We took the plunge. On January 16, 2016, my husband and I drove in pouring rain from our home in Sonoma County, California to Chico. Why? To purchase a small, twelve-pound German Shepherd puppy from a breeder, Nadelhaus German Shepherds. Our puppy’s parents are stars, well bred with multiple credentials behind their names. Rocco and Ilia had five puppies in their first litter together, two males and three females. We bought one of the males. He was pricey and adorable. We named him Jake.
We have a GSD already, an 85-pound, eight-year- old female named Hallie. She believes she is “all that”, and, to her credit, she is. She is a total, alpha bitch, in all senses of the word, but she is beautiful, loyal, protective, and loving. She is a wonderful pet. Sadly, and much too suddenly, she, and we, lost her buddy, Rudy, a chocolate lab/Brittney, to lymphoma in December. We all were grieving and I felt a new puppy would be the answer to our woes. Unfortunately, we discovered that Hallie, who never had puppies of her own, does not have one ounce of nurturing instinct. It was my mistake in thinking that she might enjoy “mothering” a pup. I thought any female dog would adore a new, little, male playmate. I was wrong, which brings me to the reason why my blog has been put on hold. Our family has been in the process of adjusting and Hallie and Jake have been “negotiating”.
As a result of feedings, piddling mistakes, crate training, teaching commands, and poop cleanup outside, my days have been busy. And, on top of that, I have had to keep a close eye on both dogs so that neither gets hurt. Jake wants to play, and he’s teething. He has tortured Hallie with his “affection”, biting her neck, legs, or tail. He “attacks” whatever is close at hand, or rather mouth. In her defense, Hallie has bared her teeth more in the last two months than in the eight years prior. Jake has had to learn a lesson or two but all in all, the old lady has been quite patient, and at this point, I can leave the two alone together without worrying that there will be carnage.
Jake is now just over sixteen weeks old. He has grown incredibly quickly and, at this
time, weighs forty-four pounds. His paws and ears are huge, as big as Hallies’s, so I’m not quite sure how big he’ll be when he is full grown, and that will be awhile. Fortunately, I am beginning to see the light at the end of the tunnel in regard to managing a puppy. (Yes, I had actually forgotten what it was like to be a young mother, constantly on call and sleep deprived. Jake revived vivid memories.) This morning, with both dogs sleeping peacefully nearby, I decided to take a chance and get back to the writing I love. (Although, I have read six novels in the past couple of months, sneaking time during puppy naps, I have neglected my novel, in progress, and have avoided writing for my blog.) So, today, March 23, 2016, I have written this much in absolute, uninterrupted contentment.
|A recent photo of Jake.|
Do I regret the time I have dedicated to Jake and Hallie for the last two months? No, I don’t at all. Jake is sweet, smart, demanding, and already has filled our hearts with joy. Even Hallie is coming around. Saturday for the first time (the final shots will be given on Friday) Jake will be able to take a walk with us. I can’t wait! Jake, who is a furry ball of energy, is in for a treat, and Hallie, my husband, and I will have a new walking companion.
Look out world. Here we come!