Gratitude, Mental Health

We Are Now A Family of Three

December 15, 2014

Some changes are hard to wrap one’s head around. Some, like moving, take awhile to really settle in.

I like the kind of changes that doesn’t feel like adjustments at all, the kind that feel like the way things were supposed to be all along. That’s the kind of change Juno has been.

We Are Now a Family of Three - Sweet and Savoring [photo by Andy Milford] 

The best thing about our new apartment, besides its fenced-in yard and proximity to everything in town, is that pets are allowed (they were not in our last apartment, where we were for two years). So as soon as Andy finished painting and we finally felt settled in, it was time to visit the nearby Columbia-Greene Humane Society.

There, we came face to face with this husky/shepherd/basenji mix for the first time:

We Are Now a Family of Three - Sweet and Savoring [photo by Andy Milford]

The other dogs were all barking, as if to say ‘Pick me! Me, me, over here!’ But Shera, as the humane society called her, was just sitting there, quiet as a mouse and looking sad and tired. We were immediately drawn to her: her eyes, her small size, her lack of barking. We picked up an adoption application and headed home, where I immediately Googled ‘shepherd husky mix’ and read everything I could about possible temperaments and behaviors.

That was on the last Saturday in August. On the following Wednesday, we handed in our application and eagerly asked if we could walk her. They told us she wasn’t ready to be adopted yet but they wrote her name at the top of our application and said they would let us know when we could take her out. We lingered in front of her for a little bit longer, but she wasn’t really interested in much as long as she was still inside her kennel.

We Are Now a Family of Three - Sweet and Savoring [photo by Andy Milford]

At this point, I was thinking about her all the time. When we walked around town, I imagined her walking with us. Luckily (amazingly?), we didn’t have to wait much longer. The humane society called us back the following weekend and said we were now number one on the list to adopt her, and we were welcome to come walk her around the grounds.

On Monday, September 8th, we discovered that our 30-lb mix has the softest coat of all time. She was excited to  be outside, showing no fear or nerves whatsoever. She was more interested in exploring than in paying attention to us, but we figured that would pass. When the walk was over, they asked us when we would like to take her home. Oh my goodness!

We scrambled to get a crate, bed, toys, and brush. We ordered a big bag of food from And on Thursday of that week, newly christened Juno came home with us. Here she is, on our first walk at a park just outside of Hudson:

We Are Now a Family of Three - Sweet and Savoring [photo by Andy Milford]

Her eyes continue to be the thing that random people comment on the most.

We Are Now a Family of Three - Sweet and Savoring [photo by Andy Milford]

We Are Now a Family of Three - Sweet and Savoring [photo by Andy Milford]
She likes posing for reflection photos:

We Are Now a Family of Three - Sweet and Savoring [photo by Andy Milford]

being the Guard of the Jack o’ lanterns:

We Are Now a Family of Three - Sweet and Savoring [photo by Andy Milford]going for hikes in the woods:

We Are Now a Family of Three - Sweet and Savoring [photo by Andy Milford]

playing in the snow:

We Are Now a Family of Three - Sweet and Savoring [photo by Andy Milford]


and running. Juno definitely loves running.

We Are Now a Family of Three - Sweet and Savoring [photo by Andy Milford]

We Are Now a Family of Three - Sweet and Savoring [photo by Andy Milford]

Also, she likes to cross her paws, which is totally adorable:

We Are Now a Family of Three - Sweet and Savoring [photo by Andy Milford]

I 100% believe all the studies that say dogs are wonderful for alleviating symptoms of depression and anxiety. You know how sometimes you might retreat inside yourself when around other people, because you don’t feel you have much to offer? I obviously don’t have to explain anything to Juno; she sits besides me and keeps me company (even in the bathroom!) and doesn’t ask for anything else.

We Are Now a Family of Three - Sweet and Savoring [photo by Andy Milford]

She’s such a warm, loving companion who would just love to have her belly rubbed all the time. Right now, she’s curled into a tiny ball next to me on the couch. She’s my little Junebug, and I’m so happy to have her.

We Are Now a Family of Three - Sweet and Savoring [photo by Andy Milford]

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  • Sue December 15, 2014 at 1:40 pm

    It fills me with happiness to know that Juno has been such a welcoming force in your life.

    • Christy December 16, 2014 at 7:49 pm

      She’s so excited to go down to Long Island next week!

  • Jessica Cook December 15, 2014 at 2:11 pm

    Look at those eyes!!!! He’s adorable!

    • Christy December 16, 2014 at 7:50 pm

      I know, I love how unique-looking they make her!

  • Jen@JENerallyInformed December 15, 2014 at 3:18 pm

    Those eyes! What a beautiful and wonderful new addition to your family! I bet she is happy to be a part of it as well 🙂

    • Christy December 16, 2014 at 7:51 pm

      Yes, her demeanor changed so much as soon as we left the shelter with her. She loves to play and cuddle and has a couch all her own.

  • Skye December 15, 2014 at 4:09 pm

    She is so adorable and I am so happy that you are feeling peace with her around, feeling like you WANT to feel! I love her pics…I can feel her sweet, joyful energy! congrats!!

    • Christy December 16, 2014 at 7:52 pm

      Thanks, Skye!

  • Tamara December 15, 2014 at 5:25 pm

    Aww! Our husky/basenji mix doesn’t have blue eyes but people constantly comment that she looks like a red fox!
    And she can bark, although basenjis can’t and her brother can’t bark at all! Ours is party husky too! This is amazing.
    And odd how the genetics can be so different.
    Enjoy her!
    Tamara recently posted…Spice Up Your Smartphone Photography with 5 Creative DIY Hacks.My Profile

    • Christy December 16, 2014 at 7:54 pm

      It’s funny, we thought she was totally silent at first, but after a little while we discovered her bark. It only comes out she greets another dog and wants to to play. She sounds surprisingly gruff for such a little girl 🙂
      That’s so crazy that Athena’s brother can’t but she can!

  • Kelly December 15, 2014 at 6:26 pm

    Those eyes! Christy, she’s perfect! Congratulations on your new addition. All the best for the years of joy to come.
    Kelly recently posted…A Norman Rockwell WeekendMy Profile

    • Christy December 20, 2014 at 6:49 pm

      She *is* kind of perfect, except she still needs to learn a lot of commands and she just started shedding after two months of thinking we had a non-shedding dog, haha.

  • Deb December 15, 2014 at 6:36 pm

    Wow! I missed this until now….but am so happy for you cause Juno is a sweet dog and good company. I can “see it” in her eyes, that she knows you two are her forever family! I especially like that she just keeps you company wherever, and loves to get you outside having fun and fresh air. Keep enjoying her she is a cutie!

    • Christy December 20, 2014 at 6:53 pm

      Can’t wait to bring her to the beach next week! Thanks Mom!

  • Erika December 15, 2014 at 10:49 pm

    I came across this post at the right time. You know, it’s funny. I have never been an animal person but my life has been slowly moving me in that direction. At least for a pet. And… I feel like reading this post is like a glimpse into my future…

    Realizing last winter that SAD affects me, I thought I was going to move to a sunny place forever. But now with lupus and the meds I need to be on, I probably will stay in a place that doesn’t really have sun because I’m so photosensitive now. So, I think having a pet during those darker days would be very therapeutic and it would be nice to have a companion, especially because I want to work from home.

    I guess it’s just nice to know that there are other solutions even when it seems like you’re stuck in the middle… or that’s how I’m seeing it. It’s like, an option I never considered but reading something like this and how rewarding it’s been for you and everything just makes me more assured in taking that direction for myself in the coming months, probably (once I’m back together with Tyler).

    Anyway, I am rambling and probably not making sense, but I just want to say I read this and it resonated with me and really is making me think that that’s the right choice for me. Thank you for sharing this. 🙂
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    • Christy December 20, 2014 at 7:05 pm

      Not rambling, certainly making sense. I’m so glad this this resonated with you, even though you never considered yourself an animal person (sort of like…people who don’t generally love children, just their own ;). And yay for looking forward to things like considering dogs and seeing Tyler again and feeling better and better! Congratulations again on your degree, I admire you so much for persevering like you did!

  • Life Breath Present December 16, 2014 at 12:11 am

    So awesome! Juno certainly Is beautiful! Our makes me smile just to think of the pictures you’ve shared or her as I write this comment!

    I’m happy to hear she is such a welcome and depression relieving Mehmet of the family 🙂

    • Christy December 20, 2014 at 7:07 pm

      She’ sooo beautiful. I keep wondering things like if she has any siblings and what they’re like and what she was like as a little puppy, but those will always be mysteries.

  • Rabia @TheLiebers December 16, 2014 at 11:20 am

    I don’t actually like dogs, but she looks gorgeous! I’m glad she found her “furever” home with you guys. It sounds like a match made in heaven!
    Rabia @TheLiebers recently posted…#TuesdayTen: All I Want For ChristmasMy Profile

    • Christy December 20, 2014 at 7:08 pm

      Yes, considering her attractiveness and nice demeanor and small size, I’m surprised she wasn’t snatched up sooner!

  • ezerd December 16, 2014 at 10:27 pm

    love love love love love!

    • Christy December 20, 2014 at 7:10 pm

      Right back at you darlin!

  • Pure Ella December 17, 2014 at 6:24 pm

    Ahhh this is so sweet!
    She is lovely 😉
    I’m not a dog person per se, but we have one promised to my daughter… I think your post is making me excited about getting a doggy in the near future 😉
    So thank you! 😉

    • Christy December 20, 2014 at 7:12 pm

      I think it depends on the kind of dog (and with shelter dogs/mixed breeds it can be impossible to predict), but you really might be surprised with how much of a companion your dog will become! You’re welcome 🙂

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