Looking back at the first week Shamus, our Newfoundland, adopted us one year ago, tell me you wouldn’t immediately have fallen in love too. He’s quite a character!

(In case you missed it, visit Newfoundland Dog Rescues New Owners, Part I.)


We enjoyed revisiting our discovery process as we built a relationship with our new dog. I share some our comical ponderances via a collection of last year’s tweets. Consider this a journal of sorts, one that you are not only allowed, but encouraged to read.

February 01

  • Missing the “Bill sounds” that used to fill the silent spaces. It’s as if our house is mourning the loss of it’s dog too.

February 17

  • Lilac buds are fat and green. Purple finches have returned. Bill’s icy footprints have all but melted. Spring slowly creeps around the bend.

February 21

  • I want a puppy in a way that women who can’t have babies develop the urge to steal one. I’m that irrationally desperate.

March 06

  • Clean rugs returned today. Sent them out last week unaware a mud-puppy might destroy them so soon… as in TOMORROW.
  • Just dropped some cracker crumbs on the floor. Can I get a dog over here?
  • Can’t sit still. Local family deciding whether to adopt to us today. Might meet Shamus tonight. Going OUT OF MY SKULL with excitement.
  • Trying to balance giddiness with gravity. Fam is letting the Newf go because 3rd daughter needs significant medical care.
  • Not succeeding in the gravity department. Walking on sunshine even on this cloudy day. Newf. Newf. Newf. Newf. (Since when do I chant?)
  • The sweetest Landseer Newf came to meet us today and we all hit it off. He’ll be moving in on Sunday
  • Underestimated. Within 5 hrs (not 24), Shamus stamped his huge muddy paws all over the fresh clean rugs. Bring it on! He can do no wrong.

March 07

  • It’s SHAMUS DAY!! We pick up our new Newf pup at 4:00 – which, at 7 a.m., feels like an eternity away.
  • PS: I know today isn’t Sunday. We’re taking Shamus home a day early so we have the weekend to help him adjust to our CRAZY HAPPY HOUSE.

March 13

  • Sunday: Took Shamus to PetSmart for grooming supplies, drool rags and food. Drool rags got immediate use when Shamus urped.
  • Shamus urp consisted of kibble, 1/2 a balloon, and what was once a plastic child’s toy from his previous home. Feeling better now.
  • Shamus at the vet: Lyme and ear infections. $500 later I’m wrestling a 93 lb. dog to the floor for ear drops. Should sell tickets for this.
  • Not used to having forehead licked. Kinda like it.
  • Shamus and Kringle cat are getting along nicely, but for the time Shamus scooted Kringle across the kitchen floor with his giant nose. Swat!
  • Shamus needs a facelift Monday. Droopy eyelids cause irritation. He’ll hardly notice the laser while his *parts* are chopped.
  • Swiffering twice daily now. House vacillates between smelling like FeBreeze Rain Forest… and just plain muddy, muddy rain forest.
  • Number 1 universal killer of electronic keyboards – coffee. In our house ? Dog drool.
  • Bought Shamus the FURminator yesterday. Didn’t look at the $59 receipt ’til now. Worthwhile “whoops?” We’ll see.
  • Rethinking my $100 salon cut. Perhaps a FURminator really IS all I need.
  • My dog’s butt is a giant pom-pom. He’ shakes his “Sis-boom-bah!” with the enthusiasm of a Dallas Cowboy Cheerleader. Note: Must sell tickets.
  • Shamus can’t get past the 4 minute mark for playtime stamina. Considered it was a symptom of Lyme but it’s probably just that he’s a Newf.
  • Channeling the Dog Whisperer may work well on our boarded rescues. Shamus, on the other hand, demands praise BEFORE cooperating, not after.

March 14

  • Tim certainly needs no excuse to buy a sailboat, but now, since we own a water dog, what better time to take the plunge?
  • Shamus’ big, black head is in my face panting, “Hegh. Hegh. Hegh.” When he’s next to the bed in the dark, it’s like snuggling Darth Vader.
  • Shamus urped more chewed plastic in the car today. Hope that’s the last of the child’s toy from his former home AND the last of the cleanup!
  • Learned when Shamus leans or puts his paw on my foot, this is domination. Fine. I’ll stop him. (But can I like it, you know, in secret?)
  • Oddly, our Newf Boy likes to curl up in small spaces. Even more oddly, he fits!
  • Taught Tim how to effectively Swiffer muddy paw prints away today. There’s nothin’ sexier than a man with a Swiffer. Seriously.
  • Tim: “Shamus can rest his head on my foot.” Shamus rests his head on Tim’s foot. Tim likes to think that’s obedience, not domination.
  • Shamus puts head on couch near Tim. Tim: “Stop with the passive/submissive domination with your eyes closed. I got your number now, pal.
  • Shamus leans on the couch, hearth, bed, wall, stove, counter, fridge, us… He’s got his entire world under complete control. Oh yeah.
  • For everybody who says this dog has dominance issues, we think he might just be super cuddly and just a little lazy.

March 15

  • Shamus avoided trouncing every single crocus growing in the lawn. Talk about flower power. That’s my kind of dog!
  • Using Tim’s sneakers as a pillow, Shamus has fully concealed two size thirteens with a single ear.
  • I laughed when Shamus charged across the yard and took Tim out at the knees. Then it happened to me. Not so funny.
  • It has been a mere 8 days since Shamus entered our lives. So far, so great! We grow more attached by the minute. Atoms are fusing.
  • What IS that? Upside down Landseer Newf or beached Orca with rare leg appendages? Unclear from this distance and angle.
  • One little “Come ‘ere, Shamus!” elicited a magic carpet ride on the 5 x 8 braided rug. Whoosh! Should be half way to Newfoundland soon.

March 16

  • To growl at real horses yesterday was one thing, but Shamus was keen on Wyatt Earp’s horse as it rode across our flat screen TV. Seriously?
  • Signed ourselves up for Tails & Trails, an enjoyable hiking & dog socialization class. Hope Shamus doesn’t turn it into Tails & Entrails.
  • Shamus growled at the sweetest little vet tech. So much for a gentle giant! I’d say, “Chop his balls off!” but that’s why Shamus is there.
  • Missing my grizzly newf. The house is so quiet. Can’t wait to bring him home from the vet and love him up.
  • Shamus is sedated and under the knife. Neuter and a facelift… Let the emasculation begin.
  • We unwittingly adopted another dog w/hip dysplasia. Good thing. The first dogs’ hip replacements haven’t fully funded the new vet wing yet.
  • Introducing Shamus to friends, we were all, “He’s so smart, so noble, so graceful” Then he fell over during a wee and walked into a wall.
  • Imagine, if you will, this 93 lb. bag-of-bones on drugs. Walking a post-anesthetized Shamus on a leash is like steering a drunken sailor.
  • A groggy, post-op Shamus ate only after I soaked his kibble and hand fed him. He’ll expect this every meal now, I’m sure. I’m so screwed.
  • I promise, hand feeding is a onetime gig. Shamus will have to pay me to continue beyond, say… Okay, so I’d hand feed him.
  • Shamus burps and acts all unphased. I burp and Shamus jolts from a sound sleep giving me a look of death. How is this fair?
  • My newf’s forehead is as plush as a pillow-top mattress. I think I might nap on it.
  • Shamus’ head has Tim’s hand pinned to the floor. Isn’t it precious the way Shamus secretly executes domination in his sleep? … ‘Night all!

March 19

  • Shamus comes in from the rain and directly to me for a toweling off before laying down. Now if he’d just learn to wipe his mud-caked feet …
  • Next up, teaching Shamus AND my husband to wipe their feet when coming in from the rain. (I need a refresher myself.)
  • I should install a storm drain in my living room.

March 20

  • 6:15: Shamus, thieving cat food, got stuck behind the couch, broke a lamp (& my brain), then slid across the hardwood in retreat. MORNING.
  • 6:18: Kringle, cat of steel, tries to walk across glass & reclaim violated dish. Thwarted by a vacuum hose, he retreats to concoct new plan.
  • 6:30: Morning is not a complete bust. While cleaning up Shamus’ destruction, Tim finds the long lost vacuum extension tube under the couch.
  • 6:35 Coffee and/or Kibble was enjoyed by all in celebration of our survival.
  • Applying the Newf’s ear drops was too easy today. Perhaps he’s feeling sedate since the lamp fell on his head.

Hope you enjoyed this little window into a very special week (well, nearly two) of our lives. Please share your own stories or link to pages where you’ve posted them. We’d love to read about you and yours too!