In case you missed it, Part 1.
So were all left sad after putting down both of our 13 year old dogs. Having a break from running them outside, and to the vet, and all the work things associated with a dog was somewhat of a relief. For me, getting a new dog wasn’t a thought on the horizon. I needed to mourn our old friends, which takes time, and getting a new dog would sully that process a lot. Not having a dog for a year or two was definitely an option for me, but the wife and kids convinced me otherwise. So about 6 months after ole Buzz and Oscar passed to doggy heaven, we brought home Pearl.
She was part Cocker Spaniel, part Poodle (no shedding) – called a Cockapoo (funny name – Cock a Poo!). She was supposed to get to be about 20 pounds, but I think she’s topped out at about 12. Her coloring is called “Chocolate Merle” and she has a brown eye and a blue eye. One of the crazier looking dogs I’ve seen. Anyway, as you can imagine, her personality was very different than the Chihuahuas. She actually LIKES people! And is friendly to most. When her fur gets long, she is like a giant pillow-slash-teddy bear.
Holly and the kids took to her really quickly, and while Pearl the dog (AKA Dum Dum, I talked about her first in this post when she was still a puppy) was nice, I was certainly more standoffish with her. Sort of like breaking up with your first girlfriend, my heart wasn’t ready to handle another relationship right away. But we got along. She got into typical dog trouble, and is really pretty dumb for a dog. We taught her to ring a bell (on a string) to tell us when she should go outside. Unlike most dogs who pick this trick up quickly, it took her an entire year.
The dog loves the kids, and the kids her. Having a pet as a child wasn’t something that I had growing up, and I hope the kids don’t take it for granted with having a dog. It really is heartwarming to watch them play and chase each other, and Pearl has a blast with them. But the real one who needs and loves the dog most (and who’s human Pearl loves the most too) is Holly. They are life buddies and have that connection. I like the dog too and we have our moments. She’s nice, but hasn’t been that splinter in my heart ole Buzz was.
We have talked somewhat in jest, and somewhat seriously about either getting another dog, or maybe fostering one/some. Mac commented in Part 1 about fostering if anyone is interested, or interested in learning more in case that’s how you’d like to acquire your next pet. If we decide to go down that route, we’d have to do more research, and decide what our breed or niche is (as Mac recommended). You can get a rescue dog too of nearly any breed, so don’t think you have to go spend a lot of money on a breeder to get the kind of dog you want. We do think the poodle part of the breed is nice with the no-shedding, but that means we have to spend money to have her groomed, so take that into consideration as well.
Anyways, when I get old, and reflect back on my life and my time with my family, I will remember that the dogs are part of the family, and color our lives differently. They become an adopted son or daughter, and really do love us unconditionally and lighten the heart when it is heavy. Friend and protector. Thief and scoundrel. Dogs are pack animals, and if you have one, just remember you are the pack leader and behave like one. We actually learned a lot about behavior from watching Cesar Millan’s shows.
We have something like this hanging in our crate/laundry room:
I think the hardest part about owning and loving a dog isn’t the cold winter walks, or barking at ghosts, or the accidents inside, it is simply the fact that we love them so much and their lives are so much shorter than ours, hence we hurt a little more frequently when we have to say goodbye. So like your kids, enjoy the time while it lasts!