She has a great life with us, and she brings us joy all day long--we live on a beautiful country road, set back from the road, so she can explore and roam, sniffing the various intriguing things to sniff, without being in danger of cars.

She is incredibly fast when she runs, so it's lucky she hasn't taken a notion so far to dash down to the road. She seems to prefer sticking pretty close to home, dashing up the hill behind the house to follow--deer tracks? bunny smells? cat tracks?--something intriguing. One of her all time favorite things is to smell the tunnelling moles, etc. who travel underneath the matted grass. She snorffles as she tried to get their scent, then she will leap up and spring around like a cartoon as she follows the scents from place to place. She is incredibly athletic, jumps up for a ball and does a sort of corkscrew move on the way up and down.

I realized very quickly what a great dog she is. She has that melting adorable puppy innocence and curiosity and happiness--it lifts your spirit every time she greets you. She loves to investigate everything, and it's lovely to observe her wonder at exploring a world full of fascinating new things all the time. She is incredibly smart, gets the point really fast, understands quickly and easily what it is you want. She's determined and balks (she doesn't like being in the rain, getting her feet wet, being cold, and has to be coaxed to go out into the rain to pee; and she doesn't like to be left in the mudroom to sleep in her crate, with Wessie, but we make her anyway, to create routine and discipline). But she's quite easily trainable. I think what I love most about her is simply her sweetness of temperament. She is such a happy, squiggly, affectionate, funny, loving spirit. We are both charmed and disarmed that she is such a cuddler. She loves to sit in our laps, and doesn't mind her body parts being rearranged to create mutual comfort ;) (Some dogs are touchy about their paws or other parts of themselves being touched--she is completely relaxed and easy.) A dear friend who is cat but not an especially dog person visited the other day, and completely fell in love with Eesa after Eesa crawled up into her lap and fell asleep. My friend spent about an hour stroking her, with Eesa happily asleep, as we were talking.

I have been trying to stock up on indestructible dog toys and chews and went to the local pet store. One of the staff there said she grew up with a pit bull and that the secret was to make sure they got lots and lots of exercise, and to do good obedience training. My husband and I try to be consistent about the commands and hand signals we use, and we go outside and play with her several times a day. This is a joy, and a big enrichment all the way around--it makes me get outside and shake the bones, it allows me to see the various wonders that always present themselves when I am outdoors--bald eagles shrieking as they cruise the river for salmon; flocks of chickadees and golden crowned kinglets communicating with each other with their tinkly bell notes; the wonder of Eesa dashing at warp speed down the hill or across the length of the lawn, obviously delighting in the speed and capacity of her athletic, fleet, swift body as much as we do as spectators at an athletic event; the bite and freshness of the winter cold; the milky moonlight. It's obviously good for Eesa and Wessie to be able to be dogs, glorying in their bodies and smells and the good earth, but it's equally good for me to be able to be included in this great mysterious gift.

I have read that people who have dogs live longer than people who don't. We are 63, my husband and me, and now I understand why. It's because the gift of having someone to love and take care of and be entertained and uplifted by, gives you a loving and constant structure of caring and being cared out.

To anyone I am telling about the happy addition to our pack, Miz Eesa from Georgia, I say--she is adorable, with incredibly innocent and soul-ful eyes; she is open and trusting and happy and ready; she is energetic and uncorked and hilarious outdoors; she is hilarious about taunting Wessie when she steals his ball; she is incredibly smart; she is affectionate and cuddly and loving. The only real challenges we have are her chewing behavior, and her distress at being left alone (which seems totally understandable given that she's still a puppy, loves people, and is getting used to a new home).

I am impressed that RAIN rescues animals and has them taken care of in foster homes until their forever families are found. I am grateful for the information and support you, Lindsey, have given us so far, and for knowing that I can contact you if I have questions.

Now that we have a goofy, loyal, sweet tempered, smart member of our family who we are more and more in love with every day, we understand why Pit Bills have gotten such a bad rap, and are indebted to the vet in Chatsworth GA for saying Eesa was a black lab terrier mix--without which I probably wouldn't have considered her breed, and would have missed out on the years of love and satisfaction that living with a pitbull brings.

And--I was so reassured and touched by your and Pam's response to my initial freakout on days one and two. Your response was so caring. My sister in law back in KY says they advise the people who adopt the dogs that they shouldn't make an evaluation until at least a month. In our case, it only took 48 hours for me to realize how sterling Eesa's qualities are, how well she fit into our pack, and how quickly.