Its been five, going on six months since our Connor passed away. We are past the tears and now recall all the good stuff. We went from NO MORE DOGS to...'" so if you were to consider it, what kind would you like?" So it didn't surprise me when in time I found Bruce cruising the web looking at different breeds. Connor was a Lakeland terrier and while there are breeders out there, they are few and far between. So Bruce did some research on other terrier breeds. We like that irascible terrier attitude (or is that terrorist?) The focus for a while was Welsh terriers which seemed to be a happy alternative and a couple of months ago we even put our name down for a puppy this spring.
Fast forward a a bit and one day I looked around my kitchen that is just a year old and suddenly put it all together. Puppies CHEW and piddle and it lasts for months. Oh, crap.... time to review. How did I miss that part? Oh, yeah... they are cute.
So we sat and talked about things over a cup of tea of just what we are looking for and what do we really want in a dog? We have had small terriers for the past 15 years and the purpose of the 'small' stature was that at one time we lived on a boat for five years and needed all the attitude in a portable pooch! Way back when I met Bruce he had a large (and I mean large!) Airedale named Samson or Sammie for short. He was a big gentle bear of a dog and my daughter Carrie played for summers with him at her side. We never worried about her because Sam was there with her. I'm sure she will verify this and her tom boy ways (or was that shenanigans ?) I tried to find a nice picture of Sam for this post but he passed on so many years and so many moves ago. They are in a box somewhere along with pictures of the cats, other dogs and parrots we have owned through the years.
So we came away from our chat deciding that we wanted an Airedale again, approximately one year or older, the gender didn't matter as it was more important to have a dog that is calm, no obvious issues and has a balanced personality. I still wanted a girl and Bruce a boy though. We withdrew from any commitments that were in place with our thanks and then started a new search. We did find one 2 1/2 year old female Airedale who showed great promise and based on the information we received, we got excited and arranged to meet her. She was beautiful but as a mature female she would be bred two times as part of a breeding arrangement and would spend large amounts of time at the breeders. We took her for a walk and it was a bit of a struggle She knew only 'show dog' commands and apparently, we did not. The word SIT was met with a blank look of 'what??' Oh, dear... this just didn't feel right and we are not about to force things to fit.
The next dog we viewed is also a female, ten months old and fully house trained and leash trained. She lived and mingled with other Airedales and other breeds of dogs that came along with their owners who stable their horses at the property there. We spent a good deal of time watching her interact with the owner and other dogs. Then we went for a walk and ran into a playful pit bull (yes, I said that right and in fact it was the most obedient pit bull I have ever met!) They played with no barking or growling. The border collie we also met could have used some more manners as it bounced its muddy paws off my new fleece jacket! I never saw it coming. There were large horses moving around us... cars passing on the driveway and she behaved beautifully.
So long story short, we bought her and brought her home on Wednesday. This past Friday she has had a vet wellness visit and was totally relaxed about the whole thing. She even licked the vet while he listened to her heart beat. Then there was the cranky pit bull who was not having a good day at the clinic that didn't phase her and she stood her ground; no growling, no barking. The pit bull was literally pulled out like a belligerent school bully after clearing everyone present down to one end of the waiting room. The slim built woman owner was a bit rattled and could barely hold onto the dog. (It begs the question: why get this breed of dog if you can't train and work with it properly? Anyhow, I digress....)
Today was the beauty parlor visit and she went through with flying colours! So with our further adieu, may I present Calli (formerly known as Calypso)
Calli was a scruffy girl before the cut, though she had had a bath by me. I don't know who was wetter: her or me or the entire bathroom? So here's the before shot to show how well she cleaned up!
We have only heard one bark at the stables, but here at home no barking* (see edit below at end) and there has been no growling at all. But we are singing all night in our kennel as we adjust to all the new stuff in her life, which if you think of it, is a lot! She's very affectionate and loves her pats and hugs. Show her the leash and she's raring to go!
But one thing we know she likes and has a sense of ownership over, is her new pink martingale collar! Its for a big Airedale gal with attitude :)
So we missed the early puppy stage but I can comfort myself with pictures. Now, doesn't this pup look sweet? Look at the size of those paws! Now this may not be Calli but this pup is from the same breeder.
The best thing is we have a cookie jar back on the counter again. My daughter bought this for us many years ago and it now has its first fresh load in a long time!
Understandably there hasn't been much weaving happening around here as I still heal from the bad back (and wait for the new chair base) and I also have been fighting a virus bug thing that is making the rounds this time of year. Hope you are all keeping keeping warm and healthy as winter runs its course.
To borrow from friend Theresa, here's a parting shot:
Feb 22nd. 2011
* edit: we have had our first bark! wow... impressive. We were in a pet store shopping and she barked at a well 'shaved' small white dog walking by. (It looked more like Babe the pig) She didn't bark at the pit bull but this? Then the store manager said "looks like a rat... I'd bark at that too! "