When Your Dog Finds You:
A day may come when a dog finds you. If it happens, it will feel like a gift from above. It’ll strike you like lightning. I know; though it was a cat who found me, the experience is similar (I’m nuts about cats, too!). Life, responsibilities, and time commitments are all temporarily non-existent. “Temporarily” is the keyword, however.
Suddenly, you’re faced with a big decision: “What do I do with this dog/puppy?” First, you must take him to the veterinarian and check his health. If he’s sick or has some contagious illness, take care of it immediately. Next, you need to sit down and have a heart-to-heart with yourself; can you really take on the responsibility of caring for a dog? It’s the closest thing to having a baby without the diapers.
If you tally up your schedule in the dog’s favour, then great! You have a new member of the family. It’s time to pick a name and begin training. Most dogs who find you are going to have some baggage (bad habits) and probably suffer from isolation anxiety, so you’ll have a little work to do.
If you tally up your schedule and as much as it breaks your heart, it’s not consistent enough for a dog, don’t feel guilty.
Nothing is worse than keeping a dog cooped up all day. Use all your energy and love to find a good home for your new friend. It’s far better to be part of a solution and happy ending than to create another problem—an anxiety-ridden dog. Remember, dogs need more than love to survive.
Beware of bugs. Not to freak you out, but street dogs often play host to a whole array of parasites, both internal and external. Do the dog and your home a big favour: get to a veterinarian immediately! Littermates are siblings, canine style!
Picking Out Your Puppy:
You’re on your way to see the puppies. You haven’t seen the litter yet. I’m warning you, they’re going to be unbelievably cute. This is the time to take a very firm stand: I am only taking one. Repeat this command as often as necessary until the urge to pile them all into the car passes. For more information on a multi-puppy household, please see the “Double Header” post.
So now you’re peering into a box full of wriggling puppies. Chances are, one or two will capture your fancy right away. Maybe you’ll like the biggest pup, the smallest pup, or the one with the most soulful expression.
First impressions can be very persuasive, but you do need to look at the puppy behind the pretty face before you make your decision. You can’t jump into a long-lasting relationship without asking a few questions!
Each puppy has a character all its own. Each will have his own way of approaching other puppies, interacting with you, and exploring his environment. You need to measure these qualities so you can see how the puppy’s personality will complement your own.