Lily’s Gotcha Day

The attention whore that is Lily came into my life a year ago today. In the dog circles that I hang with, they call this the Gotcha Day. I anticipated Belle’s failing health and was looking for a new dog. Not as a replacement, but as a companion to keep her company when I was not around.

I had talked to a friend of mine and they suggested that I get another dog to ease the heartache that I would feel when Belle passed. I asked them for assistance in finding the companion and a few months later, I saw a post on Facebook.

The post was kind of vague and just mentioned that they needed to get rid of their dog.

I have an 11-month-old female black and white AKC Certified Alaskan Malamute that I MUST re-home in the next week. My situation has changed, and I can not care for her anymore. Please message me here or text/call me at xxx-xxx-xxxx for more info or pictures.

The key words were 11-month-old (puppy), female, and Malamute. That was pretty much all I was looking for. I really should have been more selective. For two days, we went back and forth between texts and phone calls. This started on a Friday, mind you, and they said they were moving on Tuesday.

As communications progressed, she was not available on Saturday and was kind of silent on Sunday. We did eventually pick a meeting place and a time. I grabbed Belle and drove her to a dog park that evening, and we met up with Sarah and Lily. (If you have been following along, I got Belle from a Sarah as well.) Belle had not been to a dog park for at least a year at that point because she was getting too tired and did not like hanging with the other dogs. It seemed a waste of time for her when I could just walk her.

My goal with the two meeting was to see if they got along. I could have forgone this step, but I thought it was extremely important. The real intent was to see if they got along in my house.

We arrived first to the dog park, and I let Belle out to roam. That’s what she did. Not a care for any of the dogs or people at the park. She, primarily, would see if she could find a hole in the fence by circling the entire place, avoid me as much as possible, run a few (literally two to three) laps, and then hang by me because she was tired and wanted to leave. This usually took ten to 20 minutes before she was ready to leave.

Prior to showing, we agreed on a set price and debated cash or PayPal. I was the one that brought up PayPal so I could have a minimal assurance. With cash, there was nothing that I could do if it turned out the dog was stolen and resold or anything else that might have come up. Just to be on the safe side, I loaded up a cash belt and put it on. I had never used the belt before, and the amount of cash I was putting into it seemed more than it was made for. It was also a thin belt, which meant the bills needed to be folded. It was not very comfortable, but if I could carry that much cash and not feel like I was a target, it was worth it.

Sarah showed with her niece and they had a huge ball of fluff. She had never been to this park before, or to anyone for that matter. Lily was a beautify, friendly, beast of a dog. She greeted me with a hug and jump to sniff at my face. Over the year, I discovered, she does this to everyone. I was nothing special. But that was OK. She was female and playful, unlike Belle.

Belle had a ton of toys I had purchased for her over the years. The only thing she ever played with were bones I had given her. She loved anything that was Belle-sized. If it were larger, she would leave it to collect dust (well, fur).

So shortly after Lily showed to the park, a person arrived with a little dog. If you have never been to one of the larger parks, there are two sides. One for large dogs (30 lbs. and up) and one for the smaller dogs. Almost all dog parks I have gone to are like this. Technically, at this point, Belle should have been in the small dog area. She weighed 27 lbs. and was a bit of a runt. As she was close to the weight and looked a bit larger because of all her fur, I brought her to the large dog side whenever we would go. So, this little dog, going to the wrong side of the park, came in, and Lily greeted it. It turns out, Lily is a greeter. She is also a bit of a bully. The small dog fit nicely under paw, as Lily placed her right paw on top of its chest pinning it. This made the dog furious, and as little dogs do, it screamed.

As it turns out, the sound of a little dog screaming is almost the exact same sound of a squeaking dog toy. I’m not sure where the idea came from but having a toy to give to another animal that only encourages it to attack small dogs is not the best idea. (That didn’t stop me from getting more of them in the future. I mean, it’s a dragon. Who doesn’t want their dog to have cool toys? Although I doubt a dragon would squeak like a Jack Russel with an 85 lbs. dog on its chest.)

Lily weighed in at 85 lbs. A substantial size difference, but what I was looking for, kinda. I wanted a dog that was an actual large dog, as opposed to being part of the breed, but not fitting the size. (Keep reading the site for more on that.) I wasn’t expecting puppy to be 85 lbs. I wanted a cute, fit-in-one-hand, puppy that I could watch grow.

Speaking of small dogs, that little one was still under Lily’s paw, and weight because she was not letting that dog move. So, there I was getting introduced to my new “puppy” and she was already being the bully in the playground. The owner of the little dog was not a fan of this behavior, and he had some choice words to say. Sarah’s niece got Lily while the little dog was rattled. The owner took his dog and left. This was not the last time I would see this action.

I finally got Belle, and Lily and she sniffed each other, and she went on her way. That was about the extent of their interaction at the park. I stayed for about two hours and learned about what she was like. She was silly, and she liked to be sung to. Sarah even had a song for her that calmed her. Not only did I forget about that until just now, but I obviously was not singing to her to calm her down. Or maybe I do? She was a fan of butt scratches. By that, I mean, she liked the area above and to the sides of her tail scratched. She will wiggle her huge butt when that is done. And her walk… Lily is a first-class priss. She tiptoes on her back legs and her big fluffy butt swatches back and forth as she does so, almost like an art deco lady walking greyhounds, without the dog. I heard about how she played with other dogs in the family. Sarah had a Pomeranian and a chihuahua so she should be fine with a dog Belle’s size.

So, Lily played and Sarah and I discussed her. I was given a very short time to figure if I wanted to keep her. She was a pretty dog, and fit what I was looking for on paper. Very friendly too. She liked me enough to have no issues with me petting her and she did not want to kill Belle like most dogs did. I was also told that she did not bark. Lily yipped. When she was trying to talk to the other dogs on the small side of the park, she yipped at them. This large dog sounded like a squeaky toy.

I agreed to take her. We got on PayPal and completed the transaction. Sarah gave me the paperwork and I filled it out. I was holding Belle while doing so, collecting all the new toys and blanket that went with her. Then there was the crate.

I was warned about the size of the crate before I got there. Fifty-three inches at the narrowest where it could sit in the car. I measured before I left and it would just fit. Easier said than seen. Sarah had an SUV. I have a small hatchback. I pushed the seats down and tried to maneuver the crate in the car while holding two dogs. It was just going to make it. The crate backed up against the back of the seats in front, after moving them up, and had less than an inch to spare on the sides. It takes up the entirety of the cargo area of the car. I placed Belle on the crate’s right side, and Lily jumped in, with a push, on the left. We said our byes and went on our way.

Pulling out of the park, Belle looked a little uncomfortable, but Lily was there to make her feel better. By that I mean, she stood over her, sniffed her, and pushed her into the corner of the door. As the crate was rectangular, and the car had a rounder area, there was room where the doors were where Belle could fall, and she did. As I was driving, there was nothing I could do about it until I got home. It was only five miles, but she was miserable. And that was pretty much how their relationship was.

Once I got home, I had to take the crate out of the car on my own. I did so, with much effort, and then set it up. It took up a quarter of what I was using as my living room. I fed her and we went to sleep for the night. Lily was pretty contained in her crate, covered with the blanket.

So much has happened the next day, week, and year that I have had her, but those stories will have to wait.

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