~ Dean Koontz
Did you celebrate National Dog Day this week? I know some of you did because you posted pics of your darling dogs on Facebook. I couldn’t leave Max out of NDD so I joined in too! As I searched our “Max” files on the computer for that ” just right” photo to post I discovered we have ” almost” as many photos of him as we do our kids! Care to join me in a little ” pooch parade?”To be honest, I had never heard of National Dog Day before August, 26th so I did some sniffing around to get the scoop on this very popular day. NDD was founded by one of America’s top Pet and Home Lifestyle Experts, Colleen Paige (also the founder of National Puppy Day, National Mutt Day and National Cat Day ) in 2004. National Dog Day is celebrated annually on August, 26th to help raise raise the public’s awareness about the number of dogs that need to be rescued each year and to shine the light on family dogs, working companion dogs that assist people in their everyday lives and the brave service dogs that put their lives at risk every day the line of duty. Of all the new ” national days” ( they seem to crop up overnight) to celebrate I rate this one in the top ten. Be sure to follow the link above to learn more about National Dog Day and the good work Colleen Paige is doing for animals.
Our ” moments” with Max began back in 2008 when we finally caved in to our daughters wishes to have a dog. Before children, ( BC ) my handsome Yankee and I both worked full time and were away from home at least 10 hours a day most days of the week so we had cats instead of dogs back then. Even though I grew up with dogs ( my two brothers and I always had a mutt to call our own) and my husband had a dog growing up too, we didn’t want to leave a dog alone all day while we were at work. We liked the freedom then of not having the added responsibility of dog ownership.
We did some research on dogs as a family home-school project and decided that the Corgi would be a perfect pooch for us. We wanted the personality of a large dog, but in a mid-sized body. He/she needed to be alert, smart and easy to train and minimal shedding. Three out of four isn’t bad. He sheds constantly! Seeing as how we really needed to brush up on our dog keeping skills we opted for getting ours through a local, reputable breeder who would teach us the skills we needed to care for our new canine child. Once we found our breeder we had to wait nine months for the right litter, the right sex, AND availability.
One day the breeder sent us a photo of Max ( and a few others from his litter ) to let us know that our puppy was most likely in that batch of fuzzy, puppy love somewhere and we were to set up an appointment to come meet the puppies soon. Our daughter knew the instant she saw Max in the photos he was “the one”, but we still had to wait two weeks for our visit to meet him and make sure the breeder was willing to let him go. She had her eye on him as a show dog and stud, but she also knew Nicolette was already crazy in love with him.
At the time, I didn’t know that dogs choose an alpha, leader of the pack in the family. Max definitely chose my husband that day when he fell fast asleep between his feet during our lesson on doggie care at from the breeder. Needless to say it was a ” done deal ” Max was ours!
It was a cold and snowy December day in 2009 when we returned to pick Max up a few weeks later and bring him home for good.
Once he was home all sorts of puppy shenanigans began. We had a few ( but only a few ) accidents in the house.
*Note to future puppy owners. Winter isn’t the most ideal time to potty train a puppy. If memory serves me right, we had to make paths in the snow to take him out every 15 minutes or so but we did it! Brr.
To satisfy his urge to chew EVERY THING IN SIGHT, we got him some natural rawhide chews. He loved those for years. Now that he’s a middle-aged fella ( he turns 7 next month ) he doesn’t seem to be as interested in them but still enjoys one now and then when offered. one now and then when offered.
He was shy and uncertain about his new digs those first few weeks with us, then he decided HE was going to try to be the BOSS, the alpha. He started growling at us when we came near him! We called our breeder right away and she asked us to bring him back for a lesson in proper puppy behavior. She demonstrated to us how to show him whose BOSS ( when he growls) by gently bringing him down to the floor and speaking in a firm voice using only one choice word. STOP! This action was always followed by lots of love and treats and after a few more ” lessons” at home he got the idea and he’s been a dream ever since. More than a dream, really. He was a Christmas puppy for starters, which meant he would be required to “sit ” for the annual Christmas card photo session.
There were a lot of bloopers during that shoot but we finally got one of the three of them looking adorabs!
Come summertime we couldn’t wait to introduce him to the beach.
Dogs are such wonderful teachers aren’t they? No matter what, they wake up happy and stay that way all day long. We ” humans” should do that too.
I hope you enjoyed the pooch parade today! My faithful companion ( who’s asleep on the floor next to me as I type) and I wish you all love and happiness your heart can hold.
Until our next shoreline visit~ Enjoy those pooch smooches!
BEACH BLESSINGS and MUCH LOVE,
Deb, The Beach Farmgirl