Friday, February 1, 2013

Twist of Fate

Early this fall, we were talking with a friend who was contemplating a third dog, and she asked if we thought we'd ever get a sixth dog.  Our answer was a simple "no."  It seemed pretty clear.  Sure, there would be the logistics - we'd need to get another crate in the van and the house, need to buy more food, dog supplies, heart worm medications, etc.  But mostly, I told her, we have such a nice balance with our five.  I couldn't imagine finding a sixth dog that could fit in seamlessly with our combination, who were all coexisting well, and who we were able to balance our time with according to all their needs.

Then in early October I got an e-mail.  Due to a variety of unfortunate circumstances, none of which were her fault, Cadence's littermate was needing a new home.  Would we be interested?  As anyone who knows me or reads my blog is well aware, I adore Cadence - am hopelessly smitten over him - and the thought of having his sister was appealing.  Especially when I looked at her photos, with the same bright eyes and happy expression that melt my heart daily - it was tempting, but we responded, thank you, but we just can't right now.

To make a long story short, about a month or so later we were driving to Canada to bring her home.  It is hard to explain what changed, but we came to believe that she was meant to be with us.  We've never gone wrong following our hearts, and we've come to trust the way our pets have all found us, whether we were looking for them at the time or not.  And so we settled on her new name:  Fate.

She settled into our household like she had been there all along.  We have never had such an easy transition introducing a new pet to the family.  Within an hour of arriving home, she was crashed on "her" spot on the couch and everyone was out and relaxed together.

Fate truly loves life, and is the happiest thing we've ever seen.  No matter what we are going to do, it is her favorite thing ever, whether we are going for a run, doing some training, taking a walk, or curling up with a book on the couch.  Her enthusiasm is infectious, if a bit loud at times.  (We were thinking of naming her Aria originally, which also would have been a fitting name given her impressive "singing" ability.)

Having two littermates now, it is fun to see their similarities and differences.  Both are incredible cuddlers, and are on either side of your lap as soon as you sit down, each nudging an arm for some petting.  Both have a lot of drive, but are sensitive at the same time.  Both love snow and make synchronized "snow angel dogs" in the yard after every snowfall.  And, if her one splash in the pond during a November run is any indication, both will be obsessed water dogs.

They also complement each other nicely in training.  Cadence is like the "head" of the two - he is smart, thoughtful, and a problem solver.  He picks things up quickly, thinks things through, and is a blast to clicker-train as he is so operant and clever and offers behaviors readily.  Fate, on the other hand, is all "heart."  She is full of joy and never gives up and would work and work and work all day doing anything you asked of her.  They are very fun, and I am loving the different things they teach me about training every day.

So, we are looking forward to many adventures ahead with our newest addition.  Funny how the right thing finds you when you didn't even know you were looking for it.  Welcome home, Fate.

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