Almost exactly one year ago, we brought home our second dog, Maisie, for the first time. We thought it would be cake. We had a rough time with Levi, but we had one under our belt, how hard could a second dog be? Turns out, it’s actually very very hard! But it’s so worth it, and so rewarding.
We adopted Levi in March 2021, just 6 months after C and I moved in together. He definitely tested our patience and occasionally our relationship, but we learned a lot about dog training, puppy-proofing, and life with a dog with Levi. In the summer of 2022, we decided it was time for a second dog. We had the space and time, and thought it would be great to have a buddy for Levi to play with.
We thought it would take a long time to find the right dog, and we were set on a puppy. A local rescue posted Rottweiler puppies and right away I was sold. I always wanted a Rottie, and these little guys were too cute to say no to! After talking to the rescue for a few days we went up to meet the puppies. They were still with their mama and all 5 of them were so cute and sad, recently rescued from the streets after being abandoned. We had a few visits, Levi met the whole crew, and we had a great time. The puppies were adorable, but we absolutely fell in love with mama dog, then named Sasha.
She was skinny, covered in fly bites, and struggling to wean four big, healthy puppies. Despite her poorly condition, she was still wagging her tail and giving kisses. She always came up for a big lean on us, seeming to rest on our legs.
When we brought her home she was around 40 lbs, a little more than skin and bones. She has worms, her skin and hair was dry and itchy, had a urinary infection, she has bites and scars, and multiple times a day we were applying cool compresses to her belly. After a few days trying out the name Sasha, we ended up changing her name to Maisie, one that seems to fit a whole lot more.
Adjusting to two dogs wasn’t so bad, having two crates in the living room was about as hard as it got. What was more difficult was adusting to a dog from a bad situation.
We were lucky that Maisie didn’t come from a worse situation, but her transition back to house dog wasn’t an easy one. She was a little food aggressive, was scared of loud noises, she didn’t like being bothered when she slept, and we were constantly at the vet for the first few weeks. Being a street dog, she wasn’t eating a lot, but still fed her four big puppies, so she had almost no muscle on her body either. Things like jumping on the couch were impossible without help, and she struggled to play and keep up with Levi. Despite all that she was so happy and excited to be in our home. She took to being a house dog again immediately, but getting her back on track to feel normal again took a while.
After months of feeding, medicine, crating, training, baths, and lots of brushing Maisie finally started to look and feel like a real dog again. We had a lot of ups, like her first time on a walk with Levi, her first trip to the Poconos, and letting go of her food aggression. But lots of downs too, months of worm meds, her fear of people ramping up again, and accidents in the house. Her crowning moment was gulping down an unindentifiable mushroom AND eating a piece of a toy, racking up $2,000+ in vet bills in just one very long weekend before her insurance kicked in.
Despite all that, Maisie has turned into the sweetest lovebug, happy as a clam to be here. She digs in the yard, destroys socks like it’s her job, and terrorizes Levi to no end. Bringing a second dog into our home was the best thing we’ve ever done. The only downside is that instead of having one dog begging me to play all day, we got him a buddy so that TWO dogs beg me to play all day instead. We wouldn’t trade her for the world!
In honor of Maisie’s Gotcha Day on October 25th, we’re doing a fundraiser for another rescue organization in our area (the one where Levi is from!) AHS Popcorn Park. Learn more about the shelter here, and join the fundraiser here.