Friday, November 03, 2006

Introducing Kirby

Originally uploaded by ScruffyDog.
A funny thing happened yesterday, as I was searching through the Petfinder website looking for adoptable scruffy dogs to add to my Adopt a Scruffy Dog blog. (I do this about once a week, and if I see a particularly cute dog and my husband is home, I'll call him in to have a look.) I came upon a litter of scruffy puppies recently put up for adoption in a county shelter. Shepherd/Dachsund Mix was the listed lineage and absolutely adorable was my immediate impression. I did my usual "hey, you gotta see these guys" call to my husband.

I pulled up the page with a little puppy the shelter had named Milo. He was black with tan eyebrows, nose and legs and he looked like a slightly longer-legged wirehaired dachsund. "Wow, he's pretty cute," my husband said. Along with Milo were two brothers and two sisters, different colors, and all but one was scruffy. Then we both looked at each other and some serious mind-reading went on. Instead of "good ones for the blog" my husband said "I guess we could go get one..." "They are only a couple of hours away..." I replied.

We talked about the pros and cons of getting another dog. This wasn't a new conversation -- we've been discussing it for a while -- but this time it had an air of possibility to it. We've been saying we want to get another dog while Baxter is still young enough to play with him and enjoy the company. And we thought it would be good to have Baxter, who is such a well-behaved dog, teach a new puppy some good habits. We just hadn't figured on getting one right now. But right now there was a heart-breakingly cute puppy staring back at us wistfully from the Webpage and we had the afternoon off...

We decided to go "have a look." Baxter loves car rides and the fall foliage is lovely (even in the rain) we figured. Of course, when it comes to puppies, it's tough to just "have a look"...

We hit some construction traffic and we ended up getting to the shelter just before closing. The nice young woman who worked there showed us in to the large kennel where the five puppies were milling about, along with their grandmother (apparently three generations of the family were surrendered for adoption) and a cute, but completely gonzo, dalmation puppy. The woman let us in. The dalmation proceeded to jump all over us but we eventually were able to pick up and hold each puppy except one -- the non-scruffy pup just sat in the corner and wouldn't come near us.

We wanted to take them all home, as well as the grandma (apparently the mother had been taken to rescue, as I'm sure the post-weaning pups were driving her crazy). But we knew one puppy would be plenty for us right now. So it became less a matter of "should we" and more a matter of "which one?" Out of the litter, "Milo" stood out immediately -- not only because he was the only black-and-tan pup, but because he had that Baxter-like quality of being able to inquisitively look you straight in the eye without being aggressive. He wasn't the most assertive, and he wasn't the least assertive. He was comfortable in our arms and equally as happy bouncing around with the other puppies. One of the little females was also a real charmer, but she was definitely more assertive, jumping on grandma and nipping at her face and ears. There was something about Milo...

kirby 2006.11.02
Originally uploaded by ScruffyDog.

It was time to close the shelter. We had to decide. Milo (to be renamed) was our little guy. We said goodbye to the grandma and the other pups, did our paperwork, paid the shelter, introduced the puppy to Baxter (who was curious, but non-plussed) and were on our way home. We tossed out a variety of names. Milo was OK, but is the name of a friend's father, so it didn't feel quite right. Fergus. Duncan. Kirby. Kirby! He really looked like a Kirby. Baxter slept in the back of the car and Kirby squirmed around in a box on my lap. After about 2-1/2 hours of riding and squirming and cuddling and one bout of car-sickness (the poor puppy had just eaten dinner) we were home.

We let Baxter in the house and followed with the puppy. Bax was remarkably calm with the puppy. I could tell from his panting and expression that he was thinking "ok, is this for real or is this just a visit?" but he was very tolerant of the puppy's enthusiasm. Everywhere Baxter went, the puppy followed. Everything Baxter did, the puppy copied. It was adorable. At one point the pup stood directly under Bax's stomach and looked up, as if searching for teats. Sorry, none to be had. Baxter let the puppy know his boundaries, and we let Baxter know that he's still our #1 dog and always will be. The puppy will find his place in the pack over time. But for now, we're just charmed by his adorable scruffiness and sweet, inquisitive, good-natured personality. Kinda like a miniature Baxter, but with a little more of an independent streak.

More puppy stories in the days to come...

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Congratulations on your VERY SWEET new puppy! He is adorable!!! I'm sure he will bring many years of joy to your life, just as Baxter is. Now it's double-trouble for you, my dear. LOL!

Have fun!