sorry for the long lapse in posting, but i was busy with the doggie. we spent a week with her, but for a couple of reasons, it didn’t work out, and she is back with the rescue. we are really sad about it not working out, and we still really love dogs (and her!), but feel confident that this was the best decision.
one problem was that her personality was pitched as a little more mellow/laid back/couch potato-y than it really is… which isn’t a bad thing, necessarily, but right now our life is not really conducive to a crazy girl. she is an awesome dog and a whole lot of fun, but we were doing two long walks per day, plus short walks, plus a rousing game of fetch, and she was still often raring to go. since we spend an awful lot of our "home time" staring at our computers, working, i felt like she was getting a little frustrated with our inactivity. i think some of her personality would have "settled" with manners classes and also with age (since she is only just 1), but in general her personality was much more boisterous than we had expected.
the other problem was that i got hives from her! it was quite a surprise, and not a pleasant one as you can imagine. i do have sensitive skin, and i know that i’m allergic to pine trees and evergreen bushes… so i have always blamed my occasional "dog-walking hives" on the dog getting into the trees or bushes. well, i knew that our pup hadn’t been in any trees or bushes, but whenever i touched her with anything but the palm of my hand, i instantly developed hives. it was really sad. i was an itchy red mess. i talked to my vet and she said that two of her vet techs have the exact same problem when they deal with dogs that have short, coarse hair (e.g., pit bulls, boxers, etc.). i just couldn’t believe it! i guess i’ll have to pay better attention to the dogs i react to, and maybe stop placing blame solely on the foliage. in any case, that part totally sucked.
she was about 50/50 with the cats during the week we had her. sometimes she laid perfectly still and let them approach her, like it was the most natural thing in the world. other times she would go crazy trying to get to them; she wanted to play with them so much. to our cats’ credit, they kept coming around, so i guess they trusted that they were safe. they are so fabulous.
if we already had tenure (i.e., had more "carefree" lives) and if i doused myself daily in topical ointments, i think this would have ended a different way… but the way things are right now, i think this was the right decision, as big of a bummer as it is. *sniff*