I can't believe Dean is 9. It just doesn't seem like it could possibly have been all that long ago that Ben and I drove up to Glen Highland Farm with Sammie, Speedy, and Maddie to look for a young rescue to add to our crew!
I had chosen five dogs to look at, and I really didn't think Dean was going to be our choice. I have never really been a merle person, and the pictures of him on the website weren't the greatest. I chose him mainly because he caught Ben's eye and he was in the right age range.
When I first set eyes on him, I was blown away. I literally said, "WHOA!" He was absolutely striking. Much better looking than he was in the photos!
Ben got to meet him first. As we met each dog, the dog got to meet Speedy first, and Ben was out in the bigger area with Speedy. I was off in a separate area with Sammie and Maddie. We would let Sammie and Maddie join in once the dog had made it through the "Speedy test". Speedy was hunkered down in the grass with several tennis balls that he had gathered, and he was busily chomping on one of them. Dean went up to him and looked at him with obvious curiosity as if he were wondering, "what are you?" Speedy snarked at him and went back to the tennis balls. Dean cocked his head at Speedy as if to inquire, "what's that about?" Speedy snarked again, Dean moved off, and we let Sammie and Maddie out to meet him.
But Dean ignored Sammie and Maddie at first and he ran up to me and gave me a big hug. I threw my arms around him and said, "Aaaaawwwww!!! I love you, too!" Ben and I walked around the area with all four of the dogs and Dean fit in nicely, sometimes running with the dogs, sometimes coming up to one of us.
Ben fell in love with him right away, and I think I did, too. We did go on to meet the rest of the dogs, and when we moved to the second meeting, there were two possible dogs on our list, Dean being one of them. I requested that we see Dean again first.
Well, that was it. I knew he was ours, and Ben was in full agreement.
We signed the papers, took a picture, loaded him up, and headed home.
It really is a perfect memory!
Here we are on Dean's adoption day . . .
On the way home . . .
Some early photos . . .
Really, it does not seem possible that he is 9 years old.
Dean and I have been through a lot together. A lot of fun and great experiences, wonderful years of training and performance together, the challenges of his noise phobia and anxiety, the hard lessons that he had to teach, and just the joy of having Dean in our lives. He has been there for me through some of the most difficult times of my life.
As we move into the senior years of his life, I hope he has many, many, many good years left. He's my soft and sweet goofy boy and I couldn't love him more.