I have worked in the pet/dog business for quite a few years now. I have seen all sorts of dogs in all sorts of situations that I truly thought I knew EXACTLY what I was getting into. Boy. Was. I. Wrong.
Let us reel back into my expectations of adopting dear Lumos (formerly Mohee).
It was always my dream to have as many dogs as I can around me and I finally felt that it was the right time for my first dog to finally have a new sibling. It has been a year since he moved into our new home-he settled into a new routine, was still young enough to want to become friends and old enough where he would be able to read cues and lead the way. So I started my search. Applied to many different rescues till I finally got word back from my first choice! The excitement built. The process was swift and thorough. I got accepted! The countdown was on!
Now don’t get me wrong. I was well aware of all the adversities I was about to face. FKD equipped me well and I did a lot of supplementary research as well. I read up on how to transition your rescue into your home, introducing your previous pet to your new rescue, building a routine, increasing their confidence and all that jazz. I did so much research I honestly felt I was so prepared to the point where I knew I got this. Boy. Was. I. Wrong.
Nothing could have prepared me for the journey I was about to take for when we picked up Lumos at the airport that day. It went so smoothly at first. I took a couple days off work to get her acclimated and took it nice and slow. We left Buster at my parent’s house as to not rush her with so many sudden changes. It went great. She came out of her carrier on day two, peed overnight, ate food and by the end of day two, was already sleeping next to me and following me around. I thought everything was going great. We felt at this time she was ready to meet Buster. We each had one dog, met outside and kept them both calm and controlled. The meeting was fine; they both smelled each other and went upstairs. We took it slow. Day by day. Boundary by boundary. It was fine. But with every day she wasn’t making huge bounds, my heart sank. I expected much more progress with fewer setbacks.
The days where she still wasn’t accepting my partner.
The days where she over corrected Buster.
The days where she refused to walk.
The days where she would urinate herself in the elevator and lobby due to fear.
The days where sometimes I thought to myself, “Is this the end of progress?”
I could feel myself getting frustrated with not being prepared for my life to have changed to this level of stress. And then it hit me. I had to adjust my expectations. I had to become her advocate and parent. I had step up.
I was setting myself and her for failure. It was then and there I decided to be better. I decided that as long as she is trying for me, I will try for her. I needed to stop being a baby and realize how much Lumos was trying for our family. I owed her the best life I could give. The day I decided to drop the pretence, is the day we really started to work together into making a family. With every obstacle we just readjusted the plan. We got her a sign on her leash to let people know she needed space. We told everyone exactly how to approach her and be around her. We had clear routines and boundaries. We had a diaper for her in the elevator and lobby. She was right there with us through all of this. She fell in love with us. We fell in love with her.
It has been a couple months now and I honestly catch myself staring at her these days with my heart beaming. Being at this point now, made me realize how much I needed to hit that bottom first. I needed to truly understand however hard it was/is for me, it was/is 100 times harder for her. I needed to put on my big girl pants and learn how to roll with the punches. I needed to learn that life is all about adaptation and being there for the people (dogs included) that are giving you everything they have.
I could tell you how she loves to hike, loves my family, loves to eat anything and everything, loves to please, loves to have secret play with her brother, loves to crash into me with her torpedo tail going and basically how everything is pitch perfect. But of course it isn’t. Of course we are still dealing with fear peeing and fear of strangers. But the point isn’t the good days vs. the bad days. The point is that we have a dog that loves us. That is trying for us every day. That is our family.
Rescuing isn’t perfect. But life isn’t perfect. And just like life, it is a continual journey. And we can’t wait to go through the rest of life with Lumos.
Written by Ashley Yang