I am a crazy dog lover. I have always, ALWAYS had dogs in my life from childhood up until 6 months ago when my daughter Linz moved out on her own to set up life in another state. Not only did I lose my only daughter and eldest child, but I lost our dog as well, because our 3 pound, apricot Chihuahua Poodle mix named Lily loved my daughter more than anything or anyone in the world. The dog was so attached to my daughter that there was no other option but for them to be together. I have had a huge hole in my heart missing my daughter. There is no replacing my daughter and that hole may be there forever for all I know. The combination of no dog as well has been unbelievably sad for me. I have been missing the affection and joy that a dog and owner bring each other.

(Lily and Lindsey) 
I have been looking online to find the “perfect” breeder for my dream dog. I have many bills to pay and can’t in good faith pay for a puppy right now, but I decided that I could put a certain amount of extra money away each month until my son moves out to go away to college in August 2013 and by then I will be able to afford the dog of my dreams. I will definitely need a dog when my second child moves away!!

I had picked out a toy poodle, my most favorite dog breed in the world. 
I would perhaps consider a tiny poodle mixed with a toy Yorkie or Maltese or Chihuahua too but it MUST HAVE these 3 Main Qualifications: the dog must be tiny, non-shedding, and female. 
I am not picky about the color but my son wanted an apricot or red colored the same as Lily who left us. So here are pics of the dog that we were waiting for…

Then yesterday at my son’s basketball playoffs a friend of mine showed me pictures of the puppy she just purchased. It is a Miniature Pinscher solid red that is a tiny replica if their red Visla that is full grown. SO CUTE!!  She was telling me about this local “mom & pop” Pet Store called The Dog Patch Pet and Feed that has been in Naperville for over 40 years. This is where they go to get the special food for their Visla and this place is dedicated to rescuing dogs from kill shelters and finding them permanent homes. Hearing about a cause so close to my heart and feeling like hanging out with some dog lovers, I set out to visit this store. Sure enough the people working there were wonderful. Looking at the dogs we (my son, his friend and I) saw a red Chihuahua in one of the cages. We love Chihuahuas in our family and asked if before we left, if we could take him out of the kennel to play with him a bit for FUN! After spending about 20 minutes with this graying old man of a dog, we felt a strong connection to him.
 He was amazingly affectionate, socialized and cute. My son was freaking out about what a perfect little guy he was and I agreed to ASK about him but not that we would get him. It was revealed to me that he was rescued from a kill shelter long ago and had spent the past 8 months living here in a cage. EIGHT MONTHS!!!!! In a crate at a pet store and no one had ever attempted to take him home!!! 

(his adoption photo on facebook) 
Chihuahuas have a reputation for being “notoriously hard to train, barking their little hearts out, have a reputation for being quite mean to strangers, protective of their owner and their only defense mechanisms they have are their bark and their teeth”. . . not to mention the fact that people coming in to find and adopt dogs prefer puppies to greying old men. UGH! (ugh, ugh, ugh, ugh!!!!) 
Plus he is not the popular “Apple Head – tea cup” Chihuahua breed, but an overweight “deer head” version.
And he sheds a LOT !!!  (I really really hate dog hair) And he is a boy so he marks on things (lifts his leg) and has a tendency for more aggression. (double YUCK!) He is not small either, and he is VERY overweight. . . But it seemed like for some reason we were supposed to take him home with us that day. That maybe for some weird coincidence the stars had aligned in such a way that Reese’s 8 month stint was up and the hole in my heart would be filled with this little guy.

I asked how much he cost to adopt (knowing that I had no money for a dog) and they told me that patrons of the store had seen Reese in there so long that many of the customers had donated money toward his adoption fees and that the $350 fee had been paid if it would help him to go home. Trying to disguise a choke and a sob and looking into my sons teary eyes I knew that we had to give this guy a chance in our family. We agreed to take him right there and then!

The people at the Dog Patch Pet and Feed were SO genuinely attached to him that they were actually crying when we left because they were going to miss Reese so much! They even called the very next day to check on him! I thought that was a good sign too because if Reese was a pain or a bother they would have been happy to see him go.

Tonight is his second night with us. He is a dream come true and already gone from being timid to coping a bit of an attitude! He spent his first night in over 9 months sleeping with my sons in their warm, soft beds; first with my young son (who was there to adopt him) and excited to introduce Reese to the pleasures of Memory Foam Pillow Top Mattresses. A few hours later I was woken up by my son who said that Reese was hogging the bed, so I transferred him to my older son’s bed where I woke him up the next morning warm and cozy under the covers in the queen sized bed.

Right now he is snoozing on the couch next to me. I love that he is gentle and gives lots of kisses. I love that he is housebroken!!! I love that he is big enough to really HUG and snuggle with. I love that he is so loveable. I love having him here.

My hopes for Reese and our family is that he will continue to be a good dog; no biting, no peeing in the house, and no aggression toward all the MANY friends (children and adults) who come through our home every day. I know that I love him. My family loves him. I can tell that he loves us too.

Please say a little prayer that Reese can bounce back from his institutional past 
and be a permanent part of our family. 

Read DAY 3 With Reese Here.

! Have a Fabulous Day ! – Jenny at Dapperhouse