Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Adopting a Dog Before the Baby Comes

Even before we met each other, we’ve both always been dog people. To the point that a dog is part of the reason we’re together today. Right after we met, the husband was texting me and trying to get me to come over to his place. We had just met and I didn’t really feel comfortable going to an almost stranger’s place alone. I threw one excuse after another to him and he kept trying. The final excuse – I haven’t seen my dog all weekend and should really spend some time with her – was met with a “bring her with you” and that was the end of my excuses.

For the first two years of our marriage, we lived in a tiny one bedroom apartment in California. The apartment was within budget and helped us out financially, but it had many flaws – including the cats only policy. For two years, we gave love freely to the dogs we encountered at friends houses, parties, and when visiting our families.

When we found out we were moving, one of the things that became a priority on our list was getting a dog. We weren’t sure if it would be one of our dogs (both happily living in good homes with our parents) or a new shelter dog, but we knew we wanted to grow our family with a dog. We didn’t count on growing our family with a baby quite so fast – we thought it’d take a little longer.

That opened up a whole new debate – to adopt a dog before or after the baby comes. We agreed on adopting the dog before the baby. We figured this would give us plenty of time to train the dog before we brought a baby into the picture. We were careful to consider temperament and whether or not dogs were known to be good with kids.

We went to several shelters and looked at many different dogs. We encountered sad situations and found shelters that we couldn’t believe their policies. In the end, we ended up adopting a stray hound mix that animal control had picked up. Nothing is really known about his past so it’s all a slight guessing game at this point.

When we met this guy in the shelter, his name was Elvis and he was listed as a hound mix. The officer brought him out to the visiting room and the first thing he did was grab a toy from the bucket and start running around crazily. At 60 pounds with lots of energy, we thought he was going to be a handful. There was something about his connection to the husband though that persuaded us to go ahead and adopt him. The husband renamed him Mr. Gibbs from the Pirates of the Caribbean.

After we got him home, he ended up calming down a lot more than either of us expected. He’s still full of energy but he has a much calmer side to him that neither one of us saw coming. He’s also catching on quickly to our training which leads us to believe he’s had a family before. In fact, he’s lying snuggled up beside me as I write this post.

I’m a firm believer that there are such things as dog soul mates out there. We definitely have more than one over the years but there are those dogs that just “fit” with their humans. He seems to be falling into that category rather quickly. I can’t wait to see how he is with our little one in February!

Do you have a furkid? What’s the story of how they came into your life? We’d love to hear about it in the comments below!


  1. Granted the whole baby part of the discussion doesn't apply to me, but Bo was also a stray and we don't know anything about his background, but we can tell he had a family before too!

    1. The post started as a post about adopting before the baby and really became more about Gibbs himself. I've mostly had puppies in the past (Ella being the exception), so training a dog with no knowledge of his first 2-3 years is much different! I am happy that he's fitting into our little family pretty quickly though. I love all of your pictures of Bo! He's got quite the personality. :)