We decided we should get a new dog sooner rather than later. Wolfie is 10 and Brutus is 8, so we need to get a new one they can train before they get too old. The dogs have always trained the new dog and the results have always been very impressive. Brutus has the bark of a much larger dog and is very alert to sounds outside. It wouldn't be such a rush if they were younger, but Wolfie is already starting to stumble occasionally. Plus the house seems empty with only two dogs, if you can believe it.
We went to the animal shelter a week ago and as of a few days ago, we thought we were going to be able to adopt our first choice (really, our only choice), Roscoe, a very sweet, young German Shepherd. We showed up there yesterday, checkbook in hand, ready to take him home, but due to miscommunication and no communication on several levels among the staff at the shelter, he'd already been spoken for by the Search and Rescue people, who have first dibs on all German Shepherds there (and are allowed extreme flexibility when it comes to deadlines, but that's all I'm gonna say about that).
Mad and sad, we took another look at all the other available dogs there, accompanied by one of the workers there who was sympathetic and not at all surprised by the lack of communication that led to our situation. She knew all the dogs and their personalities, pointing out the ones who were sweet; a lot of them were sweet. It's sad that there are so many dogs at the shelter, and most have been there for many months, but they didn't meet our requirements. One of the major requirements is that they have long, or at least medium, fur so they can be outside in the cold weather for extended periods (during the day when we're at work).
So we left the shelter without a dog.
But there are other places to find a dog, and we'd already started looking online when we left the shelter the first time (a week ago) and knew there was a strong chance we wouldn't get Roscoe.
Petfinder led us to German Shepherd Resuce of Central Colorado and we found several good possibilities. Ron filled out the extensive application form today and then we called the three people we'd put as references to let them know. It's a good thing we did, because the rescue people didn't waste any time! They called us not long after, and they had already spoken to two out of three of our references as well as someone at the vet's office.
After speaking to Ron for a little while, the woman was ready for us to drive up to Buena Vista today to pick up Osa. Another one of our picks, Liam, is not good with other male dogs and Thor has a very strong prey drive and would kill the cats instantly, so those two were definitely out. But Osa sounds perfect; she's only 8 months old (so she'll live a long time) and is already spayed and housebroken. Her former owners had to give her up when they moved to an apartment that didn't allow dogs. She has the same dark coloring as King did, and she looks like she'll grow up to be as big as he was; just look at the size of those ears!
Unfortunately, Ron is on call this weekend, so we can't make the drive up to Colorado (when he's on call, he has to stay within an hour of Taos, preferably less). But we had already planned a trip up to Denver next weekend and it's not too far out of our way to stop by Buena Vista on our way home on Monday; we'll just take a different route, down 285 instead of I-25. We take a risk that someone will adopt her before then, but they seem to have an abundance of German Shepherds available. Wish us luck; we'll keep you posted