**BLOGGER NOTE — Facebook users see the end**
Six years ago this Saturday, something gross probably happened that I luckily wasn’t around for; I just have the remnants of a third of it to deal with. Sometime late in the evening of September 1st 2012, a momma dog plopped out three little ones who probably celebrated that event by pooping or something. Like all newborns, these little ones were helpless, cold, and hungry – luckily momma had help too from her breeder, to guide the pups to momma’s side and welcome them into the world.
The breeder bred the pups as show dogs. Usually a litter doesn’t have a full load of show quality dogs, but the show arena’s loss is a good home’s gain. They looked for new owners from mailing lists, social media, and other places that they respected. They weren’t looking for anyone to buy a dog; they were looking for people who they could trust to own a dog.
Which makes my involvement in this story kind of sound ironic in hindsight.
I showed up in this story about 3 weeks later. I actually didn’t intend to show up, I just was looking for something to do on a Saturday. A friend from work happened to be on of those mailing lists. She’s been in the market for a specific breed, namely Staffordshire Bull Terrier, and this local breeder just had a litter of three. On a Saturday with nothing else to do, I drove out with her.
Now, when I think of ‘breeder’, I picture some farm with loads of cages, pens, and piles of poo. This was a split level ranch in the middle of town. Besides the chain linked fence in the back to keep the moose out, there was nothing special about the place … well, except for the stock car being built in the garage. The house had a family of four. Father & son raced cars; Mother & daughter showed staffies .. thus the breeder name “FullThrottle Staffies”.
At just three weeks, the pups were pretty momma dependent, and only just started sniffing at dry food. They had five weeks of weening to go at least. Yet even at that age, they were starting to show a little personality. The black one clearly was the alpha and the most attentive. He would have a future in show dog circuit for sure. The girl, the runt, a white and black patched little thing, had an mischievous attitude. The breeder mentioned “that one is going to be a handful”. Hindsight told me it was her code for: “I’m going to be really picky who gets her to know they can handle her.” In the middle was a brown one with a white patch on his neck. More laid back, he had a wonky ear going on – a minor issue that would be nothing to the rest of us, but would keep him from being show quality unless it was corrected. While my friend had an interest in the white one, the breeder made it clear
**and I’ll note this is the first brick that fell**
the brown one was for sale as well.
We talked about what kind of dogs they would grow into; what to expect from different situations with other dogs, what kind of disruption they would put into our lives. To help show them off, we took the three and the momma out back to the back yard. The pups were still new to going back there, and quickly explored the place running away from the watchful eye of momma. The little ones took an interest in a neighbor dog, a bigger pit bull, who at first didn’t really do much but watch them. The pups ran up and barked at the bigger one, as if they were tough and ready for a fight. After a couple of minutes the pit had enough, he gave one huge ‘Woof’ and the pups went running. Two, the girl and the black one, went running to hide behind momma. The third …
**and I’ll note this is the second brick that fell**
The little brown one ran to me and hid behind me.
We picked the pups up to take back inside. The breeder made sure the brown one was in my arms. Worn out by the exercise, it suggled into my chest, no bigger than a hot dog. When I put him back in his pen with his momma, he gave a brief look back to me. My friend pointed out a stain on my and then she said ..
“Looks like he marked you. I guess you’re his now.”
The next two days, I was consumed by this dog. Not in that … I can’t stop thinking about how cute it is … more of a, how does this dog thing work? I always thought having a dog would be fun, but never knew what it meant or what work it would require. Over those two days, I sent no less than five emails packed with questions to the breeder … it probably would have been tons more, but she didn’t check her e-mails and responded as much as I would have. I won’t say I was ready to own a dog after those two days, but I would say that my language changed. It wasn’t “If I buy a dog” or “when I buy a dog”.
No … it was “when I bring home that brown one”.
On my Birthday, no less than two weeks since moving into my new house, I brought Auggie home. Since that time he has done gross things on nearly every floor, bed, couch, or blanket I own. He’s woken me at all hours to bark and nothing. He’s tripped me from being underfoot constantly. He’s fought me. He’s ignored me. He’s been a royal pain in the ass.
Yet, he’s still my buddy.
Happy Six Years Old to Auggie the Doggie.
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