Stephanie Burgis
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Welcome Maya
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So, for the past few weeks, I've been getting kind of addicted to the Border Collie Trust website. (Remember the sheep game?) They don't post photos of their dogs, but they do post descriptions of their personalities, and this Friday I read a description that made me gasp out loud and call Patrick to read it too. We spent Saturday saying, "Well, maybe..." and--y'know, casually, for the future--thinking about what would need to be done to the house to make it new-dog-proof. Just in case.

And then yesterday we adopted Maya:


Maya is a border collie cross (with terrier maybe?) who was picked up as a stray in Wales about a month ago. She's tiny and skinny, but she has a sturdy little body. The shelter workers guessed that she might be three years old, although she acts younger and her face looks pretty puppyish. But her defining quality is this: she is completely love-hungry.

We'd originally planned to meet two different dogs (one at a time) and then make up our mind between them. Then the shelter worker brought out Maya and she leaped straight into our arms...and from there flopped right onto her back on the floor for tummy-tickles. We got her out to the grass, where she stood up on her hind legs and fell back onto me for full-body cuddling. We looked at each other over her head, and Patrick said, "Are we really going to send her back to look at the other one?"

Well, no. Obviously not.

She is - nigh-on miraculously - house-broken. She's completely untrained in every other way, but she is also incredibly submissive, learns fast and will do absolutely anything to get petted. So far our biggest challenge has been to keep her from crawling into our laps during mealtimes and into the bed at night.

I'm not feeling great this week - damn this cold, damp winter weather! - but Maya sure is making everything seem brighter. We spent this afternoon napping together on the couch, her curled up tightly against me like a little hot water bottle.

Getting Maya yesterday has made the memories of Nika even more vivid and intense in a way that sometimes feels really painful. I so wish we'd gotten Maya while Nika was here - they really would have been ideal playmates for each other. But today, when I started crying because I missed Nika so much, Maya snuggled up to me, laid her head in the curve of my neck and gently set her paw on my shoulder. It didn't take away the pain...but it felt so much better than crying alone in an empty house.

Welcome, Maya. We're really glad you're here.

You can see more pictures here.

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