Me: "Let's get a gentle dog like a Greyhound so I can bring it to the nursing home with me to visit the seniors. We can name him Gandalf the Grey!"
My husband: "A puppy!" (Immediately goes to the Humane Society with his mother and finds this Rottie-lab mix.)
Me: "She's really cute, but I've never had a dog in the house before, let alone a rescue. She seems intense — are you sure we can handle her?"
My (Jewish) Mother-in-law: "She's so sweet — she just went right over to Ben and laid in his lap. She doesn't do that with anyone. You have to take her — she's his dog. If you don't take her they will immediately put her down."
My husband: "Look at her — she's so sweet".
So we adopted a two-year old, almost full sized, thrice-returned, cigarette burned puppy, and named her Freyja — after the lady goddess of Norse mythology.
I was "walking" Freyja out the doors of the Humane Society and she pulled me into two cat cages and one rabbit cage.
We brought her into the back of the SUV and she lept onto my husband's lap in the front — blocking all blind spots and defying physics by getting herself into that small space.
We made a cozy bed for her in a gigantic crate. She absolutely refused to enter it. Suddenly WE were inside the crate and she was watching US.
We noticed that each time we peed in the house, she peed in the house. So strategically, my husband peed outside, and just as we hoped, she peed outside. And then...well, she needed to learn where to poop...
No matter where my husband or I sat, she climbed on top of our lap as if she was the size of a kitten.
We left her alone for the first time (for ten minutes) and she destroyed our doggy obedience book — luckily the rest of our books were safe and untouched.
Freyja is afraid of ceiling fans.
Freyja is afraid of stairs.
Freyja is afraid of loud, moderate, or somewhat strange noises.
Freyja is afraid of her own snoring noises.
Freyja is afraid of "outside."
Freyja is afraid of tiny stuffed toys...and expresses her fear by completely destroying them as soon as no one is watching.
Freyja learned how to shake one paw, and then the other. Since then, she slaps and claws us with each paw everytime she wants something.
Freyja sits like a human. That's all...just bizarre human-sitting.
Freyja loves balls.
Freyja loves food.
Freyja loves round food because it is an edible ball.
Freyja believes that apples belong to her, steals them, and hides them throughout the house.
Freyja learns to open doors and destroys many things.
Freyja sees something she wants on the bookshelf.
Freyja drags a chair over to the bookshelf and uses it as leverage and is able to reach her desired item.
Freyja makes a nest out of the wrath of destruction she has caused in the house.
Day 6 and Beyond
Although it didn't take until "Day 6" for us to realize our lives had become completely owned by this destructive puppy, we were sure by then that it was well worth it.
I cannot begin to understand why some people choose to treat a pet poorly or decide to "return" or discard them. But I can attest to the idea that getting a rescue puppy can be a handful.
We don't know the extent of what Freyja experienced with three different families and the upheaval it must have been for her to adjust over and over again. We do know the difficulties we had going on in our own lives when we decided to adopt this puppy and feel no regrets.
Despite the challenges of understanding her triggers and quirks, Freyja has been a complete comfort, anti-depressent, entertainer, extreme cuddler, and an unconditionally loyal companion.
Although this story started with our rescuing a puppy, Freyja the destroyer, has become Freyja the Rescuer.