I talk to him when I’m lonesome like;
and I’m sure he understands.
When he looks at me so attentively,
and gently licks my hands;
then he rubs his nose on my tailored clothes,
but I never say naught thereat.
For the good Lord knows I can buy more clothes,
but never a friend like that. ~W. Dayton Wedgefarth
For the first time in 13 years, I’m dog-less, and that’s a lonely feeling.
No Sheltie fur lurking in corners on the floor. No Sheltie butt covering my surge protector and accidentally shutting off my computer when the battery drains. No Sheltie face watching me eagerly, hoping for an adventure or a sneak treat. No scheduled doggie activities, whether feeding time or outside time or bedtime.
I’ve almost reached the limit of my tears. Time really is a wonderful healer, teaching me to remember the good years Dallas and I shared, rather than despair over his recent death.
And so I’ve gradually been thinking about another dog.
Not to take Dallas’s place, for that’s impossible, but to continue the love in the form of a new pup to care for.
To my surprise, the dog-world has changed a lot in 13 years!
So many breeds to choose from, so much research to do on breeders.
Now, before you get all noble with me, yes, I’ve looked at rescues, but knowing yourself is key — and I can’t go that route.
Some are cute, and all deserve their own furever home, but not here.
Just reading the bios brings me to tears. And then I get angry.
To think anybody would keep a dog in a crate 24/7, use it only for breeding, and when that’s unsatisfactory, dump it roadside, makes me want to put my fist through a wall!
Sadly, in my area, there are lots of puppy mills. Backyard breeders who know nothing about what they’re doing and see puppies as a way to make a quick buck. People who indiscriminately blend two or more breeds, trying for a unique look, not taking faults or strengths of each breed into consideration.
I demand a better breeder than that. Someone willing to work with me and teach me; someone I can trust to match me with the right dog for the next 12-15 years of its life.
With good breeders, waiting is part of the drill. Puppies aren’t like oranges — you don’t just go to the store and pick one up. You get on a list, wait for a mama dog to have babies, and perhaps one of them will be right for you.
And try to enjoy the journey.