When I met BG, he showed me pictures of his dog, Loki. I listened to endless stories about how terrific he was. In my past dog-parent experiences, I’d never had such a great dog.
I thought that he was exaggerating—like children, doesn’t everyone think theirs is the greatest?
I finally met Loki about a month later. He was medium-sized and adorable. I had no experience with a dog weighing more than 30 pounds, so it took me a minute to get used to his 70+ pound frame. I first noticed that one of his ears folds down, and the other stands up. Very unique!
He stayed calm as he sniffed me to decide whether I was worthy of his attention. I must have passed, because he followed me the entire visit.
When BG and I got the house, I realized that I was going to be a full-time dog-mom, as BG worked.
I would be with Loki all of the time. Our visits had gone well, but what would it be like to share the responsibility of a six-year-old dog, who had only been used to BG previously?
The day finally came.
Loki had been staying with BG’s Dad as we transitioned to our new home. I remember sleeping on an air mattress and having a couple of fold-up chairs and a tv tray as our only furniture. We were going to stay at the new place during the move from two residences and storage facilities.
I drove to BG’s Dad’s house to pick up Loki. I was very nervous—I’d read that no matter how trained and well behaved a dog is, dog-parents should always remember that a part of the pet’s brain is DOG and can be unpredictable.
I nervously placed the leash on Loki’s collar. He followed my commands and was very easy to get into the car. On the eight-minute drive to his new home, he was curious and intently watched the scenery as his nose stuck out the back-seat window. He didn’t try to come to the front seat, and he stayed quiet. So far, so good, I thought.
The actual test would be orienting him to his new home. BG was at work, so I was responsible.
I pulled into our driveway and grabbed the leash from the driver’s seat as I got out. I was so fearful he would run away! After all of his years with BG and different surroundings, I was unsure what our relationship would be—much less how he would behave.
I opened the back door, and my arms danced around as I transferred his leash to the hand by the back-car door. Loki immediately jumped out, only pausing to smell the new scents. I tightened the strap as we approached the back door. He stood still as I unlocked and opened it.
We were finally at home!
Weirdly, I felt like I did when I brought my sons home from the hospital. This being was trusting me now. I was his provider while BG was at work. And, it was up to me to introduce him to our new abode.
We walked through the door and into the kitchen. I told Loki to “sit” as I unleashed him. Then I began walking through the kitchen and dining room. Loki stayed by my side, sniffing everything along the way. We walked together through the place that would be a living room eventually. Then we headed down the hall, inspecting the spaces that would become the office, the main bathroom, my dressing room, and our bedroom—complete with the air mattress.
Loki was patient with me and stuck by me the entire time, only leaving my side to investigate each room. Then I took him to the basement. We visited the den, second bedroom, storage rooms, and laundry. As before, he was beside me.
We spent the rest of the afternoon exploring the yard. I tightly gripped Loki’s leash as we wandered around.
Eventually, we retired to the bedroom. I watched my tablet on the air mattress, and Loki lounged beside the bed on a rug.
BG got home from work that day, and Loki was beside himself! He yelped, jumped up on BG, and licked his bald head.
He then turned and walked over to me.
He sat on my foot and waited for me to pet him. Then Loki just did the dog thing. He wandered around while BG and I talked and planned for the move. That night, he slept on the rug by my side of the bed.
BG awoke at 5:30 a.m. for work the next morning. Loki stayed on the floor beside me, barely raising his head to acknowledge BG’s departure. When I rustled as I awoke an hour later, Loki’s head popped up over the side of the bed, and he greeted me excitedly. I rolled over, rubbed his ears, let him lick me, and wondered what our first whole day together would hold.