You Say Goodbye, and I Say Hello

We’ve had some bad luck with dogs the last year or so. I’ve posted about our Siberian Husky, Max, recently, and the latest update is not great: he has serious resource guarding issues and we were unable to curb his biting. It was more than playful mouthing; this was serious biting of all of us. Considering I have two children of my own, and several younger kids in our family, Max was a huge risk that I could no longer afford to take. The guarding was made worse by the fact that he considered everything food, and paper and socks were huge temptations for him. We tried very hard to help Max but we just weren’t the right family for him. He is now back in the shelter where I’m sure he will find someone who is able to work with him and love him.

After that, we all knew we wanted a dog in our family, we just weren’t sure when. We took a vacation, vowing to take some time to think about it and really look for the right dog this time. Well, I’m not good at that. I was ready to get a dog the day we came home. It wasn’t unanimous though so I pretended to be patient while I pored over the dogs at Wayside Waifs and Great Plains SPCA and the Kansas City Pet Project. There are so many awesome animals that need homes! I looked for dogs with good demeanors, ones that were recommended for homes with kids. We weren’t particular about looks or breeds, we just wanted a friendly dog that could safely be around the whole family.

Finally, this weekend, we all agreed it was time to go meet some pups. I picked out several options, and we started at the Great Plains SPCA in Merriam. One of the dogs I liked was on hold to be adopted and the other two were in a different location, so instead we met one we liked there. Roxy was a young shepherd mix with tons of energy. She wanted to PLAY! But she was super strong already, and managed to knock the boy over just playing. He clearly wasn’t comfortable around her, so we moved on. We met Cookie Monster next. He was older, around 4, and really mellow, and my son loved how calm he was. Cookie has a sweet face too. But I really wanted a dog with more energy. I wanted a playmate, one that would play ball in the yard and go on walks. Back in the car we went, this time headed to Wayside. There were three dogs on my list there, so I was cautiously optimistic.

We saw Barrel first. He was another young Shepherd mix who would probably need some obedience training but otherwise would be okay with kids. He has a great face. Kody was next, an older Husky-Lab mix. He’s five and I thought he’d be calm. Finally, we came to Biff Barker. He was on my list but at the bottom, partly because of his age (only five months) and partly because his face in the pictures just didn’t speak to me. Well, when we saw him in person, I think we were all in love. He’s just the cutest darn thing.


Oh, we all pretended. We said we’d meet all three dogs and make a decision then. Yeah right. We met Biff first and he was fabulous. My husband sat down and Biff came over and gave him a hug and a kiss and I could see my husband melt right there. He played with all of us, had a gentle mouth with the treats, responded (somewhat) to commands. He was bouncy and energetic and just perfect. We talked to the kids about how housetraining would have to be a family commitment, and we’d all have to be willing to clean up messes. After several minutes, the volunteer started to take him back and bring us the next dog. As soon as she was out of the room, I looked at Alex and said, “Why are we even bothering? We love Biff, why not get him?” Everybody grinned and agreed and we chased after the lady taking our dog away.

It was a fun ride home. Biff sat in the back with the kids, and they both kept exclaiming how cute he is. We’d saved some toys that Max didn’t use, so I pulled those out when we got home. I loved watching my son interact with Biff. He’d been so tentative and cautious around Max that I loved that he was able to relax and just enjoy the dog’s company.


We have now renamed him Captain Jack, after the character in Doctor Who, because the dog is cute and loves everyone. We’re all so happy to be a dog family again! And I’ll say it again, if you’re looking for a furry friend, check your local shelters first!

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