I decided last night that there are many reasons that I love our new apartment. But reason #1?
Gibson likes it.
And not only does she like it, she likes to be outside of it. And this, my friends, is a HUGE deal.
If this confuses you in any way, let me introduce you to our dog, Gibson.
Gibson is a very special dog in the most sarcastic of ways. Brad and I found Gibson (then Truffles) on Petfinder.com, where we had sort-of-kind-of been looking for a dog but not really. Then we came across this picture:
I mean, seriously. Isn’t she adorable? I even still have the link saved because those pictures are so freaking adorable.
The only thing that scared us a little was #1 the mention of St Bernard in the mix and #2 the size of our one bedroom apartment. But we were in love – with each other and with this “Truffles” – so we called and made an appointment to go check out this adorable little mutt.
We drove out to some house in the middle of the woods way out in the middle-of-nowhere Orlando (yes, that exists), and were greeted by this tiny puppy who was absolutely terrified of us. Kim, the woman who runs In Harmony With Nature Animal Haven, practically had to drag her over to meet us. She explained that the whole litter of puppies had been to three or four different puppy mills and had been miraculously saved each time. In their 4 months of life, they’d had a pretty rough go of it. ”Truffles” was one of three of the puppies left at her shelter to be adopted to good homes. She was the smallest of the litter and definitely the most shy, but she seemed to perk up a little around her brother.
Then a woman in a full spandex bicycling suit (I will never forget this detail – wtf?!?) came out with another puppy who looked exactly like “Truffles”, but had long, shaggy hair.
Meet Mr. Freeman, whose hair was even more ridiculous than this picture in person.
Instantly, “Truffles” perked up a little and started sniffing around and playing with her brother. It was like she forgot that scary strangers were trying to pet her. And Mr Freeman, besides having a really fantastic name, was hilarious. We wanted to get them both, but couldn’t afford it and REALLY didn’t have the space for two St Bernard mixes. And just to seal the deal, because I am a terrible impulse buyer, Mr Freeman got heart worm pretty bad in one of the puppy mills and was not up for adoption until he was all better.
We may have been a little leery to adopt such a shy dog until right before we left, Gibson built up some courage and gave me a little kiss on the face. I was hooked. (Nice work, girl) We left a check with Kim and rushed off to Target to get all the necessary puppy things. Oh and “Truffles” had to go. Brad named her Gibson,after the guitars obviously.
When we got Gibson back to our apartment, she was incredibly shy. Her favorite place was under the coffee table and she was terrified of the busy city street that we lived on. It was almost a shame she was so cute because everyone wanted to pet her and play with her, but she was so scared. We started prefacing everything with “Sorry, she’s really shy” so people wouldn’t feel bad about themselves when this cute little puppy didn’t like them.
We took her to dog parks, we had a lot of people over to visit, I took her on runs, we socialized her every way we knew how and every way Google told us to. But our dog went outside to do her business and come back in. And when anyone other than Brad or me was at our apartment, she would do her own thing.
Gibson is four years old now and has lived in as many apartments (7) and states (3) as Brad and I have together. It was a lot to ask of a shy dog to get on a plane and fly to California, but she did it. And she was even delivered to us at LAX in her crate on a forklift. True story.
It’s taken a loooong time, but Gibs is definitely starting to come out of her shell. Inside the apartment, she is neurotic and hyper and loves to play with anyone who will play with her and one of her toys. She’s still cautious around new people and afraid of almost everything, but she tends to trust who we trust and will get into a good game of tug-of-war wherever she can with whoever is willing. She barks at and chases reflections of lights on the walls and ceiling, she loves Brad’s cooking and the dog park, she keeps my feet warm in bed every night, and she even has a few tricks up her paws.
But she still hates walks.
Which is why last night, when she walked confidently ahead of me down the block in front of our new apartment building, I just followed and let her do her thing. Maybe Gibson has found a neighborhood that suits her. Maybe this block has a good vibe. Whatever it is, I immediately knew I was in love with this new apartment when my scared little Gibson felt like exploring. It was worth every stressful minute of moving the day after getting back from vacation and every penny we’ve had to (and are going to have to) pinch to make this work.
Oh, and Mr Truffles? We actually went back about a month after getting Gibson and decided if he was still there we were getting him. When we got there, a mom and her son were packing him up to take back to Tallahassee and renaming him Reilly. It is probably our biggest regret, especially because Mr. Freeman is a WAY cooler name than Reilly.
PS. And she’s totally NOT a St Bernard. WTF??