The Great Puppy Search

Last January, on Kansas Day, we had to put Willy, our 16-year-old Pomeranian, to sleep. It was devastating for my parents and me. We’d had him since he was a puppy, a little ball of fluff. We keep his ashes, leash, tags, photos and other mementos in a box in our family room.

Lately, I’ve been thinking more and more about getting another dog. After talking with my parents, we’ve decided to tentatively start looking for another dog. I had volunteered a few times at the Lawrence Humane Society at KU, and respected their work last year during the animal-cruelty incident. Obviously getting a shelter dog was our first and only option.

I browsed the LHS site and found a lovely little dog, and asked permission from my parents to submit an application for him. Unfortunately (not for him, for me), he’d found another home already. We submitted a general application and are now in the process of finding another little dog.

It’s been a hard year for our family and pets. In addition to Willy, Murphy, my aunt’s sweet little 14-year-old Bichon Frise, died shortly before Christmas. I think a little new blood would do us all good.

While I wait to hear back from a helpful and very friendly member of the LHS staff, I’ve been boning up on house training, crating, obedience trials, harness use, proper diet and separation anxiety. It’s been so long since I’ve trained Willy that I’m a little rusty. I am sure that I want to train the new puppy “right.” I don’t want to encourage begging, chewing and piddling in the house. On my parents’ end, I don’t want my dad to spoil the new puppy by giving it treats without corresponding good behavior. I loved (and still love) Willy to no end, but a month’s worth of tricks training went out the window in one afternoon with my dad and a few bacon treats.

The more I think about how I want the puppy raised, the more I realize that it’s pretty similar to what raising a baby must be like. I want the puppy to be loved but not spoiled, I want to keep it clean and handsome, I want it to like cuddling and go to sleep with a happy tummy and an empty bladder. I want it to be smart, disciplined and loyal.

I can’t wait to get started. Hopefully, I’ll have an update of some sort soon.

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