I was blessed to have a beautiful and sweet bichon frise for a year. Foxxie was a loving pet and an intricate part of our family. Unfortunately, either Foxxie managed to get out of our backyard or some unsavory person came and took her. Either way, my Foxxie is gone. I mourn the loss of such a sweet sweet pet. She loved being around people and people loved having her around.
Since one of our family members is now missing, life at home just isn't the same. No furry little white streak running after the boys, sliding through a house of hardwood floors throughout. No loud pitter-patter of nails as she runs through the house after Annie our cat. There is no one to lick my fingers which happen to be hanging off the bed while I'm sleeping, causing me to stir. Foxxie will surely be missed, but never will she be forgotten...
A New Adventure
My sister, an avid dog lover and someone who knows a lot about dog breeds and traits, immediately kicked into gear upon hearing the news of our lost pet. She pulled out her dog books and the knowledge of canines she somehow manages to keep in her mind. With the amount of information she can spew forth without prior preparation, you would think she is a veterinarian. I am a small dog lover -- I like for the dog in my house to be as small as possible without resembling a large rat. Although I love all dogs, small dogs are only allowed in my house. Knowing that, Sis immediately started searching for a small breed dog.
One Saturday, the local pet store was having an adoption event. The rescue shelter the store works with was bringing dogs, cats, puppies and kittens in for adoption. She called me up trying to get me to come out and see if there was an animal that I might want to adopt. Still grieving my Foxxie, I turned her offer down but asked her to let me know if there were any there that she felt I might be interested in. She called me up telling me about a cute little lady who appeared to be very calm, very gentle, and very accepting of the love and attention she was receiving that day. Her story pulled at my heartstrings, yet still I was not ready to accept that I had to find another love.
Later that same day, and many days thereafter, Sis called me talking about this breed of dog or that one. Telling me what kinds of dogs would work well within my requirements and my lifestyle and generally egging me on to find a new pooch for the family. The bug eventually caught on and I began researching online (writer and computer geek -- go figure...) to find the perfect pup. I came across a breed called Shorkie Tzu. This is a cross between a shih tzu and a yorkshire terrier. The breed is known for their small size (yay!), personality and love for people. All things I had in Foxxie, although Foxxie was a larger small breed dog. What really intrigued me about them was that they had the wavy/curly/straight hair similar to that of the bichon frise but they would only grow to about half the size. I was sold, the puppies were cutie pies, and the breed had met all of my requirements.
The question now is: How do I talk the husband into driving 12-hours to the breeder's location so that I could adopt one of the beautiful babies...
I decided to ask in a non-confrontational manner -- I sent him a text message! Not that I worried about any sort of real confrontation, sometimes it's just better to send a sweet little text message to brighten your man's day, make him smile, and make him say "Yes!" to anything you may ask. I am sure the ladies reading this know what I mean...
His response: "If that's what my wife needs/wants, then I will drive 12-hours to get her a puppy."
What?!?!?! Was that MY husband so easily agreeing to drive me 12-hours, fully knowing that of that 12-hour drive I would not share the driving even though I am licensed and an excellent driver? Had he taken some medication, illegal substances or recently gotten bopped on the head? He simply said yes without ANY discussion...not even asking the price of the puppy??? Ah, yes. I understand why now -- he was the one who had left Foxxie outside well into the night only to discover her missing the next day. Guilt. That's why I received such an easy positive response. Didn't matter...guilt or not he was taking me to pick up a new family member without any hesitation and that was just fine with me.
Planning and Preparation
I immediately kicked into gear, contacting the breeder, asking the necessary questions, trying to get a feeling as to whether she was truly a caring breeder or just a puppy mill. I didn't want a puppy from a puppy mill...they tend to be sickly, not bred properly and therefore not a "true" designer dog, not properly cared for, etc. The vibe that I received from this breeder is that she is a dog lover, very caring, and cares about the puppies she causes to be brought into this world. Her website is thorough with an abundance of information and a virtual knowledge base about the breeds she produces, as well as containing numerous pictures of all of her dogs.
We agreed that the pickup would occur approximately 2 weeks after I made the deposit, which was made that day. The trip was on and Bella -- what I have chosen to name our new puppy -- would be here soon. We cleaned Foxxie's cage, went to the pet store to grab healthy puppy food, puppy dishes, harness/leash and all the other trimmings necessary to bring home puppy. Khalid was a bit miffed at the pet store...I spent a pretty long time in the same aisle trying to decide which harness and leash I was going to get for her! Not liking to shop, he did a good job being patient as I walked back and forth, up and down the aisles.
Decision had to be made how we would housebreak Bella. She is going to be considerably smaller than Foxxie and if Foxxie had indeed slipped out of the yard on her own, then Bella would certainly have an easier time getting out. We decided to train her to puppy pads on the back deck. The deck is on the second level, no way down to the ground other than jumping, and no way for any animal to "get under" the railing and fall off. Remember...we have little human babies too. We certainly make sure that it is safe for them to be out on the deck as well. They are far more important to us!!! So puppy pads and a tray to hold them securely in place were purchased today -- the last item Bella needs to be welcomed home.
Today is also the day we leave to pick her up. The breeder gave us great tips on getting her back down the road 12-hours away. Things we would never have thought of. Bella will also have a familiar riding companion for the trip -- her sister. There's another family adopting and we travel right past them to get home. We've agreed to bring their puppy back up the road to them. My only fear is that Bella will get lonely about an hour from home as opposed to as soon as she leaves. Having a longer time to settle her down and show her that, even though the familiar smells and siblings aren't around, she is still loved and safe would be nice. I am concerned that the end of the trip is going to be quite eventful with a lot of cries and wimpers, and then her first night home will be the same. Wise beyond my years, at least in my opinion, I had the foresight to take the week off in order to stay focused on Bella's needs and getting her adjusted to her new home. Wish me luck and keep me in your prayers. I may just need it after a week home with a new puppy!
Lastly, to my dear friend Rosa: Lady I have not forgotten about you or our plans. I have been mourning the loss of my sweet Foxxie and have not been able to focus on those things that I should be focussing on. Please know that you are always on my mind, in my heart, and that I will be chatting with you soon. Thank you for your understanding.
Once we get Bella home and settled, Shorkie Tales will continue...
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