Last week, Mara, our next door neighbor, wound up with a guest on her hands: a puppy whose foster home hadn’t quite worked out. Mara runs a dog rescue, Redwood Pals, so this is not as unusual for her as it might be for most of us. She quickly found a potential adopter and arranged a meet-and-greet for the next day, but first she asked if Sophie might like a puppy play date.

Sophie is extremely adorable and also extremely high-energy, so the answer was absolutely, yes. I’m in favor of everything that gives her a chance to tire herself out. The puppy, then named Tulip and now called Bear, came over and they played together happily. Much rough-and-tumble, much rampaging through the garden, much chewing on one another’s ears and legs. Much fun!

They’re very different dogs: Sophie is the elder, by about a month, but already smaller. Random people on the street have identified her immediately as a border collie, but she’s probably a mix with some Australian shepherd in her, too. Bear’s mom is known to be a German shepherd and she’s got that texture in her coat, but she’s got Labrador retriever feet, ears, and instincts. (Water, yes! Balls, hers!) Both of them, though, are primarily black with white on their feet and the tips of their tails. Sophie’s also got a white collar and some white markings on her face, and Bear has a white chin and some white on her chest. Each alone is cute and together they cross into cuteness overload.

Anyway, the meeting the next day was in the evening, so I texted Mara in the morning and invited Tulip over for another play date. Mara was working, so Tulip came over and stayed for much of the day — including Suzanne’s lunch break and also her late afternoon arrival from work, which is highly relevant. Then Mara came and picked her up to take her to the potential adopter, so we waved good-bye.

The adoption meeting went well, the adopter was enthusiastic and so Bear was scheduled to go to her forever-home the next night, Friday. That gave us another play-date day first, so Bear again came over and spent the day in the backyard with Sophie and me. And Suzanne when she came home for lunch and in the afternoon.

When Mara arrived to pick Bear up, however, she hadn’t heard from the adopter. She seemed puzzled, but also resigned to the hassles of coordinating schedules with adopters. She took Bear home and I said something to Suzanne about how much we’d miss her. She and Sophie just had such good energy together.

I think I also said something to Suzanne about how Bear’s energy was the perfect fit for her — a little goofy, enthusiastic, but also really mellow. Sophie is sweet, but she has drive and persistence and Bear has tolerance and playfulness. Which is not to say that they’re not both playful, but their personalities are different. Some of that might be because Bear is younger, of course, but Sophie feels like the kind of dog that needs an obstacle course and Bear feels like the kind of dog who will chase a ball for as long as you’re willing to throw it.

Saturday morning rolls around and the adopter is still a no-show, so Bear came over for another play date. At 8:39 that morning, I texted Suzanne, “Tulip would be saying, ‘Oh, God, you again?’ if she had words.”

This is her “please save me” face.
And this is “Am I safe? Where did it go?”

To which Suzanne responded, “She’s back?” And eventually, “Is that woman going to take Tulip?”

I responded, “She was a no-show. Mara was going to try to get in touch with her.”

Suzanne answered, “I texted Mara. I think I have a new dog.” This warranted many exclamation points on my part, but didn’t get them, probably because I was busy playing with dogs. 🙂 But by that night, Tulip was Bear, with a collar and a tag and a crate in the kitchen.

And now you know why I haven’t posted for a while. If caring for one puppy is a lot like an easier version of having a newborn, complete with middle of the night wake-ups, caring for two is a little like running a preschool. We’re working on getting on a schedule & establishing some rules — no rough play in the tiny house! Nap time is quiet time. No chasing cats, leave Riley alone when he says no, don’t dig in the potato bed.

This post brought to you courtesy of two sleeping puppies.

But I couldn’t possibly think of a nicer way to spend my August. The only thing better than one puppy is two puppies!