A little break from makeup talk. Today is our baby dog’s 2nd birthday, or what we believe to be her birthday. We really don’t know for sure.
Becca came into our lives in late September 2017. We had just lost our beloved 13.5 year old Labradoodle, Frida, a few weeks before. As when any of our previous dogs had passed away, we were totally heartbroken by the loss. And so was Ava, our now 9-year-old Yellow Lab. Frida and Ava had been best buds for many years, so we wanted to get a new companion for us all. Most of our previous pooches were from breeders except one that we adopted via our vet years ago. But we had always wanted to rescue a dog so that’s what we set out to do last September.
My mom filled out an application for a pet rescue organization, which was promptly approved as we’re experienced dog owners. So we started looking through all the photos of available dogs on the organization’s site and narrowed in on a girl named Becca and one other whose name escapes me now. Becca looked quite small and skinny in the photo, with rich, black fur. To be honest it wasn’t the most flattering photo of her; she is so much more beautiful in person! The day came for the Puppy Meet-and-Greet as it was called, so I went with my parents (and Ava came along too!) to meet Becca to see if she would be a good fit for our family.
It was a raucous scene. There were so many dogs and people at this Meet-and-Greet. Cars kept pulling up bringing more people to the area, the dogs were all barking and trying to play with each other. It also was very windy that day, so it was definitely an overwhelming experience. We found Becca and chatted with the people from the rescue organization and the woman who brought her down from the shelter she had been living in. They told us how sweet she was, and how well socialized she was with other dogs. They didn’t know exactly what her breed was but most likely she’s a mix of Labrador Retriever and some kind of hound.
When my mother asked how she was found, we were told she was found wandering the streets in a suburb of Houston, Texas with a rope around her neck. She had perhaps gotten loose from her previous owner’s yard and ran away, or was tied to something and purposefully abandoned. We will never really know the circumstances that put her on the street, as is usually the case with rescues. She was brought to a kill shelter in Conroe, Texas and would have been put down if she had not been sent up north. It was pretty heartbreaking to hear.
As I was holding Becca by the leash that day, she kept leaning into me whenever I crouched down to get closer to her. It was like she immediately wanted physical contact; to make a connection with someone. She was gorgeous but very, very skinny; we could see the outline of her ribs and her chest was concave. (We later found out from a vet visit that she was loaded with parasites.) It was obvious to us that she needed a good home. And just like that, we made the arrangements to bring her home with us and Ava.
She came into our house like a bat outta hell that day. She ran around like a loon for what seemed like an hour before she crashed, and when she did it was across my lap! That was the thing about her, she always wanted to be either sitting right next to you or even better, on you. Every time one of us made eye contact with her or came into the room, her tail would wag furiously. Everything about her demeanor told me she was a sweet girl that had been starved for attention and love. She seemed to trust us from the very beginning.
The first few weeks were an adjustment both for us and for Becca as we got to know her better. The most interesting relationship we watched unfold though was that between her and Ava. Since Becca was used to playing with the other shelter dogs, she initiated play with Ava frequently on a daily basis. Often in the beginning she would rough-house a lot with Ava, which would get me upset at times. She’d go a little too hard for my liking and Ava would whimper. She was that younger sister that pulled your hair or your ear for a reaction. So like a mother or father would in this scenario, we had to discipline her and after a while she understood. The play still goes on between them but it’s like Becca knows how far to go without going too far, if that makes sense. They became close and loving sisters who now often chew bones together and sit on top of each other on couches and in cars.
She has made tremendous strides since she’s lived with us for the past nine months. For instance, she used to go absolutely nuts when we’d used the vacuum; barking, charging and even nipping at our legs. Now you could vacuum on her head and she wouldn’t bat an eye. Don’t be mistaken though, she’s still a little devil in a lot of ways but in the same way almost every young and energetic dog is. She’s gotten much healthier since she’s been with us and gained a necessary amount of weight to fill her frame out. Actually, she could stand to lose a few pounds now. Whoops.
She’s my beautiful, sweet girl who eats breakfast, lunch and dinner right next to me and who I tuck into her crate almost every night before bed. I fluff up her bedding and hug and kiss her before closing the gate. Some may think that’s incredibly strange but I really don’t care. I don’t have children of my own yet, so until then the dogs are my children and they are looked after as such.
June 28th is Becca’s estimated birthday based on the papers we received from the organization that rescued her. It’s her first one with us. Happy birthday my sweet girl! Here’s to many more together!