The Rough & Tumble
For the second time in our life, we got a second dog and it's taken us a second to write about her, but it's now been a week, so we think it's high time we introduce you to our dog, Magpie Mae. We've quickly fallen in love with this little dog and are glad to have a new member in our little family.
Now you're probably thinking, "Ruffles and Tum Tums what have you done! You live in 16ft of space why were you looking for a second dog?!" But let's get one thing clear. We don't go out looking for these big, slobbery, dopey, brown eyed dogs. They come looking for us.
Back in October, Mallory got a text from our good friend, Amanda, who said she had a friend who worked for a rescue and they had a 4 year old English Mastiff named Maggie Mae whose owners had passed within a year of each other and she was just wondering if we were looking for a second dog. We weren't. At least not seriously. Mallory always has some animal rescue site pulled up on her phone, to pass the time while we drive through Kansas or to coo over right before bed, but doesn't everybody? But then our friend sent us a blurry picture from the rescue and told us she was 180 lbs and we thought "OH MY GOODNESS SHE'S SO CUTE!" But we were in Vermont at the time, and she was being fostered in Fort Wayne, IN and in matters of bringing a new stranger into our life, we like to keep a light touch and allow the universe to set the course a little bit. So we said, if she is still available in December when we're passing through, we'll pick her up. If she's adopted sooner, then she wasn't meant to be our dog. Well, she got adopted by a really nice family with a few kids a couple days after Thanksgiving and that was that. She wasn't our dog and we both felt a sort of let down, but breathed in the cold winter air and also felt a sort of relief. She wasn't our dog.
While on a walk with Puddle later that afternoon, Mallory had a moment of clarity and intuited that a dog was on its way to us and that she couldn't yet say goodbye to Maggie Mae. And a few days after that, on December 2nd, the day after we left Vermont we drove across Pennsylvania and got a text asking if we still wanted her. She was too much responsibility for a family with young kids, too much barking, too much running in the house. But she wasn't too much for us and so on December 5th we drove out to Fort Wayne, IN and brought her home....wherever that is.
Magpie is not 180 lbs like we were originally told. She's 105 lbs. And while that is still a whole lot of dog, she at least can fit in the backseat with Puddle. She was bred not too long ago and had a litter of 5 or 6 puppies before the rescue spayed her. We were told she didn't take well to being a mother and maybe that's because she still has a bit of puppy in her still, even as a 4 year old.
Magpie has spent the last week slowly telling us who she is. She's told us that she loves walks and can be on leash without pulling. She's into music, just not the sad, country songs- they make her cry like a hound dog. Just today we saw her run for the first time when she caught a case of the zoomies and chased Pud around the yard like a long-legged lion who can't navigate turns without falling down. Magpie has really taken to her name and will grab a toy when we enter the room, and show it off to us like she's an actual Magpie with something shiny in her beak. She's told us that she used to be allowed up on the couch and will lean her whole 105 lbs against your legs when she wants up. But we're holding strong-it doesn't suit this family band that plays lots of house shows for her not to be a floor dog, like Puddle is and like Butter was. She's learning to take treats without taking your finger along with it and learning to not eat off your plate even though every table is right at eye level. She's learning to not to jump up on people and that when we say sit, we mean sit. The biggest thing we've been working on is her association with the exercise police; an elite group of dogs who bark their heads off from the back seat at that girl on a bicycle, that guy on his morning run, that kid walking along the street, that lady with her dog. Puddle is part of it too. Magpie can be bribed with treats, but you gotta catch her before she sees the person exercising. So we've taken to being vigilant and keeping beef flavored treats in the pockets of our vegetarian flannels and when someone is approaching we'll hand off a treat and rub her head and say in that slow, low voice that every pet person instinctually speaks with, "Look at that niiiice person. Isn't that person a goooood person and you're a goooood dog and that person has just as much right as you to exist in that place and we don't need to bark our heads off just because they're on rollerblades and you're in the truck. We've got this. You don't need to protect us from rollerbladers." It's good to be reminded of that ourselves.
We're slowly telling Magpie about who we are as well and about this great adventure the four of us are on. She's already getting the hang of the long, road-dog drives, and waking up in a different place than where she went to sleep. She's been meeting our friends in Ohio and in Nashville and soon will learn what it's like to spend Christmas in Florida with family. She doesn't know it yet, but she's got a whole family to meet across the United States as well, and we're just howling with excitement for you to meet her too. We're hoping to have her stage ready by 2019 and before we know it she'll be traveling with us across the country again and on up into Alaska in 2020 (who said what?!) We've got two doggies again and it feels so good.