a beautiful, very lucky dog.

  7. Karen says:

    Congratulations! She is beautiful and so lucky to be in your home!

  8. Heather Trainor says:

    Congratulations Nicole! She is lovely and she is even luckier than she is lovely! Have fun together. Perfect way to start the New Year!

  9. Congratulations–knowing how your last year went, this post almost made me cry–I’m sooo happy for you–all love, good things, and many happy years to you and Sierra! 🙂

  10. wildewmn says:

    Thank you all for your kind comments. We are lucky to have found each other. She is lying by my feet, passed out from way too much fun at the dog park. 🙂

  11. Bettina says:

    What a wonderful addition to your family and a perfect way to start the new year. I am looking forward to read the updates on the lovely girl, wish you all the best!

  12. Nancy Tucker says:

    What great news! I actually went (gasp) TWO years sans-dog after losing my elderly girlie to cancer, and before finding Woody, a silly GSD mix, at a local shelter. Sierra is gorgeous. Wishing you many years of fun and discovery together!

  13. Lori says:

    Congratulations! Sierra is so GORGEOUS! She is perfect! I’m happy that you decided to adopt another dog because being without one does leave a huge void in our lives. I have known this feeling all to well. I’m sooo happy for the both of you. You are very lucky to have each other. I wish you many, many happy years together. I’m looking forward to the updates on your baby girl, Sierra.

  14. Dear Nicole,

    I am absolutely delighted for you. She looks beautiful. I wish you both so much love and blessings for the New Year ahead.

    Amber x

  15. Cissy Sumner says:

    Congratulations Nicole. Sierra definately has a wolfie look. I’m sure you will be great friends.
    Cissy Sumner

  16. Donna says:

    AWWWW!!!!! Fantastic and good luck!! What a wonderful way to start out the holidays and a new year!

    Donna Savoie

  17. Nicole,
    Very beutifull doggie,welcome back to the family.

    Cypress, Timber
    & Rob, C.

  18. Alyssa says:

    Oh, she’s gorgeous! Congrats on the new addition.

  19. Laura says:

    I remember seeing that dog at the shelter. I thought she was a husky sheltie mix (with a little GSD thrown in…). I thought she was unusually beautiful, and she had a very calm but engaging temperament. You picked a GREAT dog. I’m realy glad to see she got an equally wonderful home!

    • wildewmn says:

      Thanks all for the good wishes. 🙂 And Laura, that’s funny, that’s what I think she is as well. And how funny that you’d seen her there! She’s finally settling in. We’re still working on some issues, but she’s a sweetheart and has definitely found her forever home. 🙂

      Take care,

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