Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Puppies on the brain Part 2

So I've been thinking a lot about getting another puppy. Not just thinking, but praying, talking to the vet, researching, debating the pros and cons.

I think I've figured out why I want another dog: for a long time I've been in this empty nest limbo. Cassie's grown up, David's always had his own hobbies and passions, and over the last couple of years I've really gotten into the dog. I love training and agility, I love reading and learning about dogs and how they think and how people can be better pet owners. It's becoming a bit of a passion for me, I guess.

Which explains why I was so irritated that David came to agility classes with me. He would talk to the dog while I was working with him, and he would interject his thoughts about what I was doing wrong. I tried to explain to him that it would be like if I went hunting with him and sat in the tree stand explaining why he was holding his bow wrong. He didn't get it.

Until yesterday. When I explained it in terms of passion and hobby and interest, rather than just family pet, he understood. (Of course, he immediately started telling me all of the things I should do about getting a dog, but when I told him to stop being a control freak, he understood. Poor David.)

In any event ... the conversation took place because I found a puppy. It could be another one of those right time, right dog moments. I was talking to a breeder, Kim at Gentle Shepherd Farms, about new born puppies, but we got talking about a 13-week-old male that was supposed to go home this week with someone who ended up not being able to take him. Because he's a bit older, Kim has a good sense of his personality, and she thinks a female may end up being too alpha with Scout and he could end up miserable for the rest of his life. While Scout plays with Dali, she is definitely an assertive dog and he doesn't seem to enjoy time with her. We all (including the vet) agree this puppy might be a good match with Scout. This new puppy has an energetic but non-aggressive personality, the breeder says, and would do well with another mild mannered non aggressive dog like Scout.

David and I were both excited at the prospect, and when Kim sent me the pictures I fell in love. (I mean, look at that face!)

But then last night, Scout was up coughing. His little half day trial run at doggy day camp last week resulted in kennel cough, if you can believe it. Even though he's vaccinated, I guess dogs can still pick up the virus and for the past few days he's been hacking all night like a human with bronchitis does. As I lay with him on the spare bed I thought, I enjoy these Scout and me moments. Will another dog ruin that? Am I being selfish? Do I have the energy for another dog?

So that's where I am. I look at the photo of this dog and see him and Scout romping around the backyard and herding Murphy (and shedding pounds of dog hair and monopolizing the bed) and think about how wonderful it all would be. Then I curl up with Scout and think maybe I'm not being fair to him.

We can't go see this dog for another week because of Scout's virus and I do want to see how he and the puppy interact. And because this breeder is an expert in border collies, I want her to meet Scout. She may have some insight into how he and a new dog will interact, and who knows. She might meet him and think that Scout and I are both neurotic nutcases not worthy of one of her puppies.

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