Do you remember what your first thought was when you first saw your dog? Was he a puppy, squirming around with his littermates? A pair of soulful eyes behind the door of a shelter kennel? A boisterous, unkempt animal in need of some love?
First impressions of Pyrrha
We first met Pyrrha in the parking lot of a PetCo, where her foster mom, Cassie, had brought her to meet us. My first thought was, She’s so pretty!
And then my second thought was: Oh, wow, she’s really scared.
Somehow the first thought drowned out the second thought. Isn’t that how it sometimes goes?
We sat down in the grass with her, and Pyrrha walked up to Guion and then sat on his feet. We took this as a small sign of affection. (And interesting, in retrospect, that it was Guion she did this to, seeing as she’s still only now learning how to trust him.)
I was so dog-crazy at this point that I had already made up my mind that we were going to adopt her — even though if I had listened to my rational mind, I maybe would have backed up and said, “Wait, you probably shouldn’t choose, as your first dog, the dog with serious fear issues.”
But that’s not what I did, and I don’t regret it, even though life with Pyrrha hasn’t always been the easiest. Cassie let us take Pyrrha on a little trip to Lowe’s that evening, and I was just enamored with her. Here I was, walking around with this dog who was going to join our life! I couldn’t believe it. She quietly got in the backseat of our car and was panting, panting, panting, eyes wide — clearly scared, but so gentle and compliant. I wanted to name her Inez. Guion brought up Thekla and Pyrrha as possibilities. “Pyrrha” had such a soft, pretty sound, unlike the other names, and we realized, looking at this sweet, shy, beautiful girl in the backseat, that we had a name for her.
First impressions of Eden
I also met Eden at the same PetCo, with the same foster mom who had taken care of Pyrrha! (Cassie is our fairy dog-mother, I guess; always bringing our dogs into our lives.)
It was a cold, rainy December afternoon, and Eden (then called Eva) came bounding in the doors, dragging Cassie after her. Edie slipped all over the linoleum floors with a big grin on her face. My first thought was, Her hocks look so much more exaggerated than Pyrrha’s. And, surprise, surprise, my second thought was, She is skinny!
Eden and I had to wait for about half an hour together inside the PetCo, and she was just delighted to be there, to see all of these people and dogs and children! I was pleased with how outgoing she was, how seemingly unafraid of anything. She stole a toy off a low shelf, which Cassie bought for her. She cried pitifully when Cassie left her with me, which made me sad, but she perked up in a bit, distracted by her new toy. We talked for a long time with a PetCo employee, who said that Eden restored her faith in German shepherds; she’d been attacked by two shepherds when she was young, and seeing such a happy, friendly shepherd was heartwarming to her.
Eden nimbly hopped in the backseat of our car when Guion came to get us, and we took her home to meet her new big sister. We were technically calling her a “foster” for two weeks, but our minds were made up pretty quickly that she was going to stay.
What were your first impressions of your dog(s)? Are they still accurate as to how you think of your dog today?