When is a puppy not a puppy?
We took Stormy to his first puppy class last night. We’d talked it over with the trainer and decided to start at the Intermediate level. All of the other dogs were actually puppies and they’d been through the beginner class together.
We went around the room and introduced our dogs. All the other dogs were purebreds who had come to their owners at 3 months or so. When it was our turn, we said, “We don’t know what he is except miscellaneous hound of some sort. We don’t know how old he is; the Pound said 10, but our vet thinks he could be as young as 4. He didn’t even know sit or go up and down stairs when he came to us 2 months ago.”
I dunno what the other owners were thinking. Probably that we were crazy to take on so much risk in an older dog from the Pound. The trainer asked them all to keep their puppies away from Stormy because older dogs don’t like puppies rushing up into their faces.
He did the exercises okay, but not great, but we still gave him lots of love. I felt the trainer was making a special effort for us. We got more opportunities to do the exercises and a lot of the time she gave us extra guidance.
Having raised Jazzy from puppyhood, I can see the advantage of getting a puppy. Jazz was with us 15 years and spoiled rotten. She was a rescue, too. While there’s nothing wrong with buying a purebred puppy, rescuing an older “unadoptable” dog makes me feel good about myself. The only problem with an older dog is that they aren’t with us nearly long enough.
Don’t tell Stormy, but tomorrow he goes in to get his teeth cleaned, a procedure requiring full sedation in a dog (and about $1000 from us!) But we don’t begrudge him this. We don’t think he came from an abusive home, just a neglectful one. He’s very sweet and despite the little adjustments we all have to make, he’s come to his “foreber” home and we’re glad he did.
Now… should I work on my book or go practice with Stormy?