Xena: My Warrior Puppy
In the American summer of 1991, I left behind my two dogs--Duke and Dutchess--and was bound for the land of opportunity. It was hard leaving behind my two companions. They were both dear to me and I missed them. I was 7 years old then. I've stopped missing my dogs but I've yearned for a dog for the past 11 years.
As the 11th anniversary of my mum and I being in this country approaches, I began thinking about the things I left behind. I love it here in America but I don't love the fact that I still don't have a dog. Every year I ask for a dog for Christmas and my birthday but dogs are never allowed where we've lived.
This year we will be moving, so I decided... it's time to end this doggie drought.
A Dog of an Opportunity
While sitting in church the other day, one of my friends randomly turned to me, thrusting her cell phone into my hands. I looked at the screen of the cell phone to discover a digital photograph of an adorable newborn puppy. My friend whispered to me, "My dog just had puppies!"
"Ooh, I want one!" I had said then but I knew that wasn't possible. After all, dogs aren't allowed in my house.
A month later, I'm in someone's house, trying to get the attention of their haughty Persian cat when it dawned on me just how badly I want a pet. Sure I've had fish, I've had a hamster and even a ferret while in this country. The ferret was the closest thing to a dog but still not a dog.
Cats are allowed in most houses where dogs aren't allowed so I turned to my mother and asked, "Mummy, can we get a cat?"
I already knew the answer: "No." My mother doesn't like cats.
Well... it was worth a try. And I tried again.
"Mummy, we can train the cat to be good, not to walk all over the furniture and stuff. Come on. Please."
My mother seemed to be considering it but then she shook her head. "Hey," I said, trying yet again, but this time changing the topic. "You think Ms. T still has those puppies. We're moving soon. What if I ask her to keep one of the puppies for us and I'll pay her in installments?"
My mother shrugged so I took it as an opportunity.
Later that night...
Right there and then, looking at the cute Persian cat, I texted my friend, Ms. T. My text read: Hey, do you still have those puppies. And how much would you charge a broke friend who's desperate for a dog?
Ms. T didn't respond then but later that night, I called her and had a long conversation. She told me about all the puppies. There was Pebbles, Martini, Clementine and Lovey. Ms. T began describing the puppies to me. Lovey and Pebbles were whitish/tanish in colour, Clementine was completely black and Martini, the only male was black and white just like his father.
I told him I wanted one of the puppies although I couldn't keep him or her in my house yet. I explained that I would be moving this year and inquired whether or not she would be willing to keep my puppy until I found a different place to live. Ms. T agreed and then said, "You can take Lovey. She's the slow one."
I wasn't sure what she meant so I asked for clarification.
"She was the last one to walk and she's still not walking good. She's behind everyone," she explained.
"Was she the runt?" I asked.
"No, she's actually one of the bigger ones."
Actually, she IS the biggest one. :)
I told my mother this and she yelled for Ms. T to hear, "Is the mentally retarded?"
"No," said Ms. T. "She's physically challenged."
"I'll take her!" I blurted out.
A few moments later, when I got off the phone, I received a text message with a picture of Ms. T holding Lovey.
From Lovey to Nala
I fell in love with the picture. I called Ms. T and she said, "She's very lion-like and even though she's slow she's very fiesty. We were going to name her Simba, but she's a girl."
"How about Nala?" I suggested.
For a few days, we went with Nala. I stopped by the house one day to visit our Nala... but it turned out that Ms. T's daughter had given me Pebbles. I bonded with the wrong puppy! I was a little upset but this week I saw MY puppy. Pebbles and the originally named Lovey/Nala look very similar. Their hair (yes, hair; not fur) texture is different.
Still, I fell in love with that puppy and I decided then that I was going to take home that puppy to my no-dogs-allowed apartment no matter what. I couldn't leave the tiny little cutie. I fell in love with that little creature! [Don't worry, I persuaded my Landlord to let me keep the puppy until we move]
Every special occasion, I purchase a Xena: Warrior Princess DVD boxset. This time, I decided that surviving my first year of college was a special enough occasion. I set July as the month to purchase season 4 (I intend to collect all 6 seasons).
As I was driving home with my mum after seeing Pebbles (who I thought was Lovey/Nala) for the first time, I realized that I couldn't afford to purchase my Xena DVD since I would be deep in expenses for the new puppy. New puppies needed wee-wee pads, a cage, food, milk, toys, treats and so much more. Sure the Xena DVDs are only $20 but that's a lot of money when soon I would also be paying for my fall 2010 school books.
I made a joke and said, "Hey, mum, we should name the puppy Xena!"
I started laughing but realized that my mum was serious. I looked at her and she said very seriously, "That's a good idea."
"I was joking!" I exclaimed, amused.
I texted Ms. T later that day and said jokingly: my mom wants to name the pup Xena.
Ms. T, knowing I love the Xena: Warrior Princess series sarcastically texted back: I wonder why? lol.
I explained that it was a joke but when I saw her in church she said, "We're calling the puppy Xena now. It suits her. Didn't I tell you she was fiesty?"
I'm Doggone Excited!
So, now I'm just waiting for next Friday when Xena turns 8 weeks old so I can bring her home. I bonded with her and her other 3 siblings the other day. It was so fun. Puppies really are a handful; they're like one-year-old human babies.
Xena likes me, my mum and I like her and Ms. T says, "I know you'll love her no matter what."
"Slow" or not, I think Xena is the puppy for me. I'm excited.
For now, I'll be puppy-proofing the house. I've already purchased a food bowl, a collar and customized name tag, a leash and harness (which she won't be using right away), and wee-wee pads for housebreaking. I've been doing my research on new puppies.
If anyone has any advice for me on taking care of a new puppy, please leave a comment or feel free to contact me. I'll love to hear some tips on housebreaking and other essential puppy training stuff.
Oh, by the way, Xena's a shih tzu and bijon mix. And adorable, already-spoiled little shih tzu bijon.