Now that that the holidays are over and the tree is down, the ornaments are put away, the parties are fond memories and the first snow of the winter has arrived — it’s time to settle into the New Year.
Mr. D and I celebrated the start of 2015 by arranging to get a new family member, a five-month-old pup named Devil on Horseback, “Dev” for short.
Like my beloved Sydney (who passed away at a ripe old age in March) and his younger admirer Addie (who is now a senior citizen herself) Dev is an Australian terrier. Known for their indefatigability, intelligence and large personality in a small body, Aussies aren’t that common in the U.S. In fact, we are going to Wisconsin to pick him up next week, which in many ways is absolutely crazy!
Sometimes, when contemplating the logistics –and the cost– of acquiring Dev, I ask myself why we didn’t just adopt a shelter dog in need of a good home. We did try. Despite being smitten every time I checked my Facebook feed and saw an adorable face begging for a second chance, I remained faithful to a few criteria:
1) We knew we wanted a terrier, on the small side, to insure portability, to prevent exuberant and potentially damaging body slams, as we are “fit but over fifty” dog parents, and to be good companions for our “grandpuppies,” both of whom are under 20 lbs.
2) We have two cats, which we do not desire to become prey.
3) We didn’t want to deal with a dog with aggression issues toward other dogs, strangers or small children, whether from insecurity, former abuse/neglect or lack of training.
4) With one dog already, we couldn’t adopt a bonded pair or a dog who needed to be an “only.”
A friend suggested fostering, and Mr. D and I thought about it, but decided that the potential stress on our cats Jackson and Lizzie was not acceptable.
These restrictions really narrowed the field. After finding and inquiring about three good prospects only to find them quickly snapped up, we realized that the kind of dogs we could provide a good home for were the least likely to need us.
I wish I could be the new mom for a pit bull mix or an anxious older poodle, but I’m just not the right fit at this point in my life. Despite my guilt each time I think about buying a purebred dog instead of rescuing a mutt, I have to be honest about my circumstances and my priorities.
So, it’s off to Muskego, Wisconsin we go to pick up our boy from our wonderful breeder Julie at Temora Australian Terriers. We’ve been like new parents picking out the right travel bag for the only direct flight, which happens to be on Southwest Airlines (we settled on the large Sturdibag after research on this wonderful site).
No doubt there will be many more pictures to follow as Mr. D and I train this pup together! Wish us luck, and Happy New Year to all of you, dog lovers or not!