Dena and I have been cautiously looking around for puppies lately. We had a bad experience with a dog from a pet store, so we looked at alternative sources. We weren’t concerned about getting a “purebred” pup. We just wanted a puppy with a clean slate, so to speak. Tabula Rasa, doggie-style. So our journey began.
We visited the local animal shelters, but had concerns about getting an older dog that has already learned habits that may be difficult if not impossible to reverse. We had already ruled out pet stores, so that left private sources. Ideally, we wanted a puppy from a farm. The hope with a farm pup is that it’s been around other animals and should behave well with our cats. We drove around the country watching for signs, checked the local paper, etc. Our luck broke Saturday night when Dena found an ad online advertising blue heeler/border collie mix puppies. If you’ve ever tried to get a puppy from a newspaper ad, you learn one thing: call quickly because they go quickly. An elderly man answered, and told me they had one left. He was gratious enough to entertain us that night. We jumped in the car and make the drive, about 70 miles, to the small down of Odell. I knew it was a good sign when he led us down to his barn. We walked through the barn, past several occupied horse stalls, and our host stopped at the last stall and opened the door. He pulled the door open and out ran this little pup, ignoring a wandering cat, and leapt into our arms. She stole our hearts right then and there.
We made the trek back home, making a few stops to find an open store that sold a leash, collar and other necessities. Sunday was another eventful day. We visited family and went to a parade celebrating the 150th anniversary of Rochelle, IL (my “home town”, I suppose). Our new pup, Dora, sat with us during the parade, watching the procession without a peep. She even seems to enjoy riding in the car. Best of all, she has a very non-aggressive approach with the cats. She sniffed at them a little, but has otherwise given them their space. My biggest fear was introducing a puppy into the house and alienating the cats, but it looks like those fears are proved baseless.
I’m rambling a bit now, but I have a sleeping puppy drooling on my arm and it’s proving to be a slight distraction. Here is a picture of Dora, taken just after we got her home Saturday night. I’ll eventually get a photo gallery setup for her. I suspect she’ll be very photogenic.