[Warning: There’s an animated gif at the end of this post!]
They say the internet is for cat lovers, but I have always been a dog lover. My family have always had dogs (and birds!) including Sasha the doberman, Phoebe the poodle, and Molly the poodle and King Charles cavalier cross. When Nick and I moved in together I really missed having dogs around but we could never have a pet because our landlord forbid it. (Willis the rat was indeed a sneaky adopted pet, shh!) For the past four years I’ve had a puppy cluckiness that has gotten stronger and stronger but I’ve had to make do with lots of pats and puppy love at Mum’s place and photos of cute dogs on the internet!
I truly believe that animals can be wonderful supports for people with mental illness, and in my experience Mum’s dogs Phoebe and Molly have given me great comfort. Moving down the coast was important for Nick and I on a few levels but one big priority was to look after ourselves and create a caring, nurturing household with his super awesome Mum. Moving also meant we could adopt a dog, and we did a lot of research into hypo alert dogs that can detect when my blood sugar drops and warn me. Unfortunately hypo alert training is in its infancy and completely dependent on the individual dog, and may have meant we’d have to foster or adopt any number of dogs before finding one that could pick up on my hypos.
Fortunately I still have a good sensitivity to my hypo warning signs (I usually get tingling mouth, slurred speech, lack of concentration or super emotional and teary) so the hypo alert dog isn’t a huge priority right now. There’s a lot of expense involved, and the gamble of bonding with a whole bunch of dogs who might not even be able to help me detect hypos. With that criteria struck out for the moment Nick and I focused on another priority: to choose a dog ethically and not from a pet shop, so we started scouring pet rescue websites.
On Monday morning I was browsing through petrescue.com.au cooing and tearing up as per usual, but I came across one particular dog who struck me with her gorgeousness. I urged Nick to call up her foster Mum out near Toowoomba and we made a time to go out and visit Tuesday morning. On the drive out it was absolutely pouring with rain and we had a bit of a prang on the freeway. After checking the car was ok (we were fine, just a little shaken) we kept going on our puppy mission!
At the foster Mum’s place we found a little sweet-natured 2-3 year old dog who loved toys and got on really well with her other foster brothers and sisters. She was so lovely, I couldn’t believe that her original owners PLUS the RSPCA didn’t want her! The foster Mum explained that this gorgeous shih tzu and bichon frise cross was afraid of storms and on one occasion had bolted from her previous owner’s yard, so we would have to give her lots of hugs and reassurance if she was ever scared of thunder or loud noises. We got the phone number for the RSPCA’s behaviour therapist if we needed help too. After more chats, puppy hugs and playing we decided that we would LOVE to adopt this dog and that we would call her Miffy!
After a few days here with us Miffy is settling in so well. She is a beautiful dog and I’m completely smitten with her, I think all of us are! Miffy enjoys pats and scratches, going on early morning walks, sitting on the balcony watching the comings and goings of the street below, and playing with her toys. It’s going to be wonderful to get to know her more!