Oh my goodness, what have I done?! I am now the proud mama to not one…not two….but three sweet, hilarious, energetic Boxers. Introducing Georgia!

boxer dog in garden, grumpy pups pet photography

Georgia is about 2-3 years old, and that’s all I know of her history. She was brought to Harbor Humane Society, where I volunteer as a photographer. The lovely people there know that I have a soft spot for Boxers, so I got an email with a picture of her sad, sad eyes.

That’s all it took.

I was there the next day to meet her and sign up as her foster. I certainly couldn’t adopt another dog – right? But I was happy to bring her home, clean her up, love her up, fatten her up and personally screen possible candidates for her forever home. The Harbor Humane staff laughed at me (“Let us know when you’re ready to adopt her!” they shouted after me), my family rolled their eyes, and I think at least one close friend wrote me off as a crazy dog lady. But I couldn’t leave her in a kennel, and I was quite determined that this would not be permanent. I promised my husband this was a foster and nothing more.

And then this happened:

 boxer dog gives hug, grumpy pups pet photography
(taken with an iPad – sorry about the quality)

She gave us hugs! Big, gripping, but gentle hugs. She would wrap her head around your neck, wrap her front paws around your waist, and just sink in like there was no other purpose or pleasure for her in life. That was all she asked for: a hug and a reassuring voice telling her it would all be okay. She was so soothed by these hugs that she would actually fall asleep, her back legs buckling just a bit, her snoring getting stronger as her eyelids dropped lower.

She wasn’t the only one who was being soothed. I started finding that no matter how busy I was or how stressful the day had been, those hugs–and her absolute gratitude for them–were the equivalent of a candlelit massage next to a bowl of dark chocolate and a bottle of bubbly. Heaven. I loved them. I couldn’t imagine adopting her out and never having them again.

The staff at Harbor Humane just had one question when I went back to permanently adopt her: What took you so long? 🙂

beautiful boxer dog, fawn female, grumpy pups pet photography

Can I say that everything has been hugs and kisses since we adopted Georgia? How emphatically can I say NO? Ha! It’s been difficult. She has an entire history that I don’t know, one that causes her severe anxiety. I blindly try one thing at a time, hoping it will help, and cleaning up her really inventive messes along the way. We’ve reached the point where we laugh and say “Of course that just happened! What else would you expect?” And truly, because we’re able to say that, I know that we were the perfect family for her to join.

So the grumpy pups pack now stands at three. I just had Christina Heyboer of Closer to the Heart Photography do a session with me and my pack, so look for more photos of this crazy bunch soon!

three boxer dogs, flashy fawn with black masks, grumpy pups pet photography

P.S. – I know adopting isn’t for everyone, but if you’re interested, there are so many more animals in need of homes. Even if you can foster an animal temporarily, you dramatically change his life in that moment–and possibly forever!

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Springer spaniels in a field of Michigan wildflowers

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