Doucette dogs

The Doucette family recently added a new dog, Lucy, front, to the family along with their other dog Butterscotch.

My family recently adopted a second dog. And we love her. But the road to our dogs has never been really easy.

We got our first dog as a family (my husband and I had both had dogs growing up) three years ago. We gave up on cats after an allergy test confirmed my stuffy nose and itchy eyes were due to our beloved Maude.

So we finally found our little terrier mix Butterscotch after searching for months. We were determined to get a shelter dog instead of adopting from a breeder. And we were only looking for dog types that would be non shedding, as I tested positive for a dog allergy as well.

There were some tough times in our search. They seemed to all get swooped up just as I was finding them. Once I found a precious dog at a local shelter, went home to tell my family about him, turned around and went back, only to find he had been adopted in that time. I’ll never forget the tears in my daughter’s eyes. She still has a soft spot for that little dog she had already named Oreo.

We spent a lot of time at the shelter that morning adopting Butterscotch. We were there before the shelter even opened. Butterscotch’s picture had run in the paper and I was afraid there would be others there to get him.

Luckily, we were first in line.

We spent time getting to know him, seeing if he was right for us and we were right for him. The shelter was thorough in vetting us, especially since we had no history with a dog.

After making the big decision to add this little guy to our family, filling out the paperwork and getting all set up to leave, the shelter worker handed me his leash, attached to the too-loose collar of our new dog.

As soon as we walked out that shelter door with our new dog, he finagled his way out of the collar and ran right into a busy road.

My heart sank. I thought my kids were going to see their first dog get hit by a car right in front of them.

The shelter director herself went out in the road to hold her hands up and stop traffic.

But being the feisty little guy Butterscotch is, he ran back to the shelter. To pee on the outdoor wall. Perhaps that was his way of saying, “I’m out of here, suckers!” I saw my chance, and swooped him up.

He’s now been with us three years.

And there have been many other times our little rocket dog has run off. He could get right out under the fence we thought would be perfect.

I would drive my van to get him — he loves to go for rides — and for a while this would work to get him right back.

But eventually he learned his adventure was over when he got in that van, and stopped willingly jumping in.

Many of my neighbors have snapped up Butterscotch for me. Sometimes it would be quite the group project.

I’m happy to say that we have an Invisible Fence now and he can safely run all over our big back yard.

And I have grown to love him so much, I couldn’t help thinking all time, wouldn’t it be great to have one more dog?

Again, after a lot of thinking, talking to my family, searching and talking to people, I found out about a dog needing home.

She is a labradoodle. Much bigger than our current dog. 8 years old. Possibly some health problems.

But we met her and fell in love. And we forgot about what it’s like to have a new dog.

So we’ve been housetraining. She was housetrained, but needed to relearn in a new home. We have a gate up, keep certain doors closed, and have flags all over our house, telling her where she can’t go.

My other dog does like her though. A little too much, in fact. He wants to lick her all over, constantly.

And our first hurdle came up with dog care — we adopted her right before spring break, when all the kennels were already booked up.

The new dog was starting to feel overwhelming. What had I gotten myself into? Again?

We’re getting there though. The whole family got really serious about housetraining — keeping a schedule. And she’s doing great. We’re getting her trained on the Invisible Fence. And we figured out her care during our vacation.

We love her personality. And learning her differences from Butterscotch. She actually knows how to play fetch! She’ll even jump to catch balls. We love her big clumsy paws. We love how she rests her head on us when she wants love. She loves so many treats — our other dog is quite picky. She loves going on walks as much as Butterscotch. And she really loves my kids.

So for all the times I have spent running around my neighborhood, and cleaning up accidents. These dogs, totally worth it.

Erin Doucette is the presentation editor at KPC Media Group. She can be reached at edoucette@kpcmedia.

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