We were always two dog people. We had two dogs, then we had two kids, and despite the two kids there were plans to replace the eldest dog when her time came. We enjoyed her, but the balance between enjoyment and senility had been tipping for sometime – poop on the floor, “let me in, now let me out, nope I want to come back in again,” the pacing across the tile floor, the standing in the corner waiting for something to happen.
We weren’t set on a ‘replacement dog’ just yet, and in all honesty we were only remotely planning one. We love our two dogs but neither were really ‘dogs’ by the whole man’s-best-friend definition. The younger dog was malnourished as a puppy and subsequently her hips aren’t the greatest. Long walks or hikes leave her whimpering and sore the next day – forget running. And of course the older dog. She has always been a bit standoffish – uninterested in affection and just more of an overall lone wolf than best friend. Neither really listen to commands and so can’t ever really be off-leash.
I always thought it would be fun to have a running dog. Something that could lope along aimlessly with me over hill and dale. Preferably something big and young, something trainable. In Vermont, something big was key as it could have helped against the mythical Catamounts. Down here in Georgia the biggest predator you have to worry about is a coyote or maybe a stray black bear; all the same, something bigger was my hope.
Unfortunately, one of the bigger issues I have with the South is the lack of people who alter their dogs. Couple unaltered dogs with lots of loose dogs and you end up with a whole lot of dogs. And of course when dogs have puppies and people don’t know what to do with them, they set them free. Drive enough back roads and you’ll find yourself a stray. This all leads to a very dangerous formula that looks something like this: stray dogs + sappy wife + kids = new pets
Needless to say, one early morning while my wife was driving to work, a mother dog and her yearling pup throw themselves in front of her car. She tried to scare them off, but of course that didn’t work so she brought them home to stay in the yard until we could get them to the pound. Long story short, we now have two more dogs added to the collection.
Combined, they aren’t the size I was hoping for. Both about twenty pounds and maybe twenty inches tall. The younger one is a little taller, lean and wiry. She doesn’t mind a little running here and there, and while she isn’t leash trained yet, she’s not bad. I’m not sure she’ll ever be able to run far, but I guess it will have to do.