Thursday, February 23, 2012


Rob and I have been fighting the "Let's Adopt a Dog" itch for a couple of years but always decided against it because of the Cat From Hell (aka. Casey).  Casey will be 14 in May and only likes me.  That's not an exaggeration:  HE HATES EVERYBODY BUT ME.  In the picture below, he's hiding under the sofa which is where he spends 90% of his day.  
Casey the Devil Cat
In mid-2011, we decided to throw caution to the wind and go ahead and try to adopt a dog.  We spent several months searching the internet, rescues, and shelters for collie, sheltie, or shepherd puppies.  While we were open to adopting a young dog (age 1-2 years), we were very much hoping to adopt a puppy because we wanted the dog to be raised with our children so that the dog could more easily tolerate them.

In December 2011 we found an adorable sheltie at one of local sheltie rescues and we began the lengthy adoption process (snarky sidenote: I think it's easier to adopt a child in this country than rescue a dog).  After not hearing anything from the rescue for about two weeks, we continued the search elsewhere. 

On Thursday, 29 December 2011, Rob called me at work to tell me about an ad appearing in that day's Frederick News Post.  The ad was for five female collie puppies and one male.  I called the number on the ad immediately and inquired as to the availability of the female puppies.  Grace told me that the male puppy was already spoken for but that the five females were still available.  We made plans to take the kids to her farm in Smithsburg, MD the very next morning to meet the female puppies.

When we got to the farm, the puppies' parents were running around outside. They were the most beautiful collies (imagine the likes of Lassie) and it gave us a great idea of what the puppies would look like when fully grown.  Grace met us outside and escorted us into her living room where we encountered the sheer craziness of five excited puppies.  All of the puppies were jumping on us and both my face and Alaina's got scratched up pretty significantly.  When Grace yelled at the puppies to sit, only one obeyed her command.  The other four continued jumping and scratching at us. 

My attention quickly turned to the puppy who obeyed the breeder's commands.  Imagine my surprise when Grace told us that the puppy who was the best behaved was also the runt of the litter.  Win Win!  A pure bred female collie can grow to be about 60 lbs.  The runt of the litter might be more like 50-55 lbs.  Still big but better than 60 lbs. 

We chose to adopt the runt of the litter.  A 4-month-old female rough collie who weighed 22 lbs.  We gave Alaina the choice of two names: Claire or Zoey.  She chose Claire. Here are two pictures of Alaina and the puppy the day we picked her out:

Alaina & Zoey (12/30/11)

Zoey (12/30/11)
We weren't able to bring the puppy home with us that day because we had already made plans to go out of town the following day for New Year's Eve.  Grace kept the puppy for us and we picked her up on New Year's Day.

The day we picked out the puppy (December 30th), Alaina must've changed the puppy's name a dozen times.  First Claire, then Zoey. Claire. Zoey. Zoey Claire. She finally decided on Zoey so that is the name we went with. 

So here it is 22 February 2012 and our little 22 lb. puppy turned 6 months old today is now a whoping 30 lbs!  Hard to believe she's gained 8 lbs since joining our family two months ago.