It’s Bristol, Baby

Time to formally introduce Bristol to the blog. I should’ve posted this on Tuesday for Subaru’s National #MakeADogsDay but alas…

This might be a longer post… but there are pictures so it’s worth it. Lol

The amount of doubt, second-guessing, and hemming & hawing that went into Bristol’s adoption is embarrassing. I think K felt *good* about her from the start. I loved her profile and I was the one to submit the adoption application, but I was nervous to meet her. And poor Enzo was completely blindsided.

Losing Lylee was the worst pain our little family has felt. It shook all three of us. I couldn’t fathom loving another dog like I loved her. To be completely transparent, I couldn’t imagine loving anything new. I questioned my worth as a mom-to-be because my heart just felt so broken and out of commission. It was extreme grief mixed with pregnancy hormones.

Lylee was K’s girl. She loved him SO much and in return she was his number one. When we were calculating her potential recovery cost (we were told it could be 5 figures), he was prepared to sell his corvette if we needed to. Just writing that makes me cry. When we bought that car we said we’d never sell it, but Kyle loved Lylee so much he didn’t think twice.

As the days without Ly passed we realize how quiet and incomplete and sad our home and family and lives felt. We lasted as a one-dog family for a week.

We don’t do anything on a whim. We over-talk about it. I overthink about it. I pray about it. K researches it. But once we make a decision, we don’t back down. And we knew in our hearts we needed to be a two dog family.

I decided to browse the website of the rescue where we got Enzo nearly 6 years ago. An 8 month old dog named “Butter” grabbed my attention & I sent her profile to Kyle.

We filled out an application, I spoke with her foster mom, and we made plans to meet. Enzo, K and I loaded up the car and drove an hour north with zero expectations or plans on what to do. Just needed to meet her.

It was a weird meet-and-greet. When “Butter” was unleashed in the enclosure she bounded over to K and I,  flopped on her back, and charmed us. Enzo showed zero interest in her and went to sniff the enclosure. This was weird because Enzo acts like a lunatic when he sees a dog- all he wants to do is play. When dogs on the outside of the fence walked past he reacted, but with “Butter” he simply acknowledged she was there and did his own thing. This worried us.

After a few minutes she started working on indifferent Enzo. She followed him, occasionally mouthed at his ears, and tried to feint at him. She never annoyed him or abused him or pushed him… she just made it known that she wanted to play when he was ready. After about 45 minutes of this, her patient persistence paid off and he engaged. (Enzo hadn’t played since Ly got sick.)

We had options at this point… We could pay the adoption fee and take her home (with a 2 week trial period where you can get your $ back if things don’t work out), we could walk away and say no, or we could leave without her and think on it for 24 hours.

On the drive up we agreed that all three of us needed to be sold. K and I were 90-99% on board after an hour and I think Enzo was roughly 60%… so we decided to give another homeless dog a home and adopt “Butter.”

On the way home we discussed 5 different names and settled on Bristol- which is the NASCAR race track we love & visit every year. Enzo has a car-related name (after Ferrari) & we love the little theme we have going.

The drive home.

We have had Bristol for nearly 3 weeks. She is an 8 month old Pomsky (Pomeranian-husky mix… don’t ask me about the reproductive science there… I don’t know). She is definitely still a puppy (ornery, slightly mouthy because she’s teething) but she is sweet as pie and a true testament to the love a shelter pet has to give.

We started obedience school last night and she hasn’t had an accident inside since week one. She’s a smart little cookie but dopey like a puppy, and she will put anything in her mouth just to see if she likes it (dirt, rocks, a mouse nest from under the porch… sigh). She’s a gem, though. We struck gold with her and she has gotten more comfortable in our house each day.

My dad keeps asking if she had siblings at the rescue because he loves her and wants her. Haha.

Before she came to us, she was fostered for a week through the rescue. Before that, they pulled her from the pound. The pound said she was an owner surrender… It breaks my heart that after 6 or 7 months someone gave up on her and dumped her at a pound. My guess? They wanted a purse-size husky and got a 35 lbs ball of energy. Jokes on them- now we’ve got the perfect baby.

Enzo is doing pretty good with Bristol. I think he’s looking forward to her growing up a bit. She likes to randomly nip his neck and legs, and Enzo is not a rough-housing dog… But he plays with her and chases with her and keeps an eye on her when they’re lounging around. He’s still wary, but he knows she’s here for good and he’s warming up each day.


And that’s the adoption story. Did we adopt a puppy with less than 8 weeks until my due date? Yep. And while a small part of me thought we’d regret it, I was 100% wrong. Adopting her and adding her at this moment was the right decision- even if it seems nuts.

Here’s my adoption pitch… If you’re looking to add a fur baby to your family, start with your local shelters, pounds, and rescues. And then branch out to not-so-local facilities. I can guarantee you will find the breed/temperament/age you want in a rescue. Bristol looks a lot like Lylee (which was honestly one of my hang ups) but that’s because we are comfortable with the husky breed- and we found one in a shelter at the perfect age within an hour drive of our house. Yes, there was an application process and we had to do a meet and greet, but it’s the rescue’s way of placing dogs in perfect homes. Do the leg work for a rescue dog- they’re worth it.

And that’s Bristol. When you see her on IG or in future posts, you know the story. And with a 6 year old dog, 9 month old dog, and newborn baby, there are likely to be lots of additional posts and stories with her as a key player. Lol

32 thoughts on “It’s Bristol, Baby

    • I will never understand surrendering a dog… We strictly adopt so the majority of our pets came from homes that discarded them and I just don’t get it. (Enzo was born at the rescue she he’s an exception.) We’ve always been the family that will take in a stray or find it a new home if we can’t find his/her owner. So many of our past pets have been strays (likely because they were dumped)!

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  1. What a little love! I wish we could add a second dog to our family, but Mavis is pretty clearly an only dog with some of her quirks. I’m so happy to hear she’s bringing Enzo out a bit and carving her perfect place in your family!

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    • We originally adopted Enzo because we noticed Ly was getting more and more dog aggressive. He was a super submissive 9 week old puppy when we brought him home and she immediately loved him. (Unfortunately it didn’t fix the aggression with other dogs, LOL.) Yesterday I got a text from the dog daycare owner saying what a difference he’s seen in E since we adopted Bristol. It made me so, so happy.

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  2. I literally smiled this entire post through!!! Love you opened your home to a new baby & that Bristol is so loved… especially after having owners just ‘change their mind” (WHAT?????)… I also love Bristol is going to have that new sister soon enough where they will be buddies growing up together ❤

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    • UGH. I cannot imagine that mentality as a dog owner. I mean, they really AREN’T dog owners… they’re people who bought a dog on a whim and gave up. Makes me livid!
      She’s going to be such good buddies with her new little human sister! She’s such a lover!

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  3. Nice to meet you Bristol!! What a sweetie. I know that was a huge decision to make, but it seems like it was the right one. A friend of mine lost her dog unexpectedly (she thinks he got bit by something) and almost immediately (like the next day!) got a new puppy. It’s like you have to fill that hole left in your heart! This was a really touching story, thanks for sharing it!

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    • That was the case with Lylee. It was a cat bite that went undetected until the infection spread and it was too late. Such a freak thing. It still makes us sad/angry/regretful. (If your dog ever gets in a fight with a cat take it to the vet immediately for antibiotics!)
      It’s such a huge hole left by them… I’m the type that stews in my depression and takes a while to think about everything. And Enzo understood that Ly was gone (he was there when we buried her and said his goodbyes) but he didn’t understand why. K was ready for a puppy pretty quickly. Ly was his girl and I think he just felt so lonely without that companion.

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  4. Adorable!

    I feel such rage at humans who ill treat pets or abandon them. She is stunning and those eyes look so happy to be home. Congrats to you guys.

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    • They’ve come a long way. She loves curling up as closely as she can to him and every week he’s let her get a little closer. Haha. Last night she had her head on his hip. SO cute! Oh man… Butter was such a bad name! Haha! Apparently it’s what she was surrendered to the pound with. Yikes.

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  5. Hi Audry,
    My friend Rebecca Jo sent me the link to this blog post because I have been feeling much like you. This summer I loss my 13 year old yellow labrador. To say she was my world would have been an understatement. I know I WANT to have another dog ( I’m planning to get one next year), but I worry about how i can love another dog. Will loving another dog so much diminish how I felt about my lab? I know it sounds silly but it is something I struggle with. I will check you out on IG cus I would love to follow Bristol’s journey! Meranda @fairytalesnfit

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    • Thanks for visiting/reading/commenting, Meranda.
      I absolutely get it… I cried every single night for a week and a half- even after we brought Bristol home. I still cry when I think about missing Lylee or what she’s missing by not being here. She was taken from us so fast and unexpectedly. Even last weekend my mom made the comment, “It’s so weird that Lylee is gone.” She had such a HUGE place in all our hearts and filled up so much of our house. We took her in in Dec. 2012 and she was a year and a half old. She was our baby before we were married and we made so many large life decisions that centered around her.
      If K hadn’t been so into it, I don’t know that I would’ve looked at other dogs. My heart felt completely broken that first week. I kept Enzo with me almost 24/7 just to keep him safe and loved- I couldn’t fathom losing another dog (or loving anything outside of Enzo and K….. which made me feel terrible because we’re expecting). I was afraid adopting would be an unhealthy bandaid to our situation and her similarities to Ly felt like a HUGE betrayal. I trained my brain to get rid of the word “replacement” because Ly couldn’t be replaced. Bristol was simply a new dog and a new family member. In actuality, bringing her home has been SO healthy and good for us. It forced us to focus on acclimating her to our home and life, it forced us to stop moping around (but we could still grieve healthily), and it proved to us that we could love and feel attached to another little life all over again.
      We found her fast, but we didn’t rush the process. If the meet and greet hadn’t gone well we’d have left as a family of three- not four. I’m a big believer in *clicking* with a dog. I prayed A LOT about adding a dog and even meeting Bristol. I really think we were brought together by a higher power and it’s be rewarding for all of us ❤

      I'm sorry for the novel! I hope that helps a little. I know losing a family member is the worst kind of pain. Happy to have you along for the ride here and on IG. Rebecca Jo is a sweetheart.

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  6. She’s so beautiful! And clearly perfect for your family. What kind of a name is Butter? LOL. Bristol is much better.
    You look beautiful on that official adoption photo by the way. I LOVE your hair!

    I keep looking at the dogs in the shelters here but 90% of them say they’ll only be given to a home with no children or no young children – not ideal when we’re hoping to have a baby at some point! Or they say you must live in a house with a large garden (we live in an apartment with a balcony). Also we would need written permission from our landlord first. The people who used to live below us had cats but I’m not sure what the policy is on dogs.

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    • Thank you! K was like, “You don’t look pregnant in our adoption picture.” Haha. He’s right! My hair was cooperating, which was weird! We ditched the name Butter as soon as we could. As a rule we don’t brainstorm names until we’ve met the dog so we didn’t even discuss anything until the drive home!

      Sometimes it’s tough to find a dog in the adoption system. We have many that are good with kids (but some that aren’t and some that need to be in a one-dog house) but lots and lots want you to have a fenced in yard. I guess you could lie, but sometimes they do a home visit. We had to provide a vet reference AND non family references.

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  7. Aw, I love the name Bristol and I’m glad her and Enzo are getting closer. I would love to get another dog soon, but I live at home so it’s not just my choice. I only had Luana though, so it’s like…extra empty without any pet here at all. I’m glad you made the decision to add another dog now and that she’s fitting in with everyone. She sounds wonderful, and those people that abandoned her at the pound are awful! What the heck people?!

    -Lauren
    http://www.shootingstarsmag.net

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    • Thank you! The name fits her well now 🙂 It’s tough to add a pet when your living situation is shared. When I lived at home I brought home countless strays. Sometimes I was allowed to keep them, sometimes my parents gave me a day or two to find them a new home. Lol
      I don’t understand how the heck she was left at a pound. My only guess is that she turned into a lively puppy and they realized that puppies take work. Grr.

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  8. You guys have such generous, loving hearts!!! And I love the story behind Bristol’s name! Want to add a wild but good-with babies German Shepherd to your crew? I don’t think I can handle three kids and a dog HAHA

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    • When it comes to dogs, I agree with you. I can’t say we always feel that way about everyone and everything. Lol. Bristol has turned out to be the perfect name. She’s sweet as pie and a little ornery and psycho like a race car. Hahaha. Hopefully Jake will chill a little with baby #3 in the house 😉 I think you’re a wonderful human and dog mama!

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  9. Bristol is gorgeous! I am all adopting!!! I seriously want a pittie but I’m not sure how George will feel as he’s not been exposed to dogs. Hmmm. Hehe I’m so glad Enzo is warming up to his little sister!!

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    • Thank you! I believe adopting is the best route 🙂 And shelters have lots of lovely pitties looking for homes! George would probably adjust. Finding a dog that’s used to cats would be key but pits are usually very gentle with the animals and people around them!

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  10. Congratulations on your new baby!! I saw this pop on Twitter and was mid-move so I wasn’t able to check out the post right away but I’m so happy for you and K and Enzo. I know how hard it can be to lose a pet and your home feels not quite right. I adopted Max three weeks after I lost Emeril. Some gave me side-eye since it had not been long and I worshipped Emeril but I needed a cat. The emptiness overwhelmed me and would frankly do more damage long-term. I did feel guilty but I also felt like Emeril would understand (if that makes sense). And it also felt like Emeril made sure I saw Max right away and knew he was Emeril-approved. Max did bring so much joy and healing into my life and I know Bristol will do the same. I’m so glad Bristol now has a great home and family and agree wholeheartedly that checking out your local adoption/humane society is the way to go. There are so many great animals there in need of a loving home.

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    • Thanks, Tanya!! I hope your move was painless and smooth! How are you settling in? How’s Max doing? No worries about missing out on blog stuff- moving is all consuming and super crazy!

      I think everyone is different as far as when they’re emotionally able to welcome a new baby. It was even different between K and I- and it had absolutely nothing to do with how much we loved and miss Lylee. They leave such a huge hole… some people need to fill it right away, some people need time, some people never feel ready to love like that again. I 100% understand anyone’s decision because we all make different ones. I think Lylee sent us Bristol. Or maybe it was God apologizing for taking our dog. (I won’t lie- I was very, very pissed off at God when Lylee died. I might still be. It’s an internal thing I’m struggling with.) I DO know that Bristol is perfect for us. And she’s just right for Enzo- she drives him nuts but occasionally energizes him and always ends the night cuddling into him (whether he wants it or not, lol). We had a party this weekend with a 4 month old, 1 year old, and 5 year old in attendance and Bristol did AWESOME with all the age groups. That made me feel great, too.
      Sometimes loving her feelings like a betrayal to Lylee, but we didn’t skimp on loving Lylee and I think our girl would be happy to see another dog getting a home and a family- even if we were her family first. Lots of emotions with losing and adopting a pet, though.

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