Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Emma's Adoption Story

Last week, I shared Zoe's Adoption Story. Now, I would like to share the tale of how I became a proud pug owner and brought the perfectly "pugalicious" Emma into my life. 

After we adopted Zoe in October 2011, we spent the next couple of months adjusting to life with a rapidly growing puppy (she went from 25 lbs to 50 lbs in less than three months). While we were happy with our beautiful mastiff, we knew our family wasn't complete. Zoe needed a friend. She needed someone to play with throughout the day and keep her company when we were away. 

For years, I dreamed about adopting a pug. I remember flipping through my dog encyclopedia book as a child and being attracted to their adorable smushed up faces. Although I couldn't adopt one during college or in the immediate years thereafter, I bought calendars and planners featuring pugs.

When my boyfriend (Micah) asked what would be my dream dog, there was no question. It was a pug! He had just fulfilled his wish of adopting a mastiff and now it was time to make my dreams come true too. Sometimes with and sometimes without my knowledge, he began to search Craigslist for a pug around December 2011. We emailed about a few pugs but sometimes they were already gone and other times the asking price was simply too high.

We left San Diego for a week at Christmas to visit our families in the Pacific Northwest and we suspended our search for the time being. Shortly after we returned, Micah searched again and found a 9-month-old female pug on Craigslist. He emailed and received a response the next day, which invited us to come meet the pug. It was January 4, 2012. 

Emma's first day home!
We were anxious to meet her the rest of the day and made plans to pick her up after Micah's basketball game around 8 p.m. We drove about 30 minutes to a neighborhood in East San Diego that we weren't very familiar with. It was pitch black and some of the neighborhoods that we drove through looked a little sketchy. I remember hoping that there really was a dog at this location and that we wouldn't get robbed. 

Thankfully, Emma lived in a nice townhouse with a young family, including a two-year-old boy. The family had adopted her as a puppy but were moving to a new house that didn't accept pets. While I could never imagine choosing to live somewhere that I couldn't bring my fur babies, it all ended up working out in my favor. 

As soon as we arrived at the house, the woman picked up Emma and placed her in my arms. For the rest of our 10-minute discussion, Emma snuggled in my arms and was as still as a statue. Then we paid them the re-homing fee, collected the few belongings that she had and drove home with our beautiful new pug.

Emma was just as happy to have found us
as we were to have found her!
Although her name was Rocca, we quickly decided that she needed a more feminine name. Within days, she was known as Emma.

The first few days were rough. Zoe wasn't incredibly welcoming to her new sister. In fact, the night we brought Emma home, we had to keep the two separated because Zoe seemed like she wanted to eat Emma. Micah and I walked into the bedroom, which is where Zoe sat in her kennel, and she wagged her tail happily at the sight of us. Then Emma came prancing in behind us and Zoe's joy quickly turned into growls.

There was definitely an adjustment period in learning to get along. We brought Emma home on a Wednesday night and the next two days we kept the dogs separate unless both Micah and I were home to supervise. 

But on Saturday, we took the dogs to the beach and miraculously, they bonded. Zoe stepped into protective sister mode and made sure that no one messed with her little sister, aside from her, of course. They frolicked on the beach together and it was the first of many trips to dog beach. From that point on, the two became best friends.

Emma and Zoe's first trip to the beach together!
Adopting a pug has brought so much joy to my life. There's an endless supply of fun and laughter, cuddles and kisses. She's definitely everything I hoped she would be and so much more. I couldn't imagine my life without my beautiful pug and best friend.

Emma and Mommy on a hike.

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