On Thursday, Sophia, Olivia, and I went to Northwoods Humane Society and took a look at four puppies that were part of an 11-puppy litter. After meeting two of the puppies and seeing how they interacted with us and one another, we decided to look at another one.
So, we went back to the kennel area and took Aspen out and brought her to a "meeting room."
We spent a lot of time with her to see how she responded to each of us, how she played with the toys, and her general temperament.
We needed to be particularly careful because we have another dog, Cooper, who we introduced to another young dog a couple of weeks ago. That didn't go so well. In fact, he was so stressed out by the other dog that he began foaming at the mouth and showed other signs of high anxiety. So, we didn't go ahead with adding that puppy to our family.
Aspen had a nice mixture between puppy-playfulness and mellowness. She would play, cuddle, and rest on our legs. Not too overwhelming and not super high energy. Seemed like a perfect companion for Cooper and for our family.
We were given the opportunity to "try out" Aspen and see how Cooper responded to her (and vice versa) at home.
So, after resting during the car ride, Aspen arrived at her new potential home. We took Cooper out for a walk and brought Aspen with as a way to introduce them on neutral territory. This was the same process we used to introduce Cooper to Montague.
They were curious about one another and seemed to do well together.
There were times on the walk, though, that Aspen needed reassurance that the big animals she was seeing (Cooper and Hoss, our miniature horse who walked up to the fence to see the new family member) weren't going to hurt her. She would hide behind Sophia's legs or between her ankles, knowing she felt much safer there.
After a positive first afternoon and night together, we went on another walk the next day at Osceola Landing (it's one of many parks along the St. Croix River that is managed by the National Park Service).
Aspen seemed to enjoy the walk, would take some breaks, and ran a bit.
Most of all, she enjoyed being wrapped up in the towel and being carried.
By Friday afternoon, Aspen was feeling quite comfortable in her new home. As Olivia read on the deck, Aspen chewed a stick while relaxing next to her.
This morning Cooper and Aspen played together so well. It reminded me in some ways of the first few days that Montague and Cooper would play for two hours non-stop in the mornings. Hopefully this is a sign of how well they will get together.
Playing is tiring business for a puppy, though. It was so nice to see Cooper and Aspen resting together on the couch as I read the newspaper next to them. This seems like a match that is meant to be.