One of the benefits to buying our own house is the ability to make our own decisions about pets (we only got Jemima because a cat was all our landlord at the time would permit, though in retrospect she’s amazing). Immediately after moving we started thinking about a dog, but ended up having second thoughts for a few weeks, until Sabriena saw a notice from one of the local rescue mobs about a Malamute mix puppy - we have some experience with Malamutes as that’s what Ruby was - and decided to write an email to register our interest.
After speaking to the lady at the rescue a few times, she brought the pup over for a visit to see if we clicked. Due to the pandemic restrictions in place at the moment, we had to meet in the backyard, and as soon as she brought the dog through the garage her tail was wagging before she was even put down.
The meeting went well, Duncan managed to cope with her trying to chew on everything, honestly a bit better than we expected him to - puppies are a lot! We spoke a bit more while they played and she explored the backyard, and then agreed that we’d pick her up from the vet after her next batch of shots on Monday. So we did that, and the car ride home was uneventful.
But the first night, oh, what a terror! Sabriena and Duncan both came down with a severe case of the puppy blues, it was an absolute full-time job trying to keep her chewing on the toys she should be, and not chewing on everything else! I ended up taking her out potty and putting her in her crate for bed, and she immediately crashed out.
Over the next few days that we learned this is part of her process… she wakes up, take her out potty, she plays for a bit, playfully friendly. Then she starts slowing down, then she gets a serious case of the zoomies, and then her front end turns into an out-of-control chainsaw. The trick is convincing her into her crate for a nap before getting to the very last step… if you can manage this she’s an incredibly well-behaved dog. There’s definitely some adjustment required on our part, because it’s been some years since we had a dog, and many years since we had a puppy.
She had another name, one that’s already used in our family, so we’ve taken to calling her “Beanie” instead. She had an almost non-existent recall with the old name anyway, so it didn’t set her back at all.
We can’t legally adopt her yet - the rescue’s contract with the city won’t allow them to transfer an in-tact dog, and the vet doesn’t want to spay her just yet. So we’re doing a “foster to adopt” arrangement until the spaying, at which point we’ll finalize the adoption.
Both the vet and the lady from the rescue told us she’s very food-motivated, and very smart… and they were not wrong. She’s picking up everything super-quick. They did also tell us she doesn’t bark much, that appears to have been incorrect… she barks in frustration a lot, the main source being when she wants to say hi to Jemima, who is just not having it.
Potty training’s been going well, though I think the foster folks beforehand were doing a lot with that, and it didn’t hurt at all that she was crate trained already so we didn’t have to put up with that on top of everything. That does bring up one minor annoyance though - as she’ll be on the larger side of a medium dog, we bought a fairly large crate to not have to upgrade it later… neglecting to check if the crate fits through the doors! Since we want her to sleep in our room at night so we can hear if she needs taking out (and plus so she’s not lonely), but during the day no one’s in there so we don’t want her in there for day-naps, this means we must break the crate down twice a day to shift it. It’s the sort of thing you could do by yourself, but it’s definitely easier with two people.
So what of the breed mix? She’s definitely mouthy, true to Malamutes, and quite stubborn. She’s also got some Smithfield in her, which I think is apparent in her coat and probably her tail (very long and skinny). The other breed in the mix that we’re aware of is Boxer, but I’m honestly not sure how much of it came through… I’m hardly an expert on the breed but she doesn’t resemble a Boxer at all to me.