Hey everyone, I have big news!
I said this to my neighbor, Crystal, and she got all super excited and was like, “YOU’RE PREGNANT!” and I was like, “HELL NO CRYSTAL! I’M 45 FUCKING YEARS OLD AND I JUST DROPPED MY KIDS OFF AT SLEEP AWAY CAMP! I WOULDN’T BE EXCITEDLY TELLING YOU THAT I WAS HAVING A BABY, I’D BE THROWING MYSELF IN FRONT OF A BUS!”
So no. I’m not having a baby and as I’ve said many times, Loony got the snip snip which means being pregnant right now – at my advanced age – would be nothing short of a disaster on many levels.
Nope, I decided to get a puppy. Not only that, a mini Golden Retriever puppy.
I DIDN’T EVEN KNOW THAT WAS A THING!!!
My best dog (no offense to Blue but all the offense meant to Scheissehund) was Kip, a Golden Retriever mutt that passed away over 17 years ago. He was loyal, smart, patient, and sweet as the day was long. I realize that getting another Golden doesn’t mean I’ll ever get another Kip, it doesn’t work that way, but the characteristics of his breed are 100% in-line with what I want in a dog.
Now I loved Blue – you all know how much I loved him – but now that he is gone I’ve had time to think about all the accommodations I gladly made for him and how it profoundly changed how we lived. I’m still getting used to not having to make those accommodations.
For instance, I have a habit of stopping people at the door when they visit unless they’ve been invited over. This usually happens to neighbors when they stop by to borrow something. I usually slip out the door and talk to them on the porch, not because I don’t want to invite them in, but I don’t want to deal with the dogs going crazy.
And kids, the other day two young neighbor girls came over along with a young girl and boy who were our guests. They were running around the house, visiting and just hanging out and I didn’t have to worry about where Blue was.
My kids can have sleepovers and friends can stop by without me worrying about Blue getting out of his confinement, or a game of hide-and-seek going into his space. It’s a big deal and I still dream about getting in scary situations with him.
Blue was the sweetest dog and he was fiercely devoted to his family. He was predisposed to being mistrustful of young girls and for everyone’s safety I could never let my guard down around him. I was always worried about disaster striking because someone forgot to close a door.
It wasn’t his fault, he wasn’t properly socialized to children and other animals and current research shows that the window to socialize a dog is short and between the ages of 3-8 months.
For that reason I’ve decided to get a puppy from a breeder. I’ve thought long and hard about this. I’m committed to rescue and adoption and I spent plenty of time perusing the adoption and rescue sites. But I want a Golden Retriever, and one that won’t weigh 75 pounds, I want a smaller dog but with Golden traits.
I need to know what I’m getting, or at least what I have to work with.
A mini Golden is, according to this site, “Imagine everything you love about a Golden Retriever – their friendly temperament, absolute loyalty, and loving playfulness – but in a smaller size. Sounds pretty good, right? Enter the Miniature Golden Retriever, a dog who is exactly that. The Miniature is one of the latest ‘designer breeds’ that are taking the canine world by storm as would-be owners seek out their favorite dogs in a package better suited to their lifestyles. This specialist breeding is designed to create a dog matched as close as possible with a standard Golden – usually between a 50 and 75% genetic match. The idea is to create puppies that have the same wonderful character and temperaments of a normal Golden, yet in a smaller size.”
I researched breeders and found one in Billings, Montana (close enough for me to drive to) that has been around for over eight years. I looked up any complaints and found none and followed Cesar Millan’s guide for selecting a reputable breeder. Furthermore, I found that several other breeders around the country use C & S Ranch’s dogs as breeding stock.
Helping Blue throughout the changes in his health showed me how important it is to have a dog I can carry if needed. I figure that 45 pounds is my maximum. I want a small(er) dog but one that isn’t ridiculous like Scheissehund.
I want a dog that does dog stuff like go for long hikes, play with the kids and cuddle on the couch with people that aren’t me, be easy going and friendly to other dogs. My kids want a family dog and so do I.
So come late August/early September, we will be welcoming a puppy to our house. Here are the parents:
Stormy is due July 7th and I get second pick of the males. I’m really excited, I’ve wanted a Golden since Kip died and now is my chance. I hope you can be happy for me and understand why this time around I decided to go with a breeder (NOT a puppy mill), something I’ve never done.
I’m also glad that Mini Goldens aren’t purebreds, I want genetic diversity. Meanwhile I’ve been watching lots of dog training videos and reading Cesar Millan’s book, How to Raise the Perfect Dog.
I’m going to make Itchy read it and get the boys involved in the training of our new dog.
The hardest part of this process was getting Loony on board. Naturally I put the deposit down before consulting him.
I lived with my secret until I found a good time to
have a huge fight break the news to him. I did it over coffee this morning.
I was writing letters to the boys at camp and Loony asked me to leave some space for him to write something, so I made reference to it.
Then I listened to him list all the reasons why we don’t need a dog which were, FYI, the exact same reasons he didn’t want Blue or Kitsy but look how in love he was …
Well that’s over with. I’ll ply him with baby pictures and I’m sure that he will come around by September.
It would have been easier if I had been able to shove a puppy into his face but there’s no way I could have kept it a secret that long. And how would I have explained the road trip to Billings?
Meanwhile, my neighbors are getting a lab puppy tomorrow and some other friends in the neighborhood are getting one in five weeks. CAN YOU SAY PLAYDATES AND PUPPY SCHOOL?!?!
It’s going to be perfect.
Loony, I’m sorry that I am not a more honest and forthright person when it comes to pets, it’s just not in my DNA to be honest about getting new animals. But at least I didn’t pull a Tabby and buy a racehorse. You’re welcome.