Bought a dog about two weeks ago. First dog in many years. That day was a real experience. I think that I lived at least a week in those first few hours.
I met her at the Petco parking lot after I met Chelsea, her caregiver. She had the dog she had named “Belly” for only about two weeks. “Belly” is a four-year old “designer dog”, equal parts Jack Russel and Chihuahua.
“Belly” came to Chelsea’s house as a surprise. Her husband found her wandering around at a gas station. Because he was concerned, he took the time to track the dog back to the owner. He found the owner very reluctant. The previous owner told Chelsea’s husband that he had no interest in keeping the dog and had decided that he was going to take her to the pound. Rather than permit that to happen, Chelsea’s husband convinced the owner to give him the dog along with its medical records. Then he took “Belly” home to his unsuspecting wife. Fortunately, Chelsea is a dog lover too. After taking care of the dog from about two weeks, she put”Belly” up for adoption.
Belly is a terrible name. Chelsea told me that the reason for the name was that the dog had a pot belly when she first saw her. She was pretty fat. By the time that I got “Belly”, there was only a slight trace of that extra weight left on her. Now, with all of the exercise she gets here, there is none of that weight left at all.
As soon as I drove out of the Petco parking lot, “Belly” started to cry and she cried all of the way home for 15 minutes. It was heartbreaking. I wasn’t prepared for that. That caused me to break my first rule (which I had yet to make) and let her sit in my lap while driving home. That, as I ought to have known, was something you never should do. A crying dog in your lap while you are driving is a real distraction! That trip home told me that “Belly” had felt loved and secure with Chelsea and sensed that somehow she was being rejected by her “latest” owner. She was a very unhappy dog.
As soon as “Belly” got home, the first thing that happened was she somehow broke loose from the tether. We live next to a cemetery on the edge of the country. I doubt that she had ever been out in nature before. She burst into the cemetery and went running wildly as fast as she could. It only took her about 10 seconds to disappear! I’ve never owned a dog that fast. She’s a very strong dog and one I could never catch on my own. When she ran off, I wasn’t certain I would ever see her again because I’d only known her for about 15 minutes. Surprisingly, she came right back to me after a few minutes when she was exhausted from very hard running.
Belly is a bit larger than a Chihuahua but much stronger. She is capable of jumping straight up in the air between 3 to 4 feet from a sitting position. When she’s running, she can bound about 2-3 feet up in the air but, at full speed, usually clears the ground by about 1 foot. She reminds me of a fox or a greyhound depending on the situation.
As I mentioned, we discovered already that “Belly” loves the outdoors but hates being alone in it. A very sociable dog, she loves to be outside but only as long as either my wife or I am out there with her. We discovered that she also is very intelligent. When I first put her on the 30 foot tether she showed that she could run in circles and exercise without ever coming to the end of her leash. Most of the time, though, she just prefers pulling me around like a sled dog!
On one of the first days we had her, we introduced her to our two black bunnies. Both rabbits panicked and she was very frightened. Now she’s afraid of Flopsie and Mopsie, the dog-eating bunnies! Wouldn’t go anywhere near them after that for the rest of that week. In her defense, the rabbits are both as large as she is. So, after that, I assumed she wouldn’t be much of a hunter.
Well, I was wrong! She may be afraid of the bunnies but she’s fearless with groundhogs. She finds them by sense of smell. She trusts her nose so much that she doesn’t even use her eyes until she’s right on top of them. She nearly caught one of them even pulling me after her! And, for her like most dogs, catching a squirrel would be her ultimate dream! Without the leash, she’d have no trouble doing it either.
Right after I brought her home on that first day, I went for my usual bike ride for about an hour. When I came back, my wife told me that our new dog had spent the entire time watching for me out the front window, sitting on the back of our couch, waiting for me to return. My new best friend! I can’t comprehend how a bond developed that quickly.
This morning I woke up with her head nestled on my chest. I didn’t even know that she had gotten into the bed! She doesn’t sleep on the bed. She sleeps in the bed under the covers like both of us. I guess that’s not atypical. There’s a lot more that could be said but I’m certain most dog owners have heard it all before! In about two weeks she has taken over the house and “dogified” it to her liking. She has beds in three separate rooms as well as ours which she uses only when we’re sleeping in it.
Belly was an awful name so we renamed her Daisy (which is Margarita is Spanish). It’s only fitting that she would have a bilingual name because her original owners were Latinos and they had named her Angel. So there you have it! I didn’t know that I could be smitten so quickly by a little dog! And, on top of it all, Daisy is just as neurotic as we are! Maybe that’s part of the charm? It’s obvious dogs and people are made for each other. What a natural relationship!
Today is my birthday. We don’t pay much attention to them anymore. This evening my wife, Lynne, told me that Daisy is my birthday present. She’s a good one!