|Roo - PupZilla - Look at her lovely eyes.|
Sometimes through grief we find joy.
After Muggie's passing I really thought I did not want another dog. In a few short days however, I realized very quickly that I am definitely a person who loves having a dog in my life. There was a hole in my life, yes it may have been grief talking and making its palpable presence felt. After a few days of very intense inconsolable grieving, I felt I needed to move forward and look to the future and I started looking at dogs. I really wanted another Bichon Shih Tzu, but decided that there had to be distinct differences so as not to draw similarities to Muggie, because she was one of a kind and irreplaceable. I wanted a new member of our family, so the search began.
I immediately thought rescue dog, because I can make a difference in a dog's life and give them a good loving family. Muggie was a rescue doggis and she was lovely and amazing. Unfortunately little dogs don't come into the shelter very often and I did not want an older dog because I did not want to go through losing them too soon. I scoured the ads and did find a lovely little rescue female Bichon Shih Tzu who was between 1-3 and unfortunately she came from a puppy mill. She had a sweet disposition and looked perfect, except for one thing, she was the spitting image of my Muggie. This would not work, it wouldn't, just wouldn't.
The search began and we went and looked at puppies one night and left because the puppies were just not right for us and we weren't very thrilled about the environment they were being raised in. I also had the benefit of a friend who worked as a kennel master for a very reputable shelter and she helped me a lot with information and giving me questions to ask the 'breeder'. I did not want to get a dog from a puppy mill. We had also decided that if we did not find a dog to our liking there was no rush and we had time to find the right pup. Until we found this......
Roo - 9 weeks old, a bundle of fluff, cuteness, energy and gnashing puppy teeth - those babies put Jaws or the Twilight vampires to shame. Don't let the cuteness fool you, Grand Duchess Roo is plotting to take over my life and make me her dog treat slave.
On Saturday we were looking through the local ads on the net and I spotted this wee girl and her equally cute little brother. This breed is a Zuchon or Shichon, which is fancy speak for Bichon Shih Tzu cross. Her brother was a light apricot color. Part of this process for me has been about interviewing the breeder (grilling them actually - ask my hub, it was intense) and looking at the parent dogs and seeing the environment the pups were raised in. I wanted to make sure that the mother dog was in good condition, well fed, shiny coat, clean with no mats and most importantly how the owners interacted with her and her pups. I asked pertinent questions about health, age of mother, how many litters she has had in the last year, dog family history, etc. you get the idea.
The more forth coming the breeder is and happy to share information about your puppy the better chance that it is a good place to get the pup from. If they know everything about the dog and breed and are willing to answer your questions and not rush you to make the decision then it is more about the dog and not about money. There should be no pressure to put a deposit down and they should be more concerned that the puppy is going to a good home and that you are a good fit.
Off we went to meet the puppies. There were only two puppies in the litter, a female and male. The dad was a Shih Tzu and mom was Bichon Cross. Puppy dad's name was Ed - he was a very cool dog and man could he jump. Daddy Ed also has champion Shih Tzu bloodlines from his granddaddy. Mom's name was Chyna and she was so chill and just a lovely dog. We met the owners and they were a lovely couple who adored their dogs and they doted on them. The momma Chyna was 3 and has only had a few litters and this is her last. She is very well cared for and healthy. You could tell that she was the princess of the house and very loved. Both parents were very sociable and friendly. When I was kneeling down playing with the fluff balls dad Ed walked up and gave me a big puppy smooch on my face, according to the owners he never does this. I guess it was his approval of me. My hub said to them, "She is a dog person and dogs know this."
We sat there for almost two hours chatting with them and snuggling and cuddling the two pups. The owners where checking us out just as much as we were checking them out. I wanted to take both puppies, but gave myself a reality check.
The people I really needed to win over were my hub and daughter. I was watching my hubby and he was happy and at ease, I could tell from his body language that we were going home with one of these wonderful little puppies today. My daughter was in love with both and I knew it was going to be a hard decision.
Now to pick which one, they were both wonderful. Roo seemed to be a fireball and her face was beautiful and we loved her colouring and markings and she is the polar opposite to Muggie. Her coat will probably lighten up as she gets older. We all fell in love with her and decided she was the one.
Someone doesn't like to leave her dish on the placemat, she likes to carry it around the kitchen and find her eating spot. Its pretty darn cute.
Miss Roo is definitely a baby and I had forgotten what it was like to have a baby in the house. Hello sleepless nights! But all that being equal it isn't a big deal, she is only little for a short time. The first night was very adventuresome because Grand Duchess Roo had decided that she was lonely and missed her litter mate, so I became the substitute and foolishly I engaged in her cuteness and played with her in the middle of the night. Wrong thing to do because it starts habits for PupZilla and the next night it was all down to business, I learned my lesson.
She is adjusting to her new surroundings and family and she is now 10 weeks old. We are keeping her pretty close to home right now because she has only had her first shots and needs time to build immunity until her second set of puppy shots. She is pretty smart too, because she is potty training for outside already and has only had an accident or two in the house, hopefully this trend will continue.
Check out the fangs she has, she puts a vampire to shame. She likes to lay on her back.
So at present I am busy reading The Dog Whisper's book and trying to learn to be a good pack leader to a puppy. On the whole I think we are getting there. I have traded several emails with the folks we adopted Roo from and I am glad that they are interested in her welfare and are happy to hear how she is doing.
On her first night in our house when I was cuddling her in the middle of the night I told her the story of Muggie and promised Roo she would be just as loved and cared for, she seemed content and fell asleep. I think I needed to do this to share my dear Muggie with her and I think that Muggie would be happy that we are sharing our hearts and home with this little fireball.