Shortly after I had to say goodbye to my sweet Sara, I began volunteering for a local rescue group. I wanted to take some time before getting another dog so that I could travel and also be emotionally prepared to welcome a new dog into my life. I highly recommend volunteering as a way to soothe your soul after losing a beloved pup.
In July, just over a year later, I was talked into fostering a small senior named Gil. Gil was thought to be 11 yrs old; the rescue group was calling him a poodle mix, though many since have labeled him a Bichon. When I say “talked into”, I mean it. I had a trip planned the following week and 5 more trips planned within the next 4 months! I really felt I had no business fostering a dog with that schedule. Plus I was never really into small dogs… I’d always been more of a “big dog person”.
But my fellow volunteers insisted that small dogs get adopted easily and they assured me that I wouldn’t have Gil long … in fact, they guessed he’d likely be adopted within a week or two at most. After all, all the other small dogs we had had been adopted quickly, leaving Gil as the only small dog currently with the rescue group, the main reason for wanting a foster home for him in the first place. So I said yes.
A week later, I took Gil back to the rescue kennels when I went out of town. He was taken to an adoption event that weekend but was passed over, so I picked him up again when I returned. And that story was repeated 5 more times over the next few months. The fourth time I dropped him off prior to one of my trips, I told the group if he wasn’t adopted by the end of the series of trips I had currently planned, somewhere around the end of October, I would adopt him. Gilly had indeed grown on me.
First of all, look at that face! Plus, I could scoop him up in my arms whenever I liked, something I was never able to do with my big dogs. And he didn’t shed, also a first for me. While I would take Ace’s hair all over me and everything else again in a heartbeat, I had to admit, a dog that didn’t shed was kind of nice… oh, and for the first time, I had a dog who didn’t fight me when I dressed him up. (Well, ok, maybe when I put the hat on him!)
One thing I hadn’t thought out prior to making it official was Gil’s grooming needs. Ace & Sara were really low maintenance compared to Gilly. All that curly hair needs regular brushing to avoid matting and he needs a minimum of twice yearly haircuts (we’ll see what we can get away with). But he’s so gosh darn cute when he’s shaved too, that it’s hard to give much thought to that either.
Small or not, it’s apparent I’ve fallen in love with my little Gilly Skiggles. And as others who love small dogs know, the size of the dog does not determine the size of the love shared between us.
Here’s to dogs of all sizes!