Thursday, January 25, 2007
For years Tom and I anticipated the day that we would be settled into a house with a yard so that we could welcome a dog into our home. In Chicago we lived on the 3rd floor of a walk up, had a great roof top deck, but no yard. In Minnesota we get the yard but decided after a month straight of below freezing temps that domestic animals should remain indoors from October to March. So off to S. California we go and after living in a townhouse for almost 3 years we were ready for our house with a yard. Or as they are more commonly referred to here, patches of grass.
We decided on a Golden Retriever as Tom grew up with them his whole life and loved them dearly. His mother was involved with the Golden Retriever Rescue chapter back in Illinois and had welcomed many into to her home to rehabilitate for permanent placement. She also bred and trained Golden's for Canine Companions which provides assistance dogs to people with disabilities. So a Golden it was going to be. We had always checked the Sunday paper for Golden litters in the area and then did more online research to ensure we were dealing with a reputable breeder. Initially I wanted to get an older dog as I wasn't sure I would be able to handle the difficult puppy months (more like years?) and of course I am an animal rescue advocate (who isn't) but we also had to take into account our other 4 legger, Chumley. So after careful thought and consideration we believed it would be a good idea to start with a puppy who could better adapt to Chumley's rage and psychotic outbursts. Our pup would just think that all cats are deranged lunatics! But we also figured it would be a good opportunity to test our patience level and nurturing skills.
So a couple weeks after we settle into our home we find a breeder in Riverside, about an hour and a half away. She posts photos of her recent litter on her website and that's when we see Bear, known now as our Wrigley Bear. The name fits because he looked like a stuffed teddy bear. We fall in LOVE with him over the internet so Tom asks me to call the breeder and find out some more information. The breeder, Nancy and I talk for an hour. We instantly hit it off and I tell her that we are interested in a particular pup we spotted on her website. She then tells me that a woman is coming to take Bear (also after seeing him online) but assured me that we'd fall in love with any of her pups and to come out and take a look. So feeling a bit disappointed, I call Tom at work and he says, "I'm on my way." Then off we go to Riverside...just to look.
Nancy greets us outside and tells us that Bear did not find a home today. The woman who came to pick him up had decided that he had such a fuzzy coat, one of the fuzziest she's ever seen and that she knew he would be quite a shedder so she opted for a pup with less fluff. I thought to myself, "That's a silly reason. How bad can it be?"
It's been 9 months now and this dog has undercoats, overcoats, topcoats, it's never ending. The fur above is just from this evening's combing and I could still comb gobs more but my arm was getting tired. I wish there was a way to recycle all this fur into something useful. Maybe we could use it as insulation for our freezing house. But thankfully, we've discovered The Furminator which is a wonder tool for furry pets. We also have one in a smaller size for Chumley but after one attempt I've realized it's not worth losing an eye ball to try and Furminate the cat.
Posted by Me at 7:42 PM