how we ended up with a dog

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And, just like that, we have a dog. An awesome dog.

Dan and I are fully aware of our different decision-making habits. I get really, really excited and idealistic about the possibilities. Dan thinks of all the downsides. And, then, over time, we meet in the middle. Dan’s a little more excited, and I’m a little more realistic. It works well if we don’t get irritated by the other’s habits along the way. This decision-making system happened this time, as usual.

When it become apparent the boys were (again) not going to be home when we expected, I joked about how these adoption delays were going to drive me to get a dog. Though initially a joke, we talked about it for a few weeks, and I started perusing the cuties on Petfinder. We started out looking for a dachshund, but the slightly bigger guys kept catching my eye. We were on-again-off-again pursuing it and emailing different rescues for a while.

Once Dan seemed a little more on board, I got a response back from a rescue organization, and I loved how kind and thorough they were in answering my (many) questions. We emailed originally about a really cute white dog, but they were honest that he barks when left home, which wouldn’t be good for us in a duplex. I asked about a few more, including a really homely looking guy, Lambo.

Lambo had been at the shelter much longer than most dogs, so they had uploaded a video of him to his profile in an attempt to get someone interested in him. I watched his little video over and over again with Dan laughing at me from across the room. The rescue organization said Lambo was the most laid back of all the dogs we were interested in, and he would be great with little kids.

We decided to apply to adopt him. They accepted our application, and asked when we wanted to pick him up. I requested Monday, since we were traveling to Iowa this past weekend. The rescue apologized, but they could not hold him for us over the weekend, as it was National Pet Adoption Weekend, and they were bringing all the dogs to Petsmart. They didn’t want him to miss out on being adopted, if we happened to change our minds. (Understandable.) I burst into tears at the thought of “losing him.” (This adoption delay sadness creeps in at weird times. Just being honest.)

We decided to drive over the meet him the next day. Nearly the whole way there we were questioning whether or not it was the right choice to get a dog and what warning signs (if any) we would be able to pick up on right away.

We met him, took him for a walk, and watched him pee on every single thing he could find. I gave his tail a yank to see how he’d react to grabby toddlers, and he didn’t even acknowledge it. He looked healthy, and he was just as friendly as they said, so we signed the contract and named him Oscar Lando! The volunteer took our photo with him, and he wouldn’t stop licking Dan’s face. 

This weekend was to be the true test for him with a 5-hour drive, my parents’ three dogs, a hotel stay, and a visit to a friend’s apartment. Oscar did awesome! I think we hit the adopted-shelter-dog jackpot.

Yes, this dog is a result of a lengthy adoption process. But I’ve been welcoming any reasonable distractions as we wait for movement. Though this distraction is a lot of work and a pretty big commitment, the payoff has been great so far. I’m not above admitting a dog is a pretty nice companion when your husband is a resident and your babies are in Africa.




  • HE IS SOOO CUTE!! Scruffy dogs are my favorite. Good pick <3

  • Molly

    You guys are hilarious. Oscar Lando, you have won my heart. <3