Our family has wanted a puppy for the longest time. When he was in 3rd grade, our oldest son M asked for a puppy in such a skillful way we felt guilty saying no. No whining, no pleading. Like a Salvation Army bell-ringer outside a Wal-Mart during the holidays, he kept raising the subject quietly and insistently, usually at times when other people were around to witness his earnestness. We didn’t get a puppy then because the twins were too young, but the seed was planted. I quickly became hooked on PetFinder and other area rescue websites as part of my daily reads.
Fast forward to Christmas 2011. We visited some dear friends who had just adopted a 6-month old puppy of their own. This mellow little beagle-bichon mix melted all our hearts with a few big puppy eyes and kisses. On the car ride home, I think we got about a half-mile down the road before we made plans for 2012 — The Year of Our Dog.
Since I had been lurking on the rescue websites for years, I showed my husband the available pets from one of our local rescues, the Animal Rescue Foundation. We read all the adoption policies, looked over the available pets and decided to wait until spring to really ramp up our search. We were going to be sensible and take our time, searching step by step to make sure we got the right puppy for us. No rushing — that was our watchword.
About two weeks later, we brought home Louie.
I’d followed the available pets daily on their website for years, so I knew that the litter of four almost 8-week-old purebred Shih tzu puppies would be adopted in no time flat. I saw their cute little pictures first appear on the website on a Tuesday morning, and by noon, my husband and I had filled out the online application to meet them the following Saturday.
We had to prepare our kids, telling them that we were just meeting two puppies, that we needed to see if we liked either of them and they us. Yeah. We all fell for him in about 30 seconds.
He’s 12 weeks old now. Don’t you wonder what life is like for a puppy that age? I see him exploring, chewing, taking in this big world of ours. How strange everything must be! He’s still not terribly sure what to make of the TV and the weird noises coming out of it. I just found out the other day that he can’t handle listening to Adele’s “Someone Like You” (I love that song!). I think it’s because she sounds so raw and upset on it; he likes “Rolling in the Deep” so he does have some good musical taste.
Our first Puppy Training class is on Monday and we’re all going. I can’t wait to see how Louie takes to that!