We're adopting again...a 2 year old boy...a black lab.

I have only had 2 dogs in my life.  My childhood dog, was a brilliant and loyal Border Collie named Freckles.  When she died in my junior year of high school, I missed two days of school because my tears wouldn't stop flowing.  She had always been there and adjusting to her absence was  painful.

When Devyn and Maddy were 9 and 6, they were desperate to have a dog.   Devyn, who has always known how to state her case, got a book about different breeds of dogs and every night at dinner she would rule a particular breed in or out.

"Mom, I know Freckles was a great dog but I don't think we should go with a Border Collie, they thrive when there is a job to do, and if they don't have one they will find one, she may try to herd Maddy and me"

"Now the Chihuahua (which she pronounced Cha-hooah-hooah) is nice but I don't think right for us"

"Let's talk about the Rhodesian Ridgeback"

"I understand that Labrador Retrievers and Golden Retrievers are excellent family dogs."

The day after she made that last proclamation, Kurt and and girls when out to pick up pizza and when they returned home they raced into the house to share some big news.  At Towne Pizza there was a sign for Golden Retriever puppies for sale....and they lived right in our neighborhood!!  I agreed to go look at the puppies and that was that, no one can resist a Golden puppy.  We picked our favorite and named her Annabelle.

  For 10 years Annabelle was part of our family.  She did all the things that dogs do best, welcomed us with a wagging tail every morning when we woke up, let us know when someone arrived, long before the doorbell rang, snuggled up to us when we watched a movie, sat on our feet when they were cold, ate every crumb that we spilled and most importantly was a constant, comforting presence.  How strange and sad our house felt when she was gone.

About a year ago, I started to entertain the thought of another dog.  We know a couple of families who have Labradoodles, so I did a little research.  Oh my gosh...adorable.  I emailed a breeder, and she expected a new litter to be ready a few months later.  I didn't mention it to Kurt because I knew he wasn't quite ready for a new dog.  I did, however, mention it to Devyn (recalling her dog expertise when she was 9).  I thought she would share my enthusiasm and help me to convince Kurt it was time for a new dog.  Her response was the last thing I expected.  She said, "Mom, you traveled to the other side of the world twice to get  kids who needed a family and your going to order a designer dog?  Don't you think you could find a dog that needs a family?"  I dropped the Labradoodle thing immediately.  I also realized I really didn't want another dog...yet. 

Now over two years have passed, since we lost Annabelle, and we are truly ready to love another dog.  I immediately ruled out Golden Retrievers, it would be easier, I think, to love a new dog, who doesn't look like our old dog.  A lab seemed right. Kurt's cousin just adopted a great yellow lab from a rescue group and it seemed like an excellent way to go.

I was drawn to the yellow labs, because while not being Goldens, they still reminded me of Annabelle.  Then I  read an article on the website urging potential adopters to consider black labs.  Black dogs are the least adopted and most euthanized of all dogs simply because of their color.  Okay, I thought I'd take a quick look but really had my eye on a particular yellow and if that yellow wasn't for us, I had a back up yellow in mind.

So to be fair, I gave the black labs a once over and one guy caught my eye. His name is Jonesie.  As I read about this 2 year old black lab and enlarged his photo, Mikias spotted him on my computer and asked me to read his description.  I did and Mikias declared that he was our dog.  I had a good feeling about Jonesie too.  I emailed an inquiry about this dog.  I also emailed about the yellows.  I heard back about all the dogs on my list and the black lab was truly everything we wanted in a dog.  Our search was over.

If Jonesie was our dog's name for the past 2 years I would have agreed to keep it but it was given to him recently and we want to give him a name from us. For a long time I thought we would name our next dog Fenway but none of us thought it suited this dog.  We spent a couple of days brainstorming names and only one name felt right.  Our new dog name's is Addis.  Addis Ababa is the captital of Ethiopia and the place we met  Mikias and Jemberu.  This dog will be the dog of their childhood, much like Annabelle was for the girls and Freckles was for me.  We think Addis is the perfect name for this dog.

Addis is in Louisiana, where she was picked up as a stray.  She will be leaving Louisiana on January 9th and soon after that be home with us.  I can't wait.