Last Tuesday, we brought home a brand-new puppy. Her name is Olive, and she’s a 12-week-old Jackapoo (Jack Rustle Terrier/Mini-poodle mix). Now before you go there, no, the dog is not a Christmas present. We hadn’t planned on adopting a puppy originally, nor did we know this was going to happen even two days before. It was a bit of a whirlwind, so allow me to explain.
The story starts a few months with the unfortunate loss of our dog Chanel. She was 12 years old and adopted as a puppy into the family. Though I would not meet Chanel until about 6 years ago, she became “my” dog, and we were very close. Losing her August was very tough for everyone as she got sick fairly rapidly.
We also had Dee Dee, who we adopted from the local SPCA in January 2020 – just before COVID (which was QUITE an adventure, maybe one day I’ll write it down). As far as we understand, Dee Dee was rescued from the meat trade in China. Though she was a very well-trained dog from the very beginning, being about 4 years old, and never had an accident. Because of this, we also assume that perhaps before the meat trade, she was stolen from a home in China. Regardless of her history, they were good sisters and Dee Dee was clearly upset by Chanel’s loss. So we’ve been on the look out for a new sister for Dee Dee, for a little bit.
On Sunday (12/18), Mary saw two good listings: Another dog rescued from China, a few years old & and a puppy. Both were from rescues in Northern California, which unfortunately meant we didn’t have a lot of hope. When we were looking for an adoption that resulted in Dee Dee, I spent a LOT of time filling out applications. Depending on the rescue and the popularity of the breed, the applications can be quite lengthy. Also they tend to be filled with a lot of depressing questions like “Do you promise to keep the dog as a companion and not as a guard dog?”, or “Do you promise to feed and care for the dog?” and “Do you promise to take the dog to the vet and seek training as needed?” – questions clearly asked because people suck. Anyways, after a lot of applications we had zero adoption success. Most of the rescues were first good application = adoption. Even if you move SUPER fast, you’re rarely first.
Mary and I discussed the possible pets she found and agreed to apply, not having a ton of hope. Both applications were filed by Noon on Monday (12/19). And unlike past attempts, this application was not only successful but extremely fast. At 12:45 pm (less than an hour after the application), someone from the rescue called me and said they’d selected us to adopt Olive. We discussed some details and agreed to pick her up the very next day. It was a 3 hour drive each way to get her, which made for a very long day for everyone involved – especially Dee Dee.
So on Tuesday, 12/20, with less than 24 hours’ warning, we had a puppy. Her litter had been an accident and the owners could keep none of the puppies. As such, they were all sent to the rescue – though little Olive was the last remaining. She was originally the “pick of the litter” but also the most unlucky in adoptions, having been adopted and returned after 2 days (the owners existing 12 year old dog did NOT agree with a puppy in the house), and two other attempted adoptions that fell through or backed out at the last second. This led to a bit of an amusing pickup as the online posting for her adoption was the original information, 8 weeks old and 3 pounds. We got a carrier for her with that in mind…except it turns out she was 12 weeks old and almost 9 pounds… she was bigger than the carrier.
All that aside, we’ve now had her in the family for a week, and it has been quite the week. Most recommendations I’ve read online talk about giving a new puppy a week or two to acclimate to home before you start introducing them to new people/stimulation. Instead, she had 3 days, then it was the Holidays, and we were hosting. She’s met more than a dozen of our friends and family, plus three other dogs (don’t worry, they are all friends/family dog that we know to be fully vaccinated and safe to be around a puppy). Hosting for the holidays is exhausting at the best of times and I can’t say I’d recommend adding a brand new puppy to that mix – but we survived.
While it’s been an exhausting week (like any baby, she needs to get up 2-3 times a night at minimum), it’s been a lot of fun to see just how terrifyingly smart the dog is. She’s started to get down her potty training already, though accidents are still happening. Basic commands like “Come”, “Sit” and “No” are working more than half the time. And she’s figured out how to get into every crack and crevice of the house. She seems to have inherited the intelligence that Terriers are known for, which is nice and cute now… but I expect to be very dangerous later (she’ll find many many ways to get herself into trouble).