Within a week, we were talking about what an amazing dog Jager was, and how good Rhodesian Ridgebacks are with kids, and how everything we loved about her personality was characteristic of the Ridgeback, and, well, maybe an 80 pound dog wouldn't be so bad. But we were still waiting until after Christmas.
A week after that, Jason started saying that he really wanted another dog. He really missed Jager, and maybe we should just see what was out there.
So I caved, and we started looking for a dog.
Once we realized that we wanted a Rhodesian Ridgeback, we figured we had two options: a Ridgeback rescue, or a breeder. Almost all of the dogs at the rescues either had severe medical issues, or were well on their way to the end of their lives, neither of which was really what we wanted at this point in our lives. We also decided that with two small children, our best bet was to get a young puppy and raise her with our kids so that she would have no issues being around small children. Jager was a rescue dog, but we got pretty lucky with her, and with kids, I just wasn't willing to gamble.
That left breeders. I always vowed I would never get a dog from a breeder, because for one, I am cheap! Spending that kind of money on anything, let alone a dog, was beyond my understanding. However, I realized that what I was paying for in getting a dog from a reputable breeder was the closest thing to a guarantee as is possible with a living creature that we would get the kind of dog we wanted. After several hours on the internet I had found a handful of breeders in the state of California, though none closer than a three hour drive. I emailed a few of them about their upcoming litters and inquired about price and process. One of the breeders wrote back that she had a friend with puppies ready to go home right then who lived in my area.
Two days later we were making the very reasonable 30 minute drive to check out the puppies, and two weeks after that ("which was just this past Sunday) we made the drive again to bring home our newest family member.
She is 12 weeks old and already weighs 26 pounds! In case you are wondering, that is more than Harriette and only slightly less than Cyrus. She is still in the sleeping several hours a day phase, which is good, because when she isn't sleeping she is a bundle of boundless energy! Her favorite activities are chasing Cyrus around the couch, biting anything she can get her teeth on (including my pants leg, the kid's toys, wooden stools, etc), and chasing Cyrus on his bike outside. (The energy of a three year old does wonders for wearing out a new puppy!)
What she doesn't have, though, is an official name. We've been tossing several around for the past five days, and one has been used consistently for the last two days, but not all family members are in full agreement. So for now, she is simply our new puppy, and we love her!