Welcome home, Early Girl.

I can't believe you're finally here! To be honest, I didn't ever really see myself as a dog owner. I liked dogs alright, but considered myself a loyal cat person. It wasn't until I lived with Mark and Mud that I ever even thought about having a dog friend of my own. Mud was so sweet and even-tempered. He was playful and an irreplaceable guard dog. I love that boy.
Then Collin came into my life and even though a loyal dog person - he always loved and cared for Lucky. Still, when family or friends with dogs would visit I could see it in his face. I knew he wanted a dog of his own; to raise and love and come home to.
Now, here she is.

Recall this post and it will be clear that we jumped the gun a little on our adoption plans. I was thinking that it wouldn't be until the beginning of 2010 that we would be in a favorable situation to bring home a dog. After Gabe told us of his plans to move in with his girlfriend, we thought we'd get things started. It might have been nice to have a little time with the house to ourselves before adding a pup to the mix, but it wasn't necessary. In fact, because we'll be living with another roommate come November, this was the exact right time to take her in and get settled as a family. She will know us and the house and feel comfortable and safe before we add another person and all the excitement that comes with.

I took Thursday and Friday off work for some "maternity leave" - basically to help Gabe with his moving and keep our house from turning into a tornado field in the wake. Thursday had us working our asses off deep cleaning the kitchen. Moving the fridge and stove to sweep/mop underneath kind of cleaning. It was gross and therefore all the more necessary. We even got around to switching the door handles on the fridge so it doesn't swing open into the counter anymore. Man, that was hard.
That afternoon we drove out to Alachua to pick up our girl. Came home to a quiet house and a lover who almost immediately found her toys. We have given up keeping her off the couches (and resigned to the fact that when we buy new furniture like that we will just have to keep her in mind) but she still isn't allowed in the bed. Being the ultimate good-girl she is, she knows right away when she's doing something wrong and it takes us no time at all to correct her. A snap of my fingers and she'll get down, sit, lay down, come, and so much else.
Early even met Smokey and they have a lot of fun chasing each other around the back yard. Gotta love that crazy-dog-run dirt spray. She met Inca too but they didn't hit it off as well. I even heard Early bark when she was with Inca so I knew that she wasn't happy at all. This was after hearing her bark for the first time when we were walking and a stranger came up behind us. I am so glad to know that she can bark and we'll be working with her to reinforce good barking behaviors (like barking when someone comes on the porch or knocks at the door).

Mostly, she likes to sleep. On the couch, on the wood floors, on the rug, on her bed. She snores and farts and is adorable. She even seems to always have a pillow under her head. Her favorite toys are the skinny fox, the rope ring and the baby bone (a plush bone-shape toy with a squeaker she never squeeks). I would still say that her very favorite is the toy we gave her when we came to visit the second time. Just a little rope knot, but I think somehow she knows that this is hers and it came from us with love.