Meet Chance! He came home yesterday evening. He’s 13 weeks old, an Australian Shepherd / Retriever mix, adopted from a great local shelter that rescues animals, including litters of pups, from downstate kill facilities.
When I began to seriously look at what I wanted, irrespective of ‘career,’ at the very top of the list was to raise a wee pup one more time. That is a 12 -15 year commitment, so now’s the time. (If I’m around and still fit later, I’ll foster or adopt much older beasties who have a harder time finding homes.) I knew I’d need to stay put as much as possible for awhile, to establish the bond, to do the important early training, and that has a lot to do with why I’ve scaled the travel-related activities back.
Back in late 2007, I voluntarily did some extensive aptitude testing. Art, writing, music (ironically), and teaching were among the highest on my tally of natural abilities, but my very top recommendation was: animal trainer. Lupe will be a superb part of the teaching team. She’s beautifully behaved, gentle, and just the right age to be a calm, confident influence; she’s already doing a good job.
This is the photo that sold me, taken when he was 8 weeks old, in late December. I immediately applied for him. He was first supposed to arrive three weeks ago, but was quarantined after a pup in the same building got sick.
To some folks, pets are just pets, negligible. Me, I’m a life-long lover of animals, ever fascinated by inter-species bonding, the intense communication by eye contact, body language, touch. It is pure, compelling, and brings joy. It’s so grand to have another Chance to experience that fully.
(Even the part where we discover that the little sweetie can howl just like a full grown coyote at night, easily waking even a nearly-deaf person. That will stop when he truly knows he’s home, and he is).