So I know I wrote this post a while back, but on Sunday we welcomed Juno into our lives and I love her already. We’ve been thinking of getting a dog for a while now and have been debating so many things: SPCA or from a breeder, labrador or beagle, boy or girl dog.
We’re pretty sure we’ll be getting a friend for Juno soon, so our next dog will be whatever we find at the SPCA, although we want something smallish to balance out how large Juno’s going to get (she’s a ridgeback).
I have a complicated history with dogs. I got bitten by a corgi when I was two years old. My forehead was ripped open and I needed about seven stitches – the dog was trying to get the bottle of milk I was drinking. Ever since then I’ve been quite skittish around strange dogs, although I’ve always been comfortable around our family’s dogs.
We had sheep dogs and Jack Russells growing up on the farm and they were all pretty well trained. Farm dogs are different though, they are tough and rough and get bitten by snakes and go missing down holes and generally get exposed to a lot more risk I suppose. But I haven’t had to look after a pet since I was a child and for some reason the responsibility was scaring me. This from a person who already has two children.
So I guess we were waiting for fate to bring us the right dog and last week it all kind of fell into place. One of our good friend’s parents in the Eastern Cape has had ridgebacks their whole lives and they found this breeder and really liked him.
They called us up all excited and once we’d asked a few questions and paid a deposit, she was ours. Then we just had to try and get her here, all the way from De Aar. On Sunday Gareth got up at the crack of dawn, packed the car with all the doggy things and strapped Rachel in the back seat.
They drove for three hours each way to some central meeting point and got her home just after lunch. She’s a brave little thing, with a bright inquisitive nature and I think she’s going to fit into our family perfectly.
It’s been amazing watching Rachel take care of her – she is obsessed with her puppy and we’ve really seen a whole new side of her. We’re even taking Juno to school tomorrow so she can show her friends, which I’m sure will give her a lot of street cred.
Ben’s not quite sure yet about the newest addition to our family. When I was holding her on Sunday he looked quite perturbed that something smaller than him now had my full attention, but that’s to be expected I suppose.
What’s amazing about getting a pet is how much like a family it makes us feel. Doesn’t that sound weird? You would think that two kids would have done that, but there’s something about caring for an animal and welcoming them into your lives that really adds another (very special) level.
I’m also loving how you’re suddenly welcomed into the world of dog owners with open arms and there’s a whole lot of new stuff to learn. Things have certainly changed since I last looked after dogs as a teen (puppy training! different food! different disciplining norms!). Just like the wedding industry and the baby industry, the pet industry has exploded and I suppose I’m now part of it too.
We called her Juno because we obviously liked the pretty cool film with Ellen Page. But we wanted something quite regal and in Greek mythology Juno was the Queen of the Gods. And our Juno is obviously going to be Queen of the Dogs (hehe).
Welcome to this family Juno, we’re looking forward to sharing our lives with you.