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  • Writer's pictureRyan & Ally Gerken

Meet Doug the Dog

Doug is our most recent rescue pup, and though he seemed sporadic to my husband, he was planned. When the fires hit in Australia, I had a hard time. I thought, why aren't we all getting on a boat right now to go rescue the billions of animals in Australia. It was heartbreaking watching, and I wanted to do something but didn't know what that could be. My first thought was to make a commitment to plant 500 billion hemp plants to help combat the climate crisis, which is why the fires were so bad this year, to begin with. I calculated that out with my husband and realized it would take us roughly 87000 years to get that done in our current dwelling spot. Plan B; rescue an animal, of which Ryan said no. So three days later, Plan C. was born, rescue an animal. I don't mean to toot my own horn, but that is one of the very few things I am good at. And now that we are on a 40-acre farm… just saying! It was a perfect mix of happenings; I had attended an event that week with the featured presenter, Second Chance Humane Society, 15 miles south of where we live. They, of course, brought a pup that had been shot, and she was, of course, adorable. I said, OK! I will rescue her, but she wasn't available for adoption. This is where plan B was born, and when I told Ryan about my day, he laughed and said we are not getting another animal. This is also where he runs through the list of how many things we have to feed and take to the vet or the ER blah blah blah. So that weekend, after a nap, I re-proposed the idea with a photo of Saturn AKA puppy Doug. Ryan agreed to let us go look, we were about 30 minutes from the shelter closing, it's Saturday, and they aren't open on Sundays – so we booked it! We had to bring all three dogs, a requirement to adopt any of their animals, to make sure everyone gets along. And they did, and that was really all I had to do. Penelope and Madeline fell in love and started crying, "I can't leave without my puppy," and that left Ryan cornered on all sides! Can you imagine, all the pre-work I put into this plan and yet managed to arrive at the shelter without my wallet. I thought, "ok Ryan give me yours…" – he didn't have his either. OH NO, Our kids are literally crying and causing a scene right now. We then had to venture back to the cathouse where the main office is and get the typical "you are crazy look" for wanting to adopt another animal. This happened because they just reviewed our application and can see the pig, two cats, three dogs, and three small children standing in front of them. Yatta yatta yatta, they hand me the rescue sheet guidelines/instructions, which by now I know by heart. All for a good reason, lots of people out there can't commit, the only thing that bothers me is the word crazy, ESPECIALLY from other women - Not ok! APPROVED but… remember? We don't have our wallets. We panic, of course, because we are not patient with things like this. The idea of waiting until Monday when they open again 1. Would have devastated the girls and 2. Given Ryan time to change his mind. What was one to do? Google how to get the full credit card number, expiration date, and CV Code off of all those cards we supposedly save to our IEverythings! Thank goodness it worked, and thank goodness the women who already thought I was crazy, let us manually give her our credit card number. It wouldn't have been without the help of the volunteer saying allowed "it's no different than paying over the phone." Because the head lady was really reluctant to let us get Doug. It's a thing I notice most with women; we think we know better sometimes. Anywho Doug came home with us! We landed on the name Doug because it sounds like dog. We learned with one of our other Dogs, Bo, whose name sounds like No, not to make names confusing. Bo seems to have some genuine mental illness, and we think it is because he feels like he was told no his whole childhood. So we picked an easy name the girls could handle and wouldn't confuse the dog.

One concern the shelter had was that Doug wouldn't get enough people time, fair, I guess. But between the 40 acres of running space and the bond he's forged with the girls, Doug is getting plenty of everything. Doug naps every day from 1pm-2:30pm with Penelope and Madeline in their bed under a blanket (nap time is Penelope's cuddle time). He sleeps from 9pm-6am in the same spot only its Madeline's turn for the cuddle. They all get read three stories and sung three songs. Doug, and all the kids and animals, also get a 2-mile property walk every day! And the rest of the day, Doug spends much of his time chasing prairie dogs off our property and wrestling his other fur family. All is well. We love you, Doug, & we love animals in general and can't wait to put a million more of them on our 40-acre farm! Be Kind. Be Positive.

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