This past Saturday we adopted the love of our lives! She is the sweetest and most adorable pup we’ve ever seen… no bias at all. 😉 (She likes to eat grass, as you can see in the photo above.)
It will be a busy several months ahead, but it’s already proving to be worth it and then some. Here are some photos from the last 36 hours or so, including our experience at Lifelife Puppy Rescue in Brighton, Colorado.
Since it was all such a mystery to us, I thought it might be helpful to talk about what the process was like.
Lifeline Puppy Rescue
After tons of research and, for lack of a better word, stalking pup rescue organizations in and around Denver (following them on social media, reading reviews, etc.), I finally decided that Lifeline Puppy Rescue was our best bet. Each week they posted not just a few cute pup photos but numerous ones, and each weekend during their adoption events, almost all of them would be adopted out. I liked that!
They pay for and provide spaying/neutering and microchipping for all pups. If a pup doesn’t get adopted, they keep her for life, and keep trying to find her a good home. They are a no-kill shelter, through and through. They’ve been operating for 24 years.
Quick details: They’re located in Brighton, Colorado, off of a nice country road and only allow in-person adoption at their events, which are typically Saturdays and Sundays from 11 am to 3 pm.
The only issue I have with Lifeline is their system for the actual adoption-day process. It’s first-come, first-served, and you reserve your spot in line with your car. The first car parks right up at the gate, the next one behind it and so forth.
One of my coworkers, Siobain, has adopted through Lifeline before; her recommendation sealed the deal for me when it came to choosing a rescue. Many rescues hold their events at the same day and time, which means you just have to choose one and go for it. It was Siobain who told me about the car situation, otherwise I would’ve assumed it was a standing line only. They don’t really explain this on their website or social media platforms.
She also told me to get their early. The gates will only at 11, but you can line up as early as you want. I was determined to be first in line, so we got there at 7:30 am! We were third. Geez!
At around 10:30, a Lifeline volunteer walks up to each car in line, and if people are inside the car, they issue numbers. Had we left our car, we would’ve virtually went from position 3 to last. Make sure you don’t leave your car after 10 am!
You can leave your car earlier, though, and thank goodness for it, too! It was an incredibly hot day on Saturday, and we didn’t want to idle the car, so we roasted and sweated and did our best to entertain ourselves (standing in the shade and reading more about training in those puppy books). There also is no bathroom around and a lot of open, private land. If you have to pee, you have to get creative. I won’t give you details on what we did, ha!
Note: Colorado Puppy Rescue was my second choice for our pup adoption, and they have an online signup starting at 12:01 am the night before their event, which means you can holding your “spot” without having to sit in your car for three and a half hours. This is something Lifeline should look into doing!
Finally, at 11 am, Lifeline peeps give you a briefing and then let the first 10 people in. You walk through the little play pens and look at all the puppies!
We immediately were drawn to a pen full of shepherd mix pups. We met with the fluffy one on the right first, but she was not a match.
We initially had chosen 4 pups from the website photos that we wanted to meet, and we put them in order. But upon arrival we learned that they had about 10 extra pups come in that night, and our “plan” went out the window when we saw the top one in the photo above (near the bucket of water).
When you see a dog you like, you raise your hand and a volunteer will pick him or her up and allow you to meet in a closed off space for about 15 minutes. Having read The Art of Raising a Puppy, we knew to look for attentiveness, curiosity, confidence, but also a pup who doesn’t try to dominate you. Although she was sleepy and overstimulated, Harper passed the test. We were smitten!
You raise your hand again (whether you’re ready to adopt the one you’re with, or you’re ready to meet another pup) and a volunteer helps you to the next phase. We filled out paperwork, listened to a lecture on caring for pups (especially since most of them had just gotten fixed), and then get a number to wait to pay and check out. The whole process took about an hour or so.
We finally were to free to take Harper home!
She immediately went to sleep in the car. How sweet is she?
Since she’s a rescue, we can’t be entirely sure of her lineage. She’s definitely a German shepherd mix; what she’s mixed with, though, we just don’t know. Her body hair is wiry and reminds us of a heeler/cattle dog. That’s our best guess!
You can see her coloring better here. Look at those ears and paws! We’re hoping she is a good medium-sized dog.
When we got home, we let her explore her new environment—where we take her to go potty outside, her crate, toys, food and water bowls, and us! Look at that happy grin on Nick’s face. 🙂
She’s already caught on to the come command, sit, and “in your crate.” She’s an incredibly fast learner, which makes us so happy. All that learning tuckers her out, though. Her #1 pastime is sleeping, for sure.
She is so attentive and loves being with the pack. We have a baby gate that we put up in the kitchen so that she can roam with us as we prepare meals. Here’s she looking up at Nick while he does the dishes.
Sunday afternoon, we took her to meet our friends Roland and Liz. They have a great big backyard where she had a ball running around and investigating all the smells. She also got to play with a small pile of ice, which seemed to be her favorite thing in the world (especially on a summer day). We knew she’d be utterly exhausted afterward… she lasted about 2.5 seconds on the car ride home.
She’s in the phase where people and other-pup socialization is extra important. She’s already met a few people and will hopefully get to meet other pups soon. After her vet appointment, we’ll see about taking her to kinder-pup class! 🙂
Truth be told, after not even 2 full days, Nick and I are beyond tired. But it’s a good tired.