Monday, November 27, 2017

Welcome Home Gus

Our hearts were hurting. There was no way around it. The house just seemed so empty without our Gold Dog Brodi around. The boys were sad. Justin and I were sad. Stoli was beyond sad and honestly, lost. We knew we were a two dog family, we just didn't know how much time was the right amount of time before thinking about getting another dog. We knew we would NEVER replace Brodi, it just wouldn't happen, he was to good of a dog but our hearts had this emptiness that was just looking to be filled. Justin and I started watching rescue sites---MO Pitbull Rescue, Great Plains SPCA, KC Pet Project, Pawsitive Tails---for a little pup that stole our heart. We weren't sure how long it would take, we just knew that we wanted to give a little pup a FURever home instead of working with a breeder. We also were hoping to find one with a little pitbull mixed in as we have a soft spot for their breed---after all, Stoli is pure American Staffordshire Terrier & we got her as a pup and she just turned 13 last month. Periodically Justin would send me a link to a new pup or I would show him a new pup but nothing was really jumping out at us, we didn't want to force it so we kept looking. Thinking maybe we would wait until spring & almost as soon as I said that, he sent me a link...

His name - Wrinkles.

Justin has always talked about getting a blue pitbull puppy when the timing was right--I mean, like ever since we got Stoli over 13 years ago. It should have come as no surprise that when I clicked on the link I would see a blue pitty and it really didn't, me falling head over heals in love with him---that was the real kicker. We talked about what it might look like to bring him into our home but for weeks it really was just that, talks and hypotheticals, nothing more. We had family coming into town & he'd probably be adopted before we could even get a chance to put an application in for him. Justin checked on whether or not his was still available daily. I won't lie, I kind of did too. & the excitement of a new puppy was building but just didn't want to get my hopes up, although hard not to.

We went home to my mom and dad's for a quick Thanksgiving visit & talked about getting another dog with them. Both of us pretty certain that we would wait & as we drove home I decided to take just one more peek at his cute, wrinkly face. This is where everything changed--his foster mom had just posted new pictures of him and his eyes were just asking for a chance. A chance to be part of someone's family. A chance to be loved.

And that is what we did. We gave him a chance by filling out the application. We didn't know if our application would be accepted. We didn't know if he was still available, after all it was Sunday afternoon and maybe their site wasn't updated just yet. There were a lot of unknowns but we wouldn't know without trying, so we tried. 

A few hours later we both received a text from his foster mom asking if we had time for a quick chat either later that evening or Monday evening. And if you ask me, we were shoe-ins, the application was MADE for us. I mean, we do have 13 years with this breed & she wasn't our only doggy. Plus, we raised her alongside our kiddos. We have a large backyard, live in a city with no BSL. On paper we hit all the boxes but our wildcard, our 13 year old Stoli. She's kind of set in her ways and honestly, we weren't sure how she would do. Then again, we wouldn't know without trying.

After a brief chat with his foster mom we decided to meet up with her and Wrinkles, who she had renamed Ford, on Monday for a little meet and greet. If that went well then we would do a home visit to introduce him and Stoli. Justin and I both had butterflies. We explained the process to the kids & how even if we loved him, it had to be a good fit for him too. By Monday afternoon our plans changed, his foster mom suggested a combo meeting. She would come to us, we could meet Ford & if all went well then we would introduce him and Stoli right then and there. 

We all fell instantly in love with him. I had two little boys who were desperate for a new puppy & a husband who wanted it even more. Our hopes were at an all time high. We all were praying that Stoli would welcome him into our home too & it was now or never. She sat by the backdoor pretty relaxed, she saw what was going on but never did she once bark or stand to show dominance. We put Ford in Justin's arm and we let Stoli in the house. She sniffed a little and then walked away. This was exactly what we were hoping for--she didn't seem to threatened. And not once did her tail or hair stand up. Once we all felt comfortable we placed them both on leashes and they sniffed again and then broke apart. Stoli eventually lost interest in him and made her way to her usual spot on the couch where she pretty much stayed the rest of the evening observing what was going on.

My watch vibrated. It was a text. From Justin. 

Can he stay?

So I just went for it and asked what our next steps were. His foster mom said it was up to us, if we wanted to think about it for a few days we could or he could be ours right then and there. She not only had the adoption paperwork and his food but also the medication he was on in her car. She had done her due diligence on us--checked out our social media accounts and called our vet. We didn't need time to think about anything, he was ours. FURever. 

Since we didn't anticipate it moving so quickly we literally had nothing. No kennel. No puppy toys. No collar. So I did want any new dog mom would do, I hightailed it over to PetsMart and loaded up on all things puppy. My timing couldn't have been better because they were having a massive online sale (CyberMonday) on kennels & they said that they would price match anything online. I mentioned we had just adopted a puppy and they gave me a free bag of food and a booklet of coupons. I also managed to snag a little bow-tie for him--after all, he's a pretty dapper dude. 

& by the end of the evening he had found his spot. Right on top of Stoli---his foster mom mentioned that he liked to sit on top of her other two dogs & she wouldn't be surprised if he weaseled his way onto her too. Never in a million years did I think Stoli would be this open to a new puppy in our home. She was everything that evening, it's like she knew what this meant to us, to Ford and really to her too.

Now that he was ours, we still had one thing to figure out--what do we call him? I liked Ford, his foster mom gave it to him, it seemed to fit his personality but the boys weren't sold. Hearing Logan say Ford was probably one of the cutest things I've ever heard but they had a few other suggestions. Our top choices ended up being:


So we turned it over to our family and friends to weigh in. Which really only complicated things more because there was really no one true winner. In the end, I was outvoted. The men in the house wanted Gus and although it may not have been my top choice (I liked Mobi to rhyme with Stoli and Brodi), Gus was a good fit. Plus, Justin and I met at Pitt State and he's a "pit"bull. Gus is PittStates mascot there and a gorilla with a wrinkly face--and just the other day I was following a car with the license plate that read GUS. It probably fits his personality a little more than Mobi would have...

I didn't realize just how sad our family had been since the passing of Brodi until Gus came into our lives that evening. The past few weeks we had loved on Stoli more than she probably liked but something was still missing. Brodi had this unique ability to just make everything seem okay. He knew exactly when you needed a little extra lovin and was right there to provide it. He would do silly things, even in his old age, that would just make you laugh. And although Brodi will always have a special place in our hearts, a place that no one dog will ever be able to fill, Gus has helped the healing begin. He's brought a much needed joy into our home. He's brought more love too.

He loves his gator--he doesn't want to go anywhere without it. He loves the boys and follows them most everywhere. He loves to cuddle--which is a plus for me. He loves to play fetch and has this adorable leap that he does too. He loves to pick things up with his mouth---I mean, he's still a pup so we lots to work on and we will get there.

His first few months of this life may not have been the best but thanks to the Missouri Pitbull Rescue and his foster mommy, his life from here on out will be filled with nothing but love. And gators. Because in the end, Gus just needed a family to take a chance on him and to love him. We just happened to be a family that had lots of extra love to give and was ready to take a chance.

Adopt. Don't Shop. 

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