My Dog, Ivy

1970577_10203593551350291_797580755_nIt wasn’t until I got my dog, Ivy, that I understood how people could be so crazy over their dogs. She converted me from being a bit afraid of dogs to being a dog lover or at least in love with her…and if writing 858 words about her isn’t proof of this, I don’t know what is. What follows, is a little bit about how I ended up with Ivy and an introduction to who she is. She accompanies me everywhere and shows up from time to time in my stories…

It’s uncharacteristic of me to be impulsive, but I’m afraid that’s exactly how I ended up with Ivy.  I honestly can’t say what prompted me to drive to the family dog rescue that day. It was as if I were temporarily possessed by someone else, someone who knew I needed to go there right then to find her.

When I told my sister what I was up to (hey guess where I am?, where?, family dog rescue, What?, yep I’m getting a puppy, a puppy, really?, yep, OMG!!!) she was shocked and worried, rightly so, because if it hadn’t been Ivy I came home with, a puppy really could’ve been the last straw.

Fortunately, as it turns out, Ivy is the text book example of a therapeutic dog. My doctor, whom I later learned loves dogs and has a few, was thrilled with the news of Ivy’s adoption. “She’ll help with all kinds of things like depression and anxiety” she told me reassuringly as she invited Ivy in for a visit. Getting Ivy was the best thing for me and my kids right then and now.  She happily travels with the kids between their two houses. She’s a bit like a living transitional object or therapeutic family glue. That being said, I never recommend a dog to anyone because I’ve seen what a pain in the butt disaster some of them can be.

Anyway, back to my story… So, I told the person who was working there (at the rescue) I had no idea what kind of dog I was looking for except I wanted a medium sized, mixed breed (I had read somewhere mixes have fewer health issues) and one that was all about love. She smiled and led me to three dogs she thought might fit the bill. The three of them were in the medium size group (the dogs were actually organized by size with “small” “medium” and “large”, labeled with handwritten signs outside their pens, which I thought was smart since it turns out people (not just me) choose dogs partly for their size), but I only had eyes for Ivy. She stole my heart instantly.  Sitting in my lap for all of about two minutes, I told the woman “I’ll take her”, not even thinking to clear it with the kids or their dad. The next day, I pretended to have them (my kids and their dad) check her, but truth is, I’d already decided and just needed to sign the papers. Fortunately they were just as taken by Ivy and we left with our new puppy wrapped in a blanket, all of us head over heels, all about love.

From day one, Ivy has been super mellow and well-behaved. I think she peed inside like once. Other than when she feels the need to protect us, like when the front doorbell rings, nothing gets her all that fired up.  She can’t be bothered with fetch and she’s a bit “whatever” about chew toys. Honestly, she spends most of her time asleep. It’s not to say she can’t run fast because she does. On the beach for instance, she runs faster than any other dog out there. It’s just I think if she had a choice she’d go back to sleep rather than run.

She sleeps every morning until everyone else in the family wakes up, which, with teenagers, means she sleeps in pretty late. She doesn’t seem depressed or anything, she just likes to rest. When she does decide it’s time to wake up, she first stretches her legs out while lying on her back. Then she jumps down off the bed onto the floor and does a lazy downward dog.  Then she stretches her hind legs, one at a time and meanders to the back door and starts sniffing. Her sniff gradually gets louder the longer she waits, but that’s all she will ever do, to indicate it’s time to let her out. Then, when she’s done outside, she returns and goes back to sleep, until it’s time for a walk or a snuggle. She does like to snuggle.

I know we probably lucked out with Ivy (she came home with us from the rescue fully trained at 6 months) but I also think a few people were looking out for us that day. Either way, I’m grateful we found her. She doesn’t even mind when my daughter dresses her up for photos and she told me it was totally fine for me to go on and on about her in my blog. I think she might actually enjoy the attention.