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A wonderful addition to the family

Sunday, Feb. 25, is a day our family will not soon forget. That is the day that our newest addition made its way into our home and our lives.
A new German shorthaired pointer puppy has captured our hearts.

After we unexpectedly lost our last dog, Maci, our home has felt empty and missing something.

For those of you who have had pets and suffered through the anguish of loss, you know exactly what I am talking about.

We missed walking through the door and not having our friend greet us with tail wagging.

We missed accidentally dropping a scrap from the kitchen and not seeing Maci burst in and swallow up whatever morsel fell. We suffered through those times when watching television our wonderful dog would snuggle us and melt the worries of the world away.

It was time.

Our last dog was a wonderful find through Illinois Birddog Rescue. We decided to go the rescue route again.

One night, my wife woke me up from to show me a picture on her phone. She told me, “I think I found the one.”

After my eyes adjusted, I gazed upon the most adorable thing. Her rescue page had named her Millie.

We really wanted another German shorthaired mix, so my wife called the next day to find out some information about Mille.

Our best guess puts her as a Christmas present that for one reason or another didn’t work out. She entered the rescue system in late January.

We scheduled an “official visit” for last Sunday.

What does that mean? It meant we had first right of refusal and the rescue was going to hold her for us until we got there.

We hoped she would be a good fit and pass all the puppy tests. As the day approached, my wife brought home new puppy toys. I knew in her mind this was almost a done deal.

When we arrived at the rescue agency, twinges of anxiety set in.

What if she was mean? What if she was too scared? What if she was too rambunctious?

One of the best tests we had read about when choosing our last dog was how the pup reacts to being handled.

Do they shake when held? Do they squirm and refuse to be content? Do they fight when holding them cradled in your arm?

We let the volunteer know we were ready to see Millie and another went back to get her. They asked that we wash our hands before playing with the young pup. While rinsing off the soap, the volunteer appeared from the back. The shelter attendant held her in her arms with a dog that was wagging its tail and perfectly content to be snuggled.

That was all it took. We knew she was going to be coming home.

We still went into a back room and got acquainted while playing with her, just in case.

Our first afternoon together has been full of love, learning how to get used to a collar and leash, numerous visits outside to learn where the business is supposed to be done, and one very special moment.

My son was at musical practice, the other was off at college, and my wife had to go to the high school for a while. I wrapped Millie in my arms and sat in my recliner.

In a matter of minutes she laid her head upon my chest and fell asleep for over an hour!

It’s safe to say that Millie has found her forever home. I know that while it is hard, our beautiful Maci is looking down on us and wagging her own tail as she watches her newest family member.

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