Some people might remember that we first met Mia back in February. After several months, her family made the brave decision to rehome her, as it was not possible for them to adjust their lifestyle for her needs. Mia came to stay with us while a permanent home was sought for her.
Having Mia for an extended period proved to be a lot more challenging than when she came to stay for just one night. The age gap & difference in energy levels between her (12 months) and Ishka, Frankie (both 10 years old), Bolo (9 years old) and Czar (7 years old) was increasingly obvious. The novelty of having playmates wore thin, the older dogs spent more time sunbaking and Mia got bored. The weather turned wet and cold, and she proved to looooove playing in puddles, digging and then tracking her muddy footprints all over the house. After her time at Dishlickers, some time back home and then a few nights with another SHCV family, Mia had experienced a lot of change. She was quite anxious and vocal, especially about being left at home, despite having company with the other dogs. Mia also found new toys to chew - my passionfruit vine, a roll of duct tape, two tubes of silicon sealant, a computer charger, raw cookie dough, an outdoor chair, two dog mats... they were all more interesting than the chew toys that were scattered around her crate. I took to walking or running her as often as possible. 90 minutes of walking did not overly tire her out - she'd start nipping at Czar's ears as soon as we got home.
One possible home came up and we did a meet & greet. J and I were hesitant about the new home - Mia would be an only dog, with a single older lady who, it became apparent, had less breed experience than she had suggested. It was good that the lady only worked three days a week, but I was concerned that Mia would still have a lot of time home alone to get bored and get into trouble. It was a bit of a relief that it fell through.
While we waited for another offer, Mia settled into a routine. Play in the morning, then a walk, then some quiet time, then some more play, all outside til it got dark to make sure she didn't eat something dangerous while I was busy with the baby, since I couldn't trust her not to forage up on the bench top. In the evenings she'd stretch out at my feet, and sleep happily in her crate overnight. Mia stopped complaining about being left at home with the other dogs as she got used to our routine. I still felt pressured, but I also started to enjoy having her around.
Then inspiration struck. A family who's elderly husky cross had passed away some months ago. With three teen and tween kids and a stay at home mum, there was the perfect balance of energy and company for Mia. I quietly broached the idea to the dad and he was concerned about the cat. Disappointing, but fair enough.
The family came to Kialla West to visit us for the weekend at the NVSDC Classic. I was stunned when the mum and eldest son said to me "We want Mia!" I said "what about the cat?" They said the cat wasn't around much, and could go back to the grandparents' farm if need be. It took a bit of time to talk the dad around, but he had the whole family campaigning for Mia. By the end of the weekend when we found him stretched out on the grass at Mia's stake out, we knew he was sold too.
Ten days later, during which time the family came to walk Mia twice and J helped them install their electric fence, and I was packing up Mia's things! When we arrived the eldest son took her for a run while the fence was finished. J and I went home and marveled at the calm that descended on the house without all that puppy energy around.
Mia's new family have been kind enough to send us regular updates. It hasn't been totally smooth sailing - she's destroyed another dog bed - but generally, things seem pretty good. Two to three walks per day, plus lots of company and lots of cuddles - she's got the exercise she needs and the affection she craved. I'm so glad that the family have proved such a great match for Mia. SHCV have also gained some enthusiastic new members!
Now I can plan to replant my passion fruit!