Wednesday, September 18, 2013

The Critter Corner

“Puppy Love – Part 2”
Dr. Steve Velling

Well, we took the plunge.  My wife, daughter and I adopted a puppy, and I wanted to share my experience with all of you.  First, you may recall at the end of my last article that I mentioned that we would be looking to add another dog to our house to go along with our old Corgi, Copper.  My daughter wanted a Great Dane, which my wife was a rather worried about – big dog, big poop, lots of drool and potentially hard to walk.  My condition was that we try our best to adopt a dog from a shelter, so of course my daughter took to the internet looking for Great Danes to rescue.  We actually did see a few online at a nearby shelter, so we planned a day to go out and visit.

My daughter was extremely excited, already planning on where the dog would sleep, what she would name it, and what they would do together.  I had to temper her excitement by reminding her that a lot goes into adopting a dog, and you can’t just look at a picture and expect to get that dog or expect that dog to be a good fit.  We drove out to the shelter, located on 40 acres south of Leesburg, a beautiful spot.  We walked around the grounds, saying hello to all the dogs while I was mentally keeping track of which ones seemed to have the gentlest disposition.  We did in fact see a gray and white female Great Dane that seemed calm enough in her cage, but when she was brought out to meet Copper, she nearly took his head off.  No Great Dane for us on this visit.  My daughter was quite upset, but she got over it fairly quickly as we continued to look online and saw a litter of 4 month old puppies available to look at with the same shelter, but at a foster mom’s house.

We went and saw three of the puppies – Doberman mixes with dark faces, long gangly legs and brindle coloring (brown and black stripes).  They were all adorable, but there was one that literally went over and sat on my daughter’s lap - Eli.  I had to check him out (I brought my stethoscope), and then we had a family vote on the ride home.  The consensus was that Eli was the best choice (as he made it so clear to us!), but we did decide to change his name to Boone.

I have to say that I now have a re-appreciation for people that have a puppy in their house.  The puppy-proofing, constant trips outside, occasional accidents or ripped up toys, and grumpiness by Copper towards Boone are greatly off-set by having such a lovable, smart, cute dog in the house.  He brings a lot of joy to our house, and it all started with taking our time and making the right choice. 

Till next time,                   

Dr. Steve

About the Author: Dr. Steve Velling is a Veterinarian at Ashburn Village Animal Hospital in Ashburn, VA.

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