So we got a puppy. Exhibit A:
He is unequivocally better than your dog. Also cuter and smarter.
And this means that I don't need to do any crazy alchemical-blood shit as previously mentioned. I'm actually quite relieved. While I was totally willing to hew a beast from unnatural magics for my husband, I had this sneaking suspicion it would've gone Cujo on us after it was out of the adorable puppy phase and started to slake it's unquenchable hell-thirst on the blood of the living. So to recap, yes, non-arcane magical puppy attainment is in the column marked "positive".
He is a sweetheart to say the least. Normally really well behaved until he has to go in his crate, then he throws a fit if he can't see us. Makes sense, as he was utterly surrounded by cats and dogs and other puppies and chickens and horses and a handful of emu in his prior incarnation as rescue hound. I imagine it's probably a welcome quiet, but he's in new surroundings and therefore downright worried about how much companionship he'll actually have. There is, after all, a void that goes along with the sudden quietness of the place.
I would like to take my slice of humble pie now and say that the people at La Mancha Animal Rescue are utterly awesome. You can tell they love the animals, and I feel bad that I was fuming over their abrupt responses to our email inquiries previously. They were abrupt because they were busy. And they were busy because they really care about these animals in their care. They had volunteers coming and going all over the place and there was no end of the work to take care of all of these animals in need of a better life. I sincerely wish I had that kind of energy to dedicate to a cause I truly believed in.
In light of the awesomeness we experienced there and how awesome the puppy turned out to be we've decided to make a yearly donation to these guys to help them continue to do the same for other families and other animals in need.
We took him home, played with him, showed him his crate, and let him rest. an hour later we took him to Petsmart, and he proceeded to make friends with the entire building. This is actually not hyperbole. I tried to walk outside to let him get some time to calm down, but it took me 12 minutes to walk 50 feet because he kept getting stopped by people with dogs, or people asking if they could pet him. He was awesome and didn't jump (part of why parents brought their children over) and only barked once when he was barked at. He's excellently socialized and friendly, and we didn't even have to do anything for him.
His name is Zen, so named because when we were adopting the little guy my spousal unit looked down at him hanging out calmly and said "Wow, he's very laid back, very zen!" It just seemed perfect. He's mostly maintained that calm, expect when faced with a barking dog or something he couldn't identify. Then he either gave as good as he got with the barking or planted himself against my calves in a show of "save me Mommy!"
When we first went to meet the puppies we'd played with a couple before he and his sibling were brought in. So far we'd seen one very cute one and 2 that really didn't want to bother with us. But then the two mystery mutts came in and we played with them for a bit. Bob had thought he might like the white one with tan ears, but upon inspection that one ran around and didn't really care for us too much. The other one, mostly brown with a white stripe up his face and across his shoulders, would walk around, then would come sit on our feet, or lean against our legs. He just looked around and calmly hung out by us while his sibling was in to ~everything~. I looked up at Bob and told him I was pretty sure that one was our dog. He came home with us 25 minutes later, and he continues to do the leg-lean trick!
It's amazing to see a creature that has utter faith that you meant well towards him even if you have just accidentally boot stamped him backing up in your own kitchen. (Not an actual incident but behavioral patterns would bear it out). He makes me want to be a transparent, honest person worthy of someone having faith in. Rolling over so we can scratch his belly also helps his case, too.
He totally falls asleep in my lap when we drive anywhere in the car. He's adorable and always happy to see us. I'm not even happy like that to see BOB all the time. It's a small wonder to behold and I feel I'll probalby be learning a lot from this wee beastie.