As many people already know, we got a new dog. Well, new to us. We are in the trial phase of adopting a 4 year old German Short Hair Pointer from the same breeder that Sox got Yoshi from.
We went and got her last weekend. All we knew at the time was that she was very timid, eager to please, she was in good health, and her name was Heart. The breeder felt she would do well in a house that could give her more attention. We also saw one picture of her.
Sox and I went up to Squamish last weekend to meet her and make a snap decision about whether we wanted to take her for a trial.
As soon as we got into her house, we could see the timidness. Other dogs were crowding around us to say hi, but she tucked her tail, backed away and peed on the floor. Within a couple minutes though we could see she wanted to come say hi. Any loud noise, or sudden movement would see her jump back and run to hide. Seconds later she would come back.
Sox and I talked briefly about her and decided to go for it. We loaded her in our car and drove her away from the only life she has ever known. She did well in the car and laid down for most of the drive. We took the ferry to Departure Bay, then drove down to Victoria. She was quiet the entire time.
That night we had a bed in our room for her and she curled up for most of the night, though she did whine a little at 2am. By midday Sunday she was way more comfortable with us. Her tail would come untucked a little and she followed us everywhere.
When we brought the kids home (they were at Gramma’s house), she was a little scared, but quickly got over it.
Every day since then we have seen remarkable improvements in her confidence. She doesn’t jump at every noise, she will sometimes wander away to sleep on her own, and she can even stand the kids running around screaming without going into a tizzy (tonight there were four kids in the house running around and she just lay on her bed watching them).
I am a little concerned about separation anxiety though. If Sox and I are home and Sox leaves the room, Heart will start to whine. If Sox leaves the house, there isn’t any whining. Yesterday she spent some alone time in the car and she handled that well. During this upcoming week we will spend some time leaving her alone in the house, slowly building up the duration.
Now, some things I never expected from having Heart. I am thinking about Yoshi a lot more that I expected. Heart looks similar to Yoshi, but is much smaller. Some of Heart’s behaviours, noises, and actions are a lot like Yoshi. Either this means they are pointer traits, or they are ancestral traits (Heart is Yoshi’s grand niece). I really, really missed having a dog around the house. A dog can complicate our life a little, but the companionship is amazing. The energy they give off fills a room, even when they are sleeping.
We have three more weeks to decide if we are going to keep her. We will have some work to do with her if we do keep her to build her confidence, but so far things are going really well. I can already feel myself falling for her. She is a sweet and gentle dog.
One thing Sox and I talked about before we got Heart is that we are afraid we will forget about Yoshi. After having Heart a short while and learning she is so similar to Yoshi, that fear is still there. Like I mentioned though, I am thinking about Yoshi a lot more. Maybe having Heart will help us remember Yoshi more than we would have without her? After losing Yoshi, a good friend said we had a Yoshi sized hole in our lives. Maybe Heart can partially fill that hole for us. We aren’t trying to replace Yoshi (nothing ever could), but Heart may be a good stand in.