Since our Rosie died in December, we discussed if/when we’d want another dog. Part of me wanted to run out the day after she died to replace the black hole of sudden loneliness, but I knew my knee-jerk reaction was strong. We agreed that we would only get another dog when the thought of a new dog wouldn’t make us sad.

As time went by, we noticed Attie was very sad. He wasn’t playing as much, he didn’t have much energy unless we bribed him with a car ride. Balancing our healing with Attie’s healing was complex. We decided our hearts were open, but we wouldn’t seek out a puppy yet.

However, in late February, I got a text from my work wife saying she has a client whose daughter was fostering an abandoned puppy who needed a home. She prefaced it with an I-hope-this-doesn’t-cross-boundaires-but… I opened it and asked for more details. The foster mom then sent us photos of the puppy she called Gio. From the photos, he looked like he could have boxer heritage, even Great Dane. Malcolm adores larger dogs, so he was excited right away. We looked at each other, and I said “So… are we in? I’m open to it.”

Malcolm took my phone, zoomed, manipulated the image. I thought he was going to cry. But then he said “We’re in, when can we get him?” I called the foster mom and we set up a time to meet Gio two days from then. As we settled into bed, Malcolm said, “Should we go now? Just in case.” 🙂 I love that man.

When we walked into the foster mom, Stephanie’s house, she held Gio, who did everything in his power to get to us. When she let him go, he came over and seemed immediately comfortable with us. He layed on us, put his rawhide in our hands, and nibbled on my ear so gently but firmly that my earring fell off. Ditto when he did it to my other ear. We spent about an hour speaking with Foster mom. She was so delightful with her energy and her rebel socialist energy. Her son watched a show that he relayed play by play for his mom while recounting the soundtrack on his cello. For some reason, I felt immediately comfortable.

Now, I have great game when it comes to seeming comfortable in just about any situation, thank you social work. But rarely do I feel comfortable instantly, like I’d know her and her son for years. And if you know my husband, you know he is RARELY comfortable in the presence of others, even in our own house. But he settled in right away. There was no doubt in my mind we were taking him home.

She offered to leave the room several times to give us space to discuss, but I knew what he was thinking and vise versa. She peppered us with the questions of a concerned foster mom, which I found so endearing. She wanted to ensure that he finds a permanent home and didn’t want to give him to a home who wouldn’t let him on the bed because he is a huge cuddler. She said she could give us time to think about it, but we looked at each other and I said, “I think we’re all in and would love to take him home tonight.”

Malcolm’s chewed on the name Gooseberry for almost a year. He’d said the next dog we get that’s his name. I hoped he would be open to another name if it didn’t feel like it fit him. But when we met him, he was so goofy and not serious, just like the name Gooseberry. We’ve had him for about a month now, and he is perfect. It feels like he’s been with us forever.

He is cuddly, playful, and the sweetest gentle giant. We think he’ll be about 90 pounds when he’s full grown, but we don’t really know. Stay tuned! 🙂



4 thoughts on “Gooseberry

  1. This is such a heartwarming story! It’s amazing to see how adopting a new pet can bring so much joy and healing to a household. Congratulations on finding your new furry friend!

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