So it turns out that I might be a wee bit impulsive. I am so overly cautious and considerate in so many aspects of my life that the rare moments of impetuousness are the only times that anything gets done. At least anything like getting a dog, which when considered very carefully would certainly have more cons than pros on the proverbial list.
After the break-in, I was reminded that some people have dogs for security reasons. Since I have at various times in my life wanted a dog, I started thinking now might be the right time to take the puppy plunge. My instinct, of course, was to get a fairly big dog, though nothing that outweighed me. My husband and I discussed a husky, or possibly an Australian shepherd. Obviously these aren’t vicious dogs, which led me to research the use of dogs as security measures. The more I read, the more I found that any dog makes a good deterrent, and contrary to instincts, smaller dogs are better because they are noisier and more difficult to placate than big dogs.
My husband has wanted a Corgi since we met so that seemed the only fair way to go. I found a breeder in nearby Olympia with six puppies. We were supposed to get the pick of the litter, so of course, she never got back to me with a meeting time. This didn’t surprise me, as frazzled as she sounded on the phone. That led me to a Craiglist ad my mom sent me. Ah Craigslist. Are you ever a good idea?
According to the ad, there was one puppy left from a litter in Everett, over an hour’s drive away. After I set up a meeting, there was a bit of a domestic kerfuffle. Shaun thought I was reacting poorly to the break-in and should consider the ramifications of my actions. This was very gallant of him, though my rebuttal was that he should ignore the psychology and seize the opportunity to finally get the dog he’s always wanted.
I was worried about the meeting from the start, since the person I talked to on the phone sounded very sleepy, possibly high, and completely against giving up the dog. She said her boyfriend was making her since they already had three dogs. As we approached their house, the neighborhood got sketchier and sketchier. It was directly off Highway 99. Ah, highway 99, are you ever a good idea?
Our destination was a dilapidated duplex. As I pulled into the driveway I saw two men standing about, one partially toothless, and no dogs. My faith in humanity at a dangerous low, I was quite sure I was about to be mugged. I kept the engine idling, rolled down the window, and asked if I was in the right place for the dog. Yes I was, the fully-toothed man replied, and went inside the house. I breathed a sigh of relief when he came out with a dog and not a gun.
The parents of the puppy were on site and looked like happy, healthy dogs. The puppy was tremendously cute and still had its tail. It seemed fortuitous since Shaun and I had discussed trying to find an elusive Cardigan Corgi, instead of the more abundant Pembroke Corgi, as Cardigans get to keep their tails. So the undocked tail plus the fact I couldn’t leave the dog there meant we were relieved of more of our hard-earned cash under dubious circumstances. But hey, at least this time there was a direct exchange of goods.
I took the puppy to the vet the next day – a Sunday – to ensure she was in good health and get her started on shots, something a real breeder would have had done already (along with the tail docking.) The vet said she seemed to be in good health but to watch for signs of illness since the location was undesirable and dogs can get a drastic intestinal virus called parvo.
So far, the puppy seems to be in good health. The “breeders” said she was 90% potty-trained, but we’d classify it more like 40%. Neither my husband nor I has ever taken care of a dog for any length of time, so it’s been an interesting week. I’ve heard that having a puppy prepares you for having a baby because of all the care required, but I’d say it’s just the opposite. I don’t think I would have stood for multiple night awakenings to take a dog outside if it didn’t seem easy compared to infant care. However, could someone please remind me the next time we get a puppy to do it in the summer?
We decided to call the puppy “Pepper” for her mostly black but peppered with other colors fur. She is a lot of work and occasionally I do wonder if perhaps I should have considered the ramifications of my actions more carefully. One thing that had stopped me from getting a dog previously was I did not think this house was big enough for another creature. Of course it’s not that the house isn’t big enough for a dog but that I wasn’t ready to invite one in. It’s not been the easiest transition, I’ll admit. A two-year-old plus a puppy is a foolproof recipe for slapstick chaos. But I have faith we’ll figure it out. We always do.