It took me a while to be ready to open my heart to another dog after losing my almost 16-year-old beagle in 2010. When I got Rayme, having a puppy didn’t seem like such a big deal. I was young, I had lots of roommates, and we all helped each other with our dogs. It was fun just to hang out and watch them all play together until the wee hours of the morning.
Flash forward about 18 years. I have been to school to learn about canine behavior and have worked as a dog trainer.
Not only is it a ton of work, but you are shaping a dog’s life. What happens when they are young can affect them forever. No pressure, right?
So, it’s no surprise I took my time finding the perfect puppy for me. After all, I am my father’s daughter. I like to research things to make sure I know about all of the possibilities available. I knew I wanted a female, small to medium size with a short coat of fur who loved people. I scoured Petfinder every day, visited every shelter within an hour from me and started volunteering at the local humane society. I was amazed at the breed identifications and descriptions and often wondered if the shelter workers were looking at the same dog I was. I met a lot of dogs and fell slightly in love with each of them.
Then, I met a little terrier mix. I had gone to a shelter and asked about female puppies. They only had a male. I wasn’t even going to stay but I said what the heck, I’ll meet him. This little bundle of energy stole my heart as he displayed every type of behavior you want to see in a puppy. He paid more attention to me than the toys in the room. He wasn’t shy or pushy. He behaved appropriately with other dogs and even cats. Plus, he was already a master at fetch (and didn’t mind giving the ball up)!
But a male? I quickly texted every male dog owner I knew to get their opinion. I had only ever had female dogs in my life. I didn’t want a little punk who peed on and humped everything. I was also concerned about the terrier part. They are high-energy dogs and I definitely have a low-energy home. More than one of my dog trainer friends asked if I was crazy. But still, I couldn’t stop thinking about him.
My sister (who’s also a vet) finally put it in perspective for me. She said, “You are searching for the perfect dog but you of all people know that there is no such thing. The best you can do is take him in, love him and just deal with whatever happens.” She was right. I slept on it and the next morning, I called the shelter and invited Bosworth (or Boz) into his forever home.
The past few weeks have been exhausting, but rewarding. Of course, there’s the typical puppy mouthing, which will hopefully start to subside soon. But I really can’t complain: he’s healthy, sleeps through the night and is doing very well with house training. Boz is an expressive little guy who does get crazy at times but also loves to cuddle (when he’s tired). Now, I just have to tell the dog trainer in me to chill out and go with the flow.
Stay tuned for more puppy tales to come.