Tuesday, August 3, 2021

One More Sleep

 A little less than eight months ago, following a series of happy coincidences and the support of a large network of friends and strangers, we learned we would be getting a service dog. Never in a million years did I think it would work out for Stow to get a service animal. And it seemed even MORE unlikely that I would want to live with a dog! Still, here we are, one sleep away from Shiro's arrival, and we are a combination of excited and nervous. 

Shiro countdown clock.

The past few months have been up and down. Right before his tenth birthday, Stow was bitten on the face by one of the neighbor dogs just as the bus arrived to take him to school. Fortunately, he only needed a few stitches, and the scar is barely noticeable, but the experience made him fear dogs in a way he didn't before. (It also totally traumatized me since I was the one who encouraged him to go say "hi" to the dog we knew, unaware that the other dog being walked by our neighbor would get jealous and fight for Stow's attention. Ugh--what a stupid parent move on my part!). Anyway, it took a couple of months to help Stow through his new fear of dogs and to convince him that Shiro would never behave like the neighbor dog had.

Smiley Shiro pictures helped, though!

More recently, we have been rearranging rooms to find the right space for Shiro's crate and her doggie bed, and we've been making last-minute trips to the store to make sure we have the food and other things she needs. 

Ren and I got ourselves a dog bath for our birthdays.

It turns out I know almost nothing about caring for a dog. I've been texting the trainer, and I've been texting our neighbor (Winnie's mom), and none of my questions are intelligent ones. What's the difference between a training treat and a chew? What kind of shampoo does a dog use? How often does she need to go out? Will she get along with the cats? Then there were the questions I didn't even know to ask. Did you know that dogs like to eat cat litter? Glad I got the head's up on that one because I am pretty sure I don't want any puppy kisses after Shiro has snacked on "kitty crunchies!"

Shiro left on her journey to our house yesterday. We weren't sure they would be able to make it through the Canada/US border due to COVID restrictions, so all of us were thrilled when the trainer sent a picture of Shiro's first moments in the US. Updates from the trainer have made it easier for the kids to make it through the past couple of days. 

Shiro looks completely thrilled to be in the US!

One last stop at the vet before she comes our way

It's hard to imagine how our lives will change once Shiro comes to live with us. What I do know, though, is that this is our last night of not being a dog family and our last night of wondering whether or not she will love us as much as we already love her.

Thanks again to all of you who helped make this happen! We look forward to sharing Shiro and Stow's story with you!

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