It’s been almost a year since we had to have our Labrador, Kai, put to sleep. We miss him a lot, although our other Labrador, Watson, seems much more sanguine about it. In the beginning we didn’t actively think about getting another dog, but in the last few months we have begun to entertain the possibility.
We decided against getting another puppy – Watson was enough of a handful to think about avoiding going through all that again – so we kept an eye on the central website of the Dutch Animal Shelters, thinking that we might be able to adopt a dog.
As a result, in the last six weeks we’ve visited four animal shelters, the length and breadth of the Netherlands, looking at possible candidates. The first one was far too hyperactive for us; Watson is as mad as a box of frogs as it is, the thought of yet another did not appeal. Then Watson did not get on with the second or the third candidate, but the fourth seemed just right.
We went last Saturday with Watson to the animal shelter in Enschede to see Lexie, a 6½ year old female Labrador cross. We were all, Watson included, taken with her. Initially we thought that we’d have to make several visits to the shelter before the process of adoption could be completed, so we were surprised when the staff said that we could adopt her that very day.
So, since last Saturday, we are now the proud owners of Lexie.
It will take a while for her to settle in, at the moment she is very dependent on us, and does not like to let us out of her sight, or to be left alone. However, she is now becoming confident of her territory in our large garden, and today began exploring beyond its borders, so we’re going to have to keep an eye on that. She and Watson are getting on well, and play together.
And today we had a surprise from our neighbours. It’s the tradition around here to welcome new arrivals into the neighbourhood. Usually that’s for babies (mostly human – but last Sunday our neighbours celebrated the arrival of a foal at the farm next door). I looked out of the window after dinner, and saw balloons tied to the entrance to the garden, which certainly were not there a couple of hours earlier. Walking out to the front revealed the following sight:
It says: “Welcome to the neighbourhood, Lexie”.
It’s a delightful surprise. Thank you, neighbours! Hartstikke bedankt, buren!