08 March 2010

Man's Best Friend

We adopted our beagle Lady in September of 2007. We adopted her from Kay's animal shelter in Arlington Heights. She was very frail and overly submissive, we knew she had been abused but couldn't bare to place her shaking body back into her cage. She was the only dog standing in her cage shaking and trembling. We took Lady home that day with high hopes and pure ignorance about what was in store for us. In the first few days we discovered she had kennel cough and was infested with flees. We also discovered we had absolutely no idea how to train this dog. She was a year and half and had already been through so much that we questioned if the typical training techniques applied to her. In the following 9-10 months we made a ton of mistakes. Without re-writing the book Marley & Me let me just say during that time Lady had endless accidents in the house, we took training classes but they really didn't seem to help much because we weren't consistent, she tore up ironing board cords, books, pillows, bit through the bottom of her crate, would pee and poop in her crate on a daily basis, chewed our wall base board, and overall had major anxiety. She was deathly afraid of Tony and would run into a corner with her head hanging low every time she heard him come home at night.
Here we are two years later and I can finally say she's turned into a great dog. She's not perfect and still has some issues but we're not perfect dog owners either. There are days after picking up throw up and cleaning the endless amount of shedding of hair that I wonder if it's worth all this work. However, we have undoubtedly fallen in love with her and she's become a part of our
family. I always said she was a good luck charm because we got pregnant with Mallory a month after we got Lady. Mallory loves her and it's so fun to see her get excited to pet her "La La". As we prepare to bring home the newest member of our family I'm excited to see them all grow up together. I once heard someone say shelter dogs DO know that you saved them and helped them...somehow they know. In many ways Lady has helped us to make our house more of a home.

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