Friday, September 18, 2015

Things Don't Always Go As Planned

I never wanted a terrier.  I still don't want a terrier.  I just have one.

I always said when I got my own dog I'd start a blog.  It took a while after I got her to actually start blogging, I was still coming to terms with this dog not being what I expected.

A little less than a year ago I began the search for my own dog.  I was getting ready to graduate from college and was excited to be able to finally have a pup of my own.  I was looking for a medium sized athletic dog, easy to train, friendly, people oriented.  I grew up with a cockapoo, Mia, who is probably one of the sweetest, gentlest dogs I've ever met.  I was looking for a dog with a similar temperament, but a higher energy level and drive to train in agility.  I really love Australian Shepherds and spaniels, my boyfriend loves terriers- particularly Jack Russells and Norfolks.  I said absolutely not.  Terriers were said to be everything I didn't want in a dog- stubborn, sassy, independent, yappy, difficult to train.  We compromised on a whippet, a dog that fit my size and athletic requirements and seemed to have a temperament in between what we each wanted.  We contacted a few breeders, got on a waiting list, and excitedly prepared for our new addition.

Not something I really wanted in my apartment...

After I graduated from college, my rabbit- Sophie- and I moved in with my boyfriend.  And we waited.  While we were waiting, certain friends and relatives of mine were really pushing the rescue thing.  I had always wanted to rescue a dog, but for my first dog I really wanted the experience of watching a puppy grow up and having control over its early socialization and training.  I also wanted to know that my dog had good genetics- that the parents were health tested and proven sport dogs.  My boyfriend definitely didn't want a rescue dog at all- he didn't understand the appeal in getting a "second hand" dog and was shocked when he learned that they actually cost money to adopt.  He didn't see why dogs that "no one wanted" should cost anything, he thought shelters were trying to get rid of them.  So we were going to get a puppy from a breeder.

But it was hard for me to wait and I began browsing  Ahh Petfinder, a website of temptation.  At first it was just for fun, just as a "what if."  But you know how it goes, you see that face you just can't say no to.  And one day I saw that face.

He was a 6 month old brindle border collie cairn terrier mix.  Absolutely adorable, and a cross between breeds that me and my boyfriend each liked.  His temperament sounded just like what I was looking for and when I showed him to my boyfriend, he couldn't resist either.  So we filled out an application and waited.  Well, as it turned out, the shelter this pup was at "discovered" that he was "bonded" to the dog he came in with.  WTF.  This is a puppy, he'd adjust!  And if he's not confident on his own then keeping him with the other dog won't certainly wouldn't help him ever become confident and independent.  We were very disappointed, we weren't looking to adopt two dogs, so we passed on both of them.  It's okay, we still had that whippet we were waiting for.

But now that my boyfriend discovered the magic and wonder of Petfinder, he started becoming more open to rescue dogs, and began sending me profiles of local rescue dogs on a near daily basis.  I said that if we were going to adopt a rescue dog, we'd absolutely have to meet it first to make sure it had a good temperament and no major health problems.  And certainly no dogs from the south, which often come up with heartworm and other health issues.

Then one night I was browsing Petfinder and another face, or rather ears, caught my eye.  I saw a picture of a little dog with the BIGGEST ears I've ever seen.  I called my boyfriend over and told him to look.  He said we needed to adopt that dog.  Petfinder indicated she was a state away- in New Hampshire- so I figured we'd apply and then drive over during the weekend to meet her.

We filled out the application and received a call about 10 minutes later from the rescue.  They thought we sounded like a good home for this dog, Tianna!  One problem though, she wasn't actually in New Hampshire, she was in Tennessee.  We'd have to adopt her before we met her, which was something I didn't want to do.  I was also worried about her health- she was heartworm negative and vaccinated, but I knew that heartworm negative dogs sometimes had heartworm if the worms weren't mature enough to be detected during the test.  I also knew she was tiny- 7.5 lbs I was told- and I was worried about luxating patella, a condition common in small dogs where the knee cap doesn't stay in the socket and slides around, which she wasn't checked for.  If she had this it might not be safe to train her in agility.  So I told them I'd think about it and call them back.

Well my boyfriend was very upset about this, and said I had to call them back right away and just adopt her.  But I wasn't sure.  We couldn't meet her, she might be unhealthy, and she was definitely a terrier.  

I took a few days to think about it, and I couldn't get her out of my mind.  She was one of the few dogs my boyfriend and I both liked, and she really was adorable.  I decided to take the chance, but only after I got my boyfriend to promise that if I couldn't do agility with her, I could get a second dog in a year or two that I could do agility with.

After a few more days of playing phone tag with the rescue they finally got a hold of me and we committed to adopting this puppy.  She would be transported to Vermont in about two weeks- July 18th.  

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