puppy love (or: why I really don't *need* to adopt a puppy)

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That handsome boy is my Dexter.
Also known as The Best Dog Ever.

I got my DexterBoo* for my 14th Birthday.  All those years of having “puppy” on my birthday and Christmas wish lists paid off.  I don’t know what my mom was thinking or why she caved, but what kid is going to argue — I WAS GETTING A PUPPY!  We headed off to our local animal rescue fund (yes, it’s actually called ARF) and headed towards the puppy rooms.  There was so much adorableness your head could explode.  I was on puppy overload.

My brother, Timmy, and I began playing with a few of them, and soon we had our options narrowed down to two different pups.  One was a copper-brown more active, smooth coated dog… and then there was this little mutt with his 3 siblings (two of which were fluffy and black!)… He was a little shyer, but loving.  Timmy and I fell for him instantly.  And that’s when “Cute 4” came home and became “Dexter” — my brother had a large role in picking and naming him.. I regret nothing.

Doodles was awesome.  He took to housing breaking really well, with only a short period of “oops’s”… He was, however, a chewer.  He chewed on the wooden furniture, on any toy you’d give him, and also on my brother’s hats and his marching band jacket (he opted for that rather than a letterman).  We forgave him — as all cute pets generally can get away with ANYTHING — and he eventually grew out of the teething phase.  He also grew into his ears and legs too — gotta love that awkward “I’m a growing puppy” adolescent age.  Dex’s hair also lighted some, and grew out into this beautiful feathery coat… which soon began forming dreadlocks.

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Unfortunately, Dexter’s life hasn’t been all sqeaky toys and walks in the park…  Dexter developed seizures.  I don’t remember when they first started happening, but I know they’ve been going on for a while now.  I was horrified.  Here is my precious puppy, contorted and seizing, eyes glossing over… We didn’t know what to do.  We’re not the type of family that can really afford expensive medical tests and treatments for our pets.  We sit with him, calming him, and wait it out.  Even Bear, our large beast of a cat, sits with him too.  Afterward, he’s dizzy and a bit dehydrated, but he comes out of it well.

I haven’t lived with Dex for 6 years now (excluding about 3 summers).  Though I’ve got my kittens and they are very loving and “I need attention now! Pet me! Pet me! Pet me!”, I have seriously missed living with my puppy**.  I look forward to going home to see him for holidays, and lament that he doesn’t travel well enough to come see me.

I don’t know if it’s the warm weather, or living alone (okay, yes, again, I’ve got the kittens), but something’s got me desperately wanting to adopt a puppy or an older dog.  Normally I like medium to large sized dogs, but well, I’m not really wanting a dog that can overpower me.  So in the recent years I’ve started looking at smaller, more compact dogs.  I’m a huge fan of Cardigan Welsh Corgis… They seem like a fun dog to have around.  But I’m not one to go find a breeder and adopt a purebred dog right away.  Dex is a Collie-Lab-Shepherd mix and as I’ve mentioned, The Best Dog Ever.  So I think if I were to get a puppy or an older dog, I’d want to go see who needs a home.

However… This is where reality sets in.  I live in a small one-bedroom garden apartment (that is currently a huge mess).  I have no bedroom door.  I have no yard.  I have two rambunctious little furball kitties, who honestly might not do well with a dog (though I want to schedule play-dates with dogs of various sizes and breeds to slowly aclimate them to other animals)…  I also am gone for at least 11 hours of the day and well, I really can’t afford to take care of a dog at the moment either.  But I still want one!

My solution?  Puppy play-dates!

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That little adorable guy is Franklin Eugene.  Phil has kindly agreed to let me come over and play with him some time…  Granted, Franklin is one of the reasons why I’ve been in puppy-mode… I mean, come on, he’s just cute.  I’m also planning on visiting some with Dani’s mom’s pup, Archie.  Though, from previous encounters, Archie LOVES me and pretty much thinks that I’m his new chew toy.  Dani’s brother Greg also has a pretty cool dog, Archie’s uncle Puck (the Wonder Mutt). (See below for Archie and Puck.)  And well, I’ll definitely be seeking out any other friend with a pooch that’d be willing to let me come over and spend some time doting on their canine companions.  If I can’t have a dog… then I’ll just love on someone else’s!  (Bonus points if I end up dating someone with a dog.)

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*Please note that I constant feel the need to append Dexter’s name or just outright give him whatever nickname feels appropriate at the moment.  He honestly is indifferent and loves me all the same.  (My guess is that he’d do the same for me.)
** Yes, he still is a puppy.  Okay, maybe not in age, and yeah he’s calmed down a lot… but he’ll always be my puppy.

Lastly: This in NO way means that I love my kitties any less.  But dog and cats are completely not the same thing.