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I’m super excited about the all new Love Connection. I used to watch that show all the time. Chuck Woolery used to remind viewers that he’d be back from commercial break in two and two. I was never very good a guessing which date each contestant picked. I’m excited that Andy Cohen will be bringing the show back. Why isn’t there a show about making a dog love connection?! That’s a show that I’d watch all day long.

A month ago I asked Carter to stop by Petco. We had already had a busy morning of visiting my mom and taking an impromptu trip to the outlet mall. But I needed to get Caesar some more dog treats.

When we got to Petco I noticed what I thought were vans from a dog rescue. I told Carter to come in with me so we could look at the dogs. I knew there were no dogs I wanted to meet because I had already looked at the rescue’s website. So the thought of the two of us looking at rescues was safe. We weren’t going to be brining a new dog home.

We wandered through the dogs in crates. Some barking to get attention. Others looking super sad.  Carter wanted to look at a Catahoula mix named Bubbles. I didn’t even notice her because we’ve never had a girl dog. I just thought we were a boy dog family. And we’ve always had chocolate labs or chocolate lab mixes. We were going way off script with this dog.

a dog will teach you unconditional love paw print

They let us take her outside to her outside to get her away from all the commotion. Immediately I noticed that we had a connection with her. I finally saw what Carter was referring to with Bonzie and Sherlock. Their attention span was non existent. They couldn’t focus on any one thing for very long. Bubbles, on the other hand, was more intune to us. She was so sweet.

After spending some time alone with her, we brought back inside. We asked the woman from the rescue if we could go get Caesar and have them meet.

Carter and I were pretty sure we weren’t coming home with another dog today. First, Bubbles would have to pass Caesar’s inspection. Second, we’d really have to do some serious thinking about this. In any case, we decided to bring a collar and leash with us, just in case we wanted to adopt her. But we were sure we wouldn’t.

When we got back to Petco, Caesar was a little caught off guard. It was 11 years earlier that he was in the same position as Bubbles. He had to pass the Rebel test. Now Caesar was in the driver’s seat. His blessing would mean that we’d consider taking Bubbles home.

We walked outside and across the parking lot to a grassy area. Caesar and Bubbles got along really well. They were interested in each other, which was a good sign.

After letting them play together for a while, Carter wanted to know what I thought. I of course was on board with another dog. We have a home with a big fenced in yard. We have the love and resources for another dog. We go to the dog park five times a weeks. Taking one extraBut I had a migraine so I didn’t want that to cloud my judgement. I was fine with whatever he decided. If he wanted to wait, that was good with me.

Carter fell for Bubbles hard. She was the opposite of every dog we’ve had and yet he was ready to make her ours. Or have us be hers. He was ready to make her part of the family. I didn’t want him to feel pressured into a second dog before he was ready. But he was ready.

The Adoption Process

The adoption process is lengthier than just buying a dog from a breeder or family, in our experience anyway. It will vary depending on which rescue you’re adopting from. Some require home visits. Ours didn’t. But they did require references.

I haven’t had to think about using references for a while. Who I put down as a job reference will be much different than which references can speak to how well I do with a dog. Know who can vouch for your dog parent skills and have their contact information available. It makes filling out the application a little easier.

They also asked about which vet we use. We’re actually in the process of switching vets. We take Caesar to a vet that’s 45 minutes away. I love the service they provide but I want a closer vet for emergencies. I found Mission Animal Hospital, which is a non-profit vet. They’re also open seven days a week which I love.

I was so nervous going over the application with the lady from the rescue. What if she didn’t like my answers? What if she thought I wasn’t cut out for this dog? And at the same time, I want her to be choosy with the applicants.

With an anxious as I was, I can only imagine how the dogs feel waiting for someone to make a love connection with them. It can’t be easy. For the first year after we adopted Caesar he puked every time we took him for a car ride. They think it was the stress of him going to pet adoptions every week. How sad! But he loves car rides now and hardly ever pukes.

hurricane dixie mafia

Hurricane Dixie Mafia

Things to Consider Before Bringing a Dog Into Your Home  When you decide you want to add a dog to your family there are many things to consider. Here are a few of the things to keep in mind.

  • Does the dog breed fit your lifestyle? You don’t want to get a high energy dog if you like lounging in front of the tv. And if you like to be on the go, you need a dog that can keep up with you.
  • Do you have the time and patience to bring a dog into your family? It’s not a toy. It’s not something you can get rid of when the newness wears off, all though lots of people do. Do you have the patience for a new dog? If it’s a puppy, you’ll have to house train him or her. We were lucky because Rebel was so easy to train. He figured it out in a week. Wrigley took a little longer.
  • If you’re adopting a rescue dog, are you willing to spend the time to get work through issues. Most rescue dogs come with some things that need to be worked through. Unfortunately, you may not know much about what they went through. It’s only after the dog is living with you that you start to notice things. Why is she peeing when she gets excited? Why does he cower when I carry the grill tongs?
  • Is your living situation conducive to a dog? If you own, does insurance have any restriction on dog breeds? If you rent, are you allowed to have pets? Some places won’t let you have any pets. Others will as long as they meet certain breed and/or weight requirements. Know the rules before you bring a dog home. It’s not fair to the dog to thinking they’re getting a forever home only to find out that you didn’t do your homework and your landlord won’t let you keep them.
  • Who will take care of the dog when you’re gone? Will you board her? Will you have him stay with a friend? Will you have someone come into your house to take care of her? This may seem like a non-issue if you don’t travel or go anywhere often. But things happen. It’s nice to have plans in place if you need to go somewhere that your dog isn’t welcome.
  • Are you willing to take the dog to training? Every dog can benefit from socialization and training. Even if you think you know a lot about dog training, it’s always beneficial to take them to a group class.

Bubbles is now Dixie otherwise known as Hurricane Dixie Mafia. We love her so much! She’s quirky and goofy. She loves to run like a crazy dog. She loves to snuggle.

Caesar & Dixie

Caesar & Dixie, aka Big Boy and Lil Girl

Inviting a dog to be part of your family is a huge life decision. Spend some time knowing what you want in a dog and what your lifestyle can accommodate. Make sure everyone is on board with the decision because everyone have a part in raising your new addition.

What’s your experience with adopting a dog or other pet? Let me know in the Comments section.

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