For those of you who follow me on Facebook or Instagram, you may already know what I’m about to say… but Kris and I started out 2017 by getting a dog! I’d like to introduce you guys to Loki the Rescue Dog!
We had been on the hunt to adopt the perfect dog for us and our lifestyle since Fall 2016. We’d been perusing petfinder.com and websites for local rescues and shelters, and for the last month of the year, we wound up actually going and meeting dogs to find out if they’d be a right fit for us.
On December 31, despite not seeing any dogs on the website that caught our eye, we found ourselves at the Hamilton Burlington SPCA in Hamilton, Ontario – just a short drive from where we live. Earlier that day I saw a new dog named Schneider on their website, but after reading his description- which really wasn’t written in a way that sold him to us – I hadn’t planned on actually taking the time to meet him – figuring he just wouldn’t be a good fit for us.
However, being the sucker I am, I had to go and “just look” at him. He took one look up at me with his chocolate brown puppy dog eyes and his prominent little forehead wrinkles and I knew I was done. We asked if we could meet him and the kind volunteers happily brought him out to us, instructing us where we could take him for a short walk. He exhibited some of his naughty habits (of wanting to bite and pull his leash, while growling possessively). To try to distract him, I found a stick on the ground and gave it over – he happily took the bait and walked nicely for the rest of our jaunt outside, proudly showing off his stick to anyone who walked by – making an adorable “Chewbacca” cooing sound.
Kris and I spent the rest of the shelter’s operating hours with him in a small room, falling more and more in love with him. Since Kris is ever the practical one, he told me he needed a night to sleep on it. Since the shelter wasn’t going to be open again until January 3, I agreed, figuring it would give him time to decide and us to get our house puppy proofed. That night at our New Years Eve party, we decided we would go back first thing on January 3 and bring him home!
We brought him home on January 3, and promptly renamed him from Schneider to Loki (the rescue dog). Being a puppy parent has definitely been challenging, but so rewarding – especially when he curls up next to me on the living room floor, or learns a new trick. He was technically brought in as a stray. Though we don’t believe he ever was a stray – rather we believe someone didn’t want to pay the surrender fee and just called animal control instead. He did come to us with a few behavioural issues that we’ve been working diligently on – and he’s been improving by leaps and bounds!
So what does this mean for travel?
You may be thinking – “But Melissa! You love travelling, a dog is gonna hinder that!”
And you’re right – a dog will definitely alter the way I travel. However, after last year’s huge travel year, I always said 2017 was going to be a quieter year on the travel front. Being that it’s Canada’s 150th Birthday this year, I always had plans on exploring my own home country, and Parks Canada is even making admission to all National Parks free this year! Kris and I secured our passes before Christmas and plan on exploring various parks in Ontario and Eastern Canada with Loki! Beyond that, we have an incredible support system of family and friends who are willing to step up and help us out if we have to jet off somewhere.
My days of spending 3 months in Africa or a year in Australia or New Zealand are over. That’s not me being pessimistic, just realistic. I’m too old for working holidays in most countries, now that I’ve turned the big 3-0. And let’s be real – I’ve got a life, a business, a house and a partner here in Canada. I’ll still travel – just not long term.
Fast Facts about Loki the Rescue Dog
Age: Currently 8months old (June 14, 2016 is his birthday)
Weight: Approximately 60lbs
Breed: Unknown – but we suspect he is a Lab Rhodesian Ridgeback mix. My mom keeps telling me she’s going to get us a DNA my Dog kit.
Likes: Treats, peanut butter in his kong, his antler chewtoy, tearing holes in soft toys (he’s no longer allowed any soft/cloth toys of any sort), meeting new people, greeting me in the morning, naps in front of the fireplace, the dog park, eating ice, visiting the vet
Dislikes: Being told to drop something he’s found on the ground, bedtime, not being allowed in the master bedroom, not being the center of attention, having an allergic reaction, when mom or dad have to go out