Saturday, March 03, 2012

A Year of Gratitude #60

A Year of Gratitude #60: My Cousin Terri

My cousin Terri is my dad's sister Ellene's middle daughter. Terri is married to Chuck and has two kids, Nick and Natalie. Nick is married to a Natalie and they have two kids, Alex and Jack. Nick's sister Natalie is still in high school (I think she's a senior).

Anyway, I grew up seeing Terri and Nick all the time. She is older than me by like 15 years or so, and while she wasn't old enough to be like an aunt, she was too old to be like a sibling. So yes, we're cousins, but my relationship with her is totally different than the relationship with cousins my own age.

Terri is good at so many things, but the one area that I think she's so very very gifted in... is dogs. She knows dogs unlike ANYONE I've ever met. She trains them, and is very good at what she does. She's able to identify any dog just from looking at them. She's fascinating.

Well... now that Elphie is gone, we're a single-dog household and actually enjoying the sense of peace and calm that has returned to our lives. We've had Ned since 2005 and long before there was a Gus. When Gus came into the picture, Elphie entered at the same time. Literally.

So while Gus threw our world upside down, so did having Elphie. As we've figured out the parenting thing, we've adjusted to being dual dog owners. While Elphie was incredible at keeping Gus entertained, she was a lot to deal with, and even more so when we moved. Her constant escaping and digging up the yard were too much for us. Now that she's on the farm (and quite happy I'll add), we've had time to sit back and just say, "Ahhhhh."

Gus still looks for her and says, "Where'd she go?" while calling "Ayeeee....sheeeee." It's hearbreaking. I know he loved that little dog more than anyone and he misses her.

So we've decided that when Ned is no longer with us, we'll get another dog, and this one will be Gus's dog. We're thinking anywhere from two to five years from now. So yes, we've got some time before this happens.

I sent Terri a FB message asking if she'd be willing to help us and she said to give her a call. I did and we talked for about an hour. She was so helpful and gave me a whole list of things to do before we look... including contacting our insurance to see if there are breeds that they won't cover. 

She said when it's time for us to get serious about looking for a dog, she'll put out her feelers, get in touch with some of her contacts, and see what she can find for us. I did a dog compatibility test online and it said the best matches for what we're looking for were: Doberman Pincher, Corgi, Samoyed, and Pit Bull. I've taken it again and it added the Bulldog and some mixed "designer" breeds as well.

Terri suggested a Collie (not a Border Collie), Dobie, Vizchla, Corgie, and Burmese Mountain Dog. She also said the Samoyed, and Australian Shepherd were good dogs as well. 

I'm thankful to have Terri there to help us when the time is right. So many people go into adopting a dog and go with their hearts and not their heads. She gave me a lot of suggestions when it's time and I'm grateful for her superior knowledge in this area!!


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