Monday, November 10, 2008

New Puppy

By Maggie

I have a new puppy. Haven't had a puppy in the house since I got Katy four years ago from Lifeline Puppy Rescue near Denver. They're a wonderful all-volunteer organization, non-profit, that exists to save as many mixed breed puppies from nearby states' animal shelters. My vet told me years ago that the healthiest, best puppies he'd seen came from there. And my mostly Border Collie, Katy--aka "Miss Boss" -- has definitely proved him right. She's a delight----loving, energetic, obedient, and scary smart.

So----when I wanted to get another puppy this fall when I returned from traveling, I naturally checked Lifelife Puppy Rescue's website. One weekend they had another litter of Boarder Collie pups like Katy, but I was signing on both Saturday & Sunday (the only days the volunteers can hold adoptions)---so I couldn't get there. By the next weekend, all the BC pups were gone. But---as I scrolled down the digital photos of puppy faces, I saw the most adorable eyes looking out. Several "little boys" six in the litter. And I had to drive down to Denver to look. And fell in love with one.

His name's Max, and he's mostly Blue Tick Hound (or Blue Tick Coonhound to be precise) mixed with Lab. He's got a beautiful flat coat which is black on top with all this pretty grey spotted "ticking" up all four legs, covering his entire chest, and half of his tale. He was 13 weeks old that weekend and is a doll.

I checked my favorite "dog website" before going to refresh my memory about Blue Tick Hounds, because temperment is all important. Katy is a sweet, loving dog about 50 lbs and although bossy doesn't have a mean bone in her body. Only good-natured dogs would be acceptable. And the website reassured me that Blue Tick Hounds were loving, faithful, and devoted. And are even shy at first when puppies and they meet new people or new places. I made sure to "socialize" Max that first weekend and watched his "shyness" ----flopping to ground and doing a little quiver---last about two minutes until he saw the new person was friendly, then up he came and was all puppy playfulness again. And---yes---Katy and Max get along great. They started "doggie rough-housing" in the yard the first afternoon. After Katy made sure to give Max "instructions." Which in true puppy style he ignored.

Oh, yes----did I mention the Blue Tick Hounds are hunters. Really, really good hunters. I do remember that from growing up Back East. These dogs will smell out and tree whatever is available, so I guess no raccoons will be visiting our yard. And the neighbor's cat is smart enough to only visit our front yard.

I've never had a "hound" before and have found Max to be delightful. He's a lovey-dovey dog. Wants to sleep between your feet, head on foot, flops to floor and takes long naps, eats like he's starving and looks up at you with "hound dog" eyes. No kidding. Now I know what Elvis was singing about years ago. <g>

So----like four years ago---I now how two baby gates end to end across the kitchen/dining room area, which is the only place with tile. I'm crate training Max as I did with Katy and all my dogs. And since Max was a little older, he slept 9 hours straight thru the first night in his crate---Katy sleeping on her doggie bed on the floor beside him. I may be "Alpha Dog" but Katy's "puppysitter in chief."