Charlotte and big brother Otto.

The Rede family has expanded yet again. We’re now a three-pet household – one cat, two dogs.

Our new addition: Charlotte.

She’s a terrier mix, 2 years old, and brings 11 pounds of high energy plus a sweet disposition.

We brought her home two weeks ago from The Pixie Project, a nonprofit animal adoption agency, on a foster care basis – ostensibly a short-term stay. She’d been picked up a couple months earlier on the streets, running loose with her puppy. (Yes, she’s a teen mother.)

She was housed at the Multnomah County Animal Shelter, a kill shelter, but somehow rescued from there and given another lease on life.

She came to us spayed, vaccinated and microchipped, courtesy of the Pixie Project, and quickly made herself at home with us and Otto, our 10-year-old Jack Russell terrier.

We had two weeks to decide if she’d be a good fit. It was the third day or so when I knew she’d be a keeper. Early in the morning, I let her out of her kennel. Rather than bolt down the stairs to the front door for a walk, Charlotte stayed nearby.

She nuzzled my shin, then rolled onto her back, peering up with a scruffy face and coal-black eyes. In that instant, knowing she’d been a street dog who now was enjoying the comfort of a warm home and the attention (OK, affection) of someone who could be a constant in her life… well, let’s just say I got all misty.

While I was at work yesterday, Lori went down to the agency to sign the adoption papers.

So now we have another mouth to feed, a companion to enliven Otto’s life, and a furry princess to jump into our laps.

There’s much to look forward to with Charlotte. At the top of the list: training.

She’s pretty unruly at the end of a leash, zigzagging crazily down the sidewalk as if she were on crack and pulling a sled in the Iditarod.

She’s on extra high alert for squirrels, whimpering and skittering, and tugs so hard she’s often on her hind legs. If she ever got loose, I could imagine her running nonstop to the next zip code.

And the way she bursts out of her kennel in the morning? Reminds me of a bull out of a chute. I’ve given her a rodeo name: Black Lightning.

How are we supposed to say no? Charlotte's Pixie Project profile said: "I play well with others and I’m the extra sweet girl with lots of flirtatious energy."

How are we supposed to say no? Charlotte’s Pixie Project profile said: “I play well with others and I’m the extra sweet girl with lots of flirtatious energy.”

Amazingly, though, she is a different dog indoors. She plays with her chew toys, nibbles on Otto’s neck and ears, curls up on a pillow or a lap.

Charlotte is a smart little dog and I’m sure she’ll adapt and thrive.

Getting a second dog wasn’t on my list of things to do. But Lori, being the animal lover she is, wanted a buddy for Otto to keep him active and eventually I said yes to fostering, even as I suspected it would lead to adopting.

So, Princess Charlotte, welcome to the family.

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