This post is my entry into the BlogPaws Blog Carnival Contest sponsored by BISSELL Homecare, Inc.
During the spring of 2009 I began a search for a new addition to our family unit. At this point Dingo was about 4.5 years old and mature enough to help raise a pup. Due to his reactivity I felt a puppy was a better option than an adult, and spring is usually the worst season for puppy fever. Dingo had never really interacted with a puppy, at least not as an adult. My reasoning was a puppy is more likely to throw calming signals and actively try to fit in. The search began in late March, I frequented the two nearby shelters looking for the right fit. Our humane society had a little of apparent corgi/dachshund mixes that had come from a hoarding situation. The litter of 7 little black fluffy pups were put into a viewing room by the front door of the shelter. All of the pups were nearly identical to their mom. The mom and suspected dad were both at the shelter, he was a fairly laid back long, short and chubby dog with German Shepherd type markings. She looked like a long haired dachshund mixed with who knows what. During a play session I had with the puppies(welcomed whole heartedly by the staff for socialization) I was informed that other kennel staff and volunteers were already planning to adopt the pups. Although they were cute, I didn’t feel any connection with any of the pups anyway. A few weeks had gone by when I noticed a litter of beagle mixes at the other shelter. All appeared to be around 10 weeks old. No one could give me any information on the puppies and it was assumed that they all had homes waiting. I was put on waiting lists to be informed if any new puppies had arrived. I frequented the shelter websites in hopes of finding a dog who would work out in our house. A few weeks had gone by and spring break had come. My mom and I went for an outing to check the shelters again. To my surprise the litter of beagle mixes were still at the shelter. Now about 12-15 weeks old as I was told by the staff and volunteers, only 2 had homes waiting. That day only 4 puppies were at the shelter, the others were at the vet to be altered. We were allowed to play with the pups one on one in a adjacent kennel. Pup number one was a red female with one white paw, she was very forward and a little snarky. Pup number two was a little black female with a white chin and paws, she was more standoff-ish not really interested in meeting us, and she was also snarky with the other pups. Pup number three was another red female with white on her chin, throat and all four paws. She was wiggly, very eager to meet us, but also interested in the scents in the kennel. Pup four was a male, mostly white with some light brown patches. He was far more interested in the scent of Gilly, the pit who spent his nights in the kennel we were in. Knowing nothing else about them other than our initial meeting, I asked to see pup Three one more time. It was definitely sealed with a kiss, several kisses. The paperwork was filled that day and a date was set to have Dingo meet the puppy. I had nearly a week to ready the house for a puppy. Although my greatest fear was Dingo not liking the puppy.
Finally the day came, we loaded Dingo into the car, brought along the new harness and leash that I had bought for the little pup. My mom went to let the shelter staff know we had arrived and I took Dingo for a short walk. When we got back to the car I sat Dingo down and shortly after my mom, the shelter manager and another woman who works at the shelter came out with the little red pup. The pup was too interested in the scents of a world unknown to her until that very moment, and Dingo was too concerned with where my mom was to give a hoot about anything else. Although not a perfect meeting it was better than him trying to eat the little hound, or the person walking her for that matter. We were sent on our merry way with warning to keep an eye on Dingo because he might attack her. I knew my boy better than that however, if his initial reaction was like this, there would be no issues unless brought on by the pup. During the ride home Dingo became curious about the new red dog in the car who was soundly sleeping on my lap. A good sign as far as I could tell, curiosity is far better than fear. The pup who at this point was nameless almost became known as Droolia due to the drool seeping from her jowls as she dreamt puppy dreams. When we arrived home we brought the dogs in the house and allowed them too meet freely. Dingo was disinterested, and the pup was busy checking out her new home, including the noisy feathered animals.
By the time evening had arrived it was clear that although they seemed to ignore each other they actually liked each other quite a bit. At this point it was obvious the decision to bring this pup into our home was the right one. In puppy proofing the house I had also bought a large size crate with the divider so the crate can grow with the puppy. We weren’t sure as to how big the pup would get and I prefer to have a crate larger than recommended. The divider was placed so that the pup would have about 1/3 of the crates whole size to sleep in. Dingo’s crate is also a large. This didn’t stop both dogs from cramming themselves into the much smaller divided crate for a nap before dinner. Dingo very quickly took on the roll of big brother, teaching the pup how to get on my bed and the best spot to lay (on the pillow). By the end of the first day with us the pup had a name, Dasy. Her name comes from a family of marsupials native to Australia, the Dasyurids. Over the course of the following months it became more and more obvious that Dasy was a perfect fit. Today it’s common to see them curled up together sleeping, or lounging.
The impact of Dasy’s arrival is immesurable. She’s not only brought out the social dog in Dingo but she’s also acted as therapy dog while my mom recovered from hand surgery. Her gentle nature, and tendency to nurture makes her the perect candidate to assist in the rearing of young. Although she’s spayed, she has played mother and nanny to many different species including emu, chickens, budgerigar, and humans. You can’t have a bad day when Dasy is around. If you’re upset she’ll sit on your lap or beside you and kiss you. She spends about an hour every day prancing around the area rug in the living room while tossing a toy or a chewy around. She makes every effort to stay on her “stage” during her game.
There’s not a day that goes by that I ever regret my decision to bring this pup into our family, She’s absolutely wonderful, and her future is as bright as the sun.