Otter Comes Home

First things first: his name is now Otter. The vote was close indeed, and thank you for voting! When it came down to it, though, Otter is a more unique name than Buster. And unique wins every time!

Otter sits nicely

Isn’t he a cutie?

This is his story.

Last Saturday, Amy and I headed to Home Depot to buy a post-hole digger. Across the way from the HD is a very large, very shiny, very new Petsmart. Being part of the new demographic of “animal owners who treat their pets as members of the family”, I pulled Amy in, intent on looking for this thing I’d seen in Bark magazine. (Yes, now you know too much.)

Then I heard the barking. Lots of barking. CRAZY barking! More than one dog barking. Like a moth to the flame, I found myself drawn to the barking. There were 3 crates over at the side of the store, each holding one young dog. Two of them were barking their fool heads off at each other, play bowing in their crates at each other, and generally being hilariously obnoxious. In the third crate, however, was the calmest, sweetest-looking brown-and-black boy dog. He was a little big for the crate, and seemed vaguely uncomfortable. I knelt down and put my fingers to the openings, and he gently licked them. (I suspect I was a goner at this point, although I had no idea at the time.)

We chatted with the volunteers a bit about the crazy dogs, about the sweet gentle dog, and then we wandered away. One of the volunteers took the gentle boy out of his crate and walked him around the store until they found us. I asked him to sit, which he did, and gave him a dog treat Amy had stashed away in her pocket.

As we were poking around more, I thought out loud to Amy, “I wonder if Maggie would get along with him?” She looked at me like I was nuts, and tried valiantly to be the voice of reason. But eventually she agreed that we could go get Maggie and see how an introduction would go. All there and back, she was being reasonable and rational. And I just said, “We’ll let Maggie decide. If she tries to take his face off, we won’t pursue it any further.”

Well, Maggie did snark at first, but then settled down pretty quickly. She isn’t very good with new dogs when she’s on leash, but got to the calm space with this guy right away. To me, that was as good as gold. Since she tends to be picky in her dog-tastes, and didn’t hate this guy, and I liked him (and Amy thought he was kind of nice enough if a bit big and smelly), we made the leap of faith to take him home.

A few hundred dollars later (adoption fee, vet visit, new crate, more food) and he’s settling in pretty well. He and Maggie are trying hard to figure out the whole dominance thing throgh wrasslin’ and pouncing and chasing each other around. She keeps looking at us as if to say, “Why me? WHY ME? And why, if you had to do this, couldn’t you have found someone shorter than him? Because I cannot get on his back in any sort of dominant way with his height!” But for the most part, they seem to like each other a lot.

And I am a happy dog girl, living with Maggie and Otter.

6 thoughts to “Otter Comes Home”

  1. Thank you, thank you, thank you for the story! I loved it. When you see them, you know it’s right. I would love to get our Maggie a pal, but not until we get a fenced in yard. Thanks again for sharing Otter’s story.

  2. Otter is so precious! He does look very chilled out. Is he a lab mix? I’m sure Maggie will get used to him before too long. You have a boy and a girl — your family is complete!

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