I do believe that I have never received so many comments on one blog post as I did on my October 2, 2009 post titled, "Spencer." This was my tribute to our chocolate Lab who had passed away the day before. There's something about a beloved dog that almost everyone relates with.
I wasn't prepared for the blue funk that I sunk into after Spencer's passing. And I realized that it had been more than 20 years since I'd been dogless. It wasn't natural. So after two months had gone by my husband and I started to explore the nearby animal shelters in hope of finding the perfect pet. On December 15th we struck gold when we visited the Humane Society of Wicomico County located in Salisbury, Maryland; which is about a one-hour drive from our home.
We were immediately impressed with the shelter and how well run it was. We were also imipressed with the staff's knowledge of each animal and their interaction with them.
We had looked at a couple of different dogs and were not sure about them. One of the staff caught onto the fact that we were particularly interested in Labrador Retrievers and she said that there was one there that we hadn't seen yet and it was a particular favorite of hers. She described him as being calm and rather laid back. So we took a look at "Russell" who was approximately 17 months old. He was a pure-bred black Lab and seemed much calmer than the other dogs we'd seen. This surprised us when we learned that he'd had two previous owners. Supposedly the only reason he'd been given up was because they simply didn't have the time for him.
My husband just loved this dog, but I had some reservations because Russell just wouldn't look us in the eye or acknowledge us in anyway. A staffer assured us that this happened a lot with "pound puppies" and that their personalities changed once they got into a new home.
So I agreed to giving him a try as long as we could call him Emmett. I have always wanted to name a dog Emmett, after my grandfather, and this was the first real opportunity. While we went through all the paperwork, Emmett laid at our feet in the lobby waiting for us to be finished. He watched everything going on in the lobby with great interest. There were people and dogs in and out as well as a couple of cats roaming free. He reacted very casually to all the activity and I was impressed with his composure.
We walked him to our car and he leaped in with great enthusiasm and calmly made the one-hour trip back home with us. When we arrived home, my husband walked him around the yard and then brought him into the house. The minute Emmett stepped into the house it was as if a light went on. Suddenly there was the most alive expression in his eyes and he gleefully ran to each one of us in turn as if thanking us before exploring his new home. At that moment I knew we'd made the right choice.
12 days later it seems as though he's always been a part of the family. Our boys came home for Christmas and immediately liked Emmett and vice versa. I'm happy to report that Emmett is extremely well behaved. He hasn't made the first "mistake" in our home and is very laid-back while inside but full of energy when he's running free in our fenced yard. And he loves long walks, too.
This is Emmett at the Wash-N-Wag, which is a nearby self-wash dog wash. We hadn't even had him 24 hours when I took him there (he smelled from the shelter) and he was terrified, but it turned into a great bonding experience.
Here he is back at home with his complimentary Christmas bandana from the Wash-N-Wag.
And here he is with his "daddy" holding him so you can see his pretty brown eyes.
It was a very Merry Christmas for us!