It’s A Ruff Life

Well the Wisler family is officially a family of 6: Taylor, me, our two cats, our son, and now our newly adopted dog, Scout! Scout is a one-year-old border collie with lots of love to give. We adopted him on Saturday so it’s already been a few days of adjusting him into our home so I’d like to fill you in on how it’s going so far and how we got to this point. 

We’ve wanted a dog for a long time, but the timing has never felt right. We were previously living in two small apartments that didn’t have the proper space for a dog to run around and truly be happy. Even though we wanted a dog really badly, we wanted the dog to be happy and healthy first and foremost, so we held off. When we purchased our house earlier this year, we fell in love with the amount of space in the backyard.

Our son loooooves dogs, I mean, have you met him? “Oof, oof!” as he points ferociously at dogs at the park, on neighborhood walks, at friend’s houses… literally everywhere. That kid LOVES dogs!!

With the knowledge that our son loves dogs and interacts well with them, combined with enough space now that we have a house with a generous backyard, we decided to start looking. I mean, Taylor started to look for dogs. He made up his mind fairly quickly about what dog he wanted, but it took me some time to warm up to the idea initially. 

Scout was located in Ontario, OR, which is about an hour away from Boise, so we drove out there one Saturday morning to spend some time with him and to see if he would be a good fit for the family. He was really excited to see new faces, he was gentle with our son, and he was good on a leash. Even after we visited him, I still felt hesitant.

During a conversation with a friend about this, she brought up the idea of us watching her dog while her family is on vacation for a week. I thought that was a great idea! We get to help a friend, but also see what it would be like in the day-to-day of having a dog around the house. How can I handle the extra responsibility? I’d say by day two of dog sitting for our friend, I was sold. Having a dog in our house was just the extra push I needed to get off my butt and get out of the house every day. After the week of dog sitting was over, we drove back to Ontario to adopt our new family member!

To say that Taylor was excited to adopt a dog would be a huge understatement. That was all he would talk about! I was really excited too, although I tried not to show it as much; there needed to be a balance between excitement and realism… Taylor was overflowing with excitement so I needed to be the realist in this situation. I was thinking about all of the possible scenarios and making sure we hit all of our bases before the dog got here. Where would he sleep? What about the cats? How do we introduce them? You can never be too careful.

The first day of having Scout at home with us was good! He seemed curious, excited, but timid and cautious. We let him play in the backyard first, then we moved him to the living room where his crate is. We decided to give him a bath, and after he dried off, he became a totally new dog. He was bounding around the backyard in sheer excitement. I bet he felt so fresh! He loved all the TLC I was giving him, and of course our son was really excited too. He settled in to his new home just fine.  

Introducing our cats to Scout is a process. Reese and Cocoa already have this home established as their own territory and they’re fairly confident in themselves here at home. Scout is a foreigner to them, an invader of their home territory. We needed to communicate to our cats that this is now Scout’s home too and they need to allow him to be here. Scout was curious to meet the cats, but we made sure they met in a controlled environment. We put Scout in his crate and let the cats approach him on their terms. Cocoa came up to Scout first, very cautiously. She was on the defensive, but didn’t lash out and attack Scout. Reese is our timid cat, so he took some time to come out and introduce himself. Overall, the animal introduction went as good as I could’ve hoped for! It’s still a work in progress with getting them to be friendly to each other, but I’m not pushing it. They’ll get comfortable with each other in their own time, I can only try my best to control the environment such that it makes for a smooth introduction. 

As I’m sitting on the couch finishing my post today, Scout is curled up at my feet… so content. He has taken to his new home extremely well. He has fully embraced the house dog life. I can’t tell who he’s assigned as Alpha dog of the Wisler pack, he follows me around everywhere I go but when Taylor comes home from work that takes Scout’s excitement to a whole new level. Later today we are going on a walk around the block and then tomorrow we’re walking along the greenbelt with a friend. This weekend we might even have a doggie friend over for a doggie play date! We are very happy that we adopted Scout into our family. I hope you get to meet him someday. But if not, here are a few pictures I have taken. Taylor will undoubtedly shake his head at me and roll his eyes, but I also created an instagram page for Scout for those of you who won’t get to meet him in person. The journey to getting to where we are now has been a long one, and I was hesitant and unsure along the way, but now that we’re here, I’m realizing that this is what I’ve been wanting all along.

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