Just about everyone that knows me, knows my love for dogs.
I'm not sure where my passion for the animal comes from, but I've heard stories about my mother gathering all of the neighborhood dogs up, loading them into my grandmothers car and then pretending to drive them around-while safely parked in the driveway of her childhood home. She grew up with dogs and in return I grew up with dogs, mostly labs and a handful of mutts. When my father finally put his foot down and allowed us to have no more dogs, I simply went to my grandmother and explained why owning a dog was very necessary. Between the ages of...oh maybe 9 and 20...I had talked my grandmother into bringing home over 9 dogs (possibly more...actually probably many more). I believe we had some form of every breed known to man.
As fate would have it, I married a man that shares my love for dogs. For our one year anniversary we brought home our wild man, Ali. He's part Brussels griffon, part human. Basically he's the ruler of our household, all 7 pounds of him.
Since we've had Ali, I've rescued, fostered and re homed a handful of other dogs-2 of them with the intention of keeping but ended up finding new (read: better) homes for...which was really okay with me, I knew that even though their forever home was not with me that I had still saved a pound puppies life and they were better off.
However, I always yearned for my "big dog". I told anyone that would listen that I would live on a farm someday and have my "big dog".
Well, I don't live on that farm just yet, but last month Sev and I welcomed that "big dog" into our life.
I started to feel that familiar tug on my heart every time we passed a dog on the street. I would try and squelch my "big dog" desire by walking Ali but after a short block or two he reminded me that I worked for him, not the other way around and he ended up in my arms. He just isn't all "dog"...and I wanted a DOG. A dog I could walk, train, play fetch with, take to the park, take hiking and just do general "dog" things.
Severyn came home a little over a month ago and informed me that he would be graduating (for sure!) in exactly one year from this coming May. I had tried telling myself that we would wait until he was finished with school and were tucked away in my dream farm house, before we got our big dog.
The more I tried to talk myself into waiting, the harder it became.
Shortly after my father informed me that he would be giving up our shared hobby of dirt bike riding. I was beyond crushed, words can't really even describe how sad I was (still am). I loved (love) the sport, but I knew-deep down-that my riding days were over. I just can't see enjoying the sport without my riding partner, my dad.
I decided if I was going to give up my bike, I was going to have to take on a hobby that I loved/enjoyed just as much. That hobby being hiking and camping...and that included my big dog!
I continued my research, called numerous kennels, vets, breeders, dog trainers and family members...and decided on a breed. Sev and I visited a local litter of pups on a Wednesday. I made Sev promise that we would not take a puppy home that same day, I reallllly wanted to think about everything just one last time. I walked away that evening with my heart in the palm of a puppy paw. By Friday I had written out an entire schedule proving that we could take proper care of a puppy. I could walk her in the mornings before leaving for work, Sev comes home for lunch so he could let her out during the middle of the day, he is also home most days before 4pm so she would not be left alone for long.
On that Friday Sev helped me pull the "big dog" crate from the attic, we assembled it, filled water and food bowls, grabbed a package of dog treats and went to pick up our puppy.
Molly is a Shepadoodle. She is half German Shepherd, half Standard poodle. She does not shed a bit of hair. I'm talking, you can take your hand and firmly grasp her fur, yank it and nothing, not one hair, will be left in your hand. She is a combination of two of the top three ranked most intelligent dog breeds, of course I think she's smart. She will be a big dog, but she has a lot of the "lazy" poodle in her as well, so she's great indoors. So far she has been fairly quick at picking up basic commands.
However, all of that being said...puppies are hard work! They take a lot of time, dedication, patience, guidance and attention. Molly is a lot of fun, but a lot of hard work too. She is all puppy and likes to test my patience, but luckily I prepared myself for the challenge and so far everything is going okay.
I'll probably start blogging a good bit about Molly, the good and the bad.
A "puppies first year" kind of thing. Maybe along the way I can connect with others that decide to "take the puppy challenge"...or if you're even thinking that a puppy may be in your near future....well....I can give you one trillion good reasons why you NEED a dog, just ask my grandma, cousins, family and friends. ;-)