After saying goodbye to our brief friend Copper, and remembering Timber our faithful yellow lab, we wanted to be sure we found a dog that was the right fit for our family. I had heard that another large Catholic family in the area was looking to rehome their dog. There were a lot of unknowns, but the family would be traveling for Christmas and so we agreed to pet-sit while they were gone to see if he might be a good dog for our family.
We were all guarded and scared to commit. We wanted to be totally sure. But right away, he seemed like a great fit for us. He is a 1yr old Maltipoo (half Maltese, half Poodle). The other family got him as a young puppy and took very good care of him. He is house-trained and used to children. He is comfortable outside and inside, and he doesn't freak out in the crate. Every now and then he starts chewing on a toy or something, but for the most part we can trust him around the house all day, and we don't have to worry about escape antics from the backyard.
He loves "bully stick" teething sticks and loves to sit on the couch with us. He loves cuddles and scratches and going on walks down the street. He has run out the front door a few times, but he usually runs back to me right away! He has started liking other members of the family too, but mostly he's attached to me. We've had him about six weeks and he has only had one accident in the house. He enjoys eating table scraps, which is another perk of having a dog again! He loves car rides and going to the park too. He has a funny underbite that kind of makes him look like an old man!
So a few days after Christmas we told the other family that we would love to keep him. They had called him a Spanish nickname, "Lalo." We decided to keep a similar name, especially since the other family would be coming to visit him. We opted for Leo, short for Leonardo da Vinci. He's already bringing about some extra beauty and joy into our house! These past few years when we were living away, I just knew that having a pet wasn't a good idea, but now I am so glad we are at a place where we have the time and ability to care for a dog. They really are a fun addition to a family!
Thomas seems to love him most. He asks all day if he can give him a treat. He loves on him and is very sweet and affectionate. I even put him in the shower with Thomas a few nights ago, and although Leo hates showers, he was staying pretty calm in there with Thomas! Mary Clare enjoys him too and the baby loves to grab him. He's gentle with Katie and although he sometimes play-bites he has never hurt her. Ellie was working on some training with him outside today! Steven Joseph is kind of detached, not really an animal-lover, but he will help out and play with him here and there.
I joined a Maltipoo group on Facebook and am having fun learning about the dogs and getting tips on the best foods, shampoos, grooming regimens, training, and ways to treat their eye tear stains. I've always loved Maltese dogs, and was so excited to get a pretty white doggy. His fur is so soft, like a lamb! I'm not sure how well I will do with the grooming, but so far I've dealt with the tear stains and clipped his nails, and he only freaks out a little bit ;)
These last two are phone photos from right after we got him. His hair had been shaved a few months back, so I'm excited to see how it grows out. I'm also excited to see how the kids and the dog play together over the years, and I hope he's with us for many years to come! Welcome to the family, Leo!
(another post on Dogs)