Whoever said you can’t buy happiness forgot little puppies. ~Gene Hill, American columnist

It’s been a long, hard year, but things are finally looking up:

Breeder friend holding Puppy aloft

This is a Shetland Sheepdog puppy, the same breed as my previous dog, Dallas.

He’s one of a litter of five (four males, one female) bred by a colleague of the lady who bred for Dallas and is no longer breeding pups.

In January, my breeder friend and I went to look over the wee ones, and she said this was the one I needed. Something about bone structure, profile, and more technical stuff I didn’t really understand.

All I knew was, the moment she put him in my arms, he melted into me. Our hearts started beating in time together. And I was hooked!

Who wouldn’t be, looking at his sweet face?

Puppy melting into my shoulder

He was only two weeks old — his eyes were barely open — and he couldn’t leave his fur-kin for several more weeks. Besides, there was no guarantee he’d be mine.

AKC breeders have the final say on pet puppies. After reserving the ones they want to “grow out” for show or breeding, they examine their list and try to match a pup with the home that would be right for it.

I assured her I wanted one before we left.

Then came the long waiting period — trying to prepare heart and home for the new addition. I prayed it would be crystal clear which was the perfect pup for me.

And I felt confident we’d know. The pup would tell us.

In mid-February, after our latest snowstorm, my breeder friend and I returned for another look.

This same pup seemed to recognize me! He rose to his back legs in the whelping box, demanding I pick him up and hold him.

And once again, he melted into me. Claimed me. Fussed when I dared to put him down.

Dallas’s breeder suggested I hold all the pet puppies in case another one might fit me better, but not a one of them showed much interest in me. Putting them in my arms resulted in their squirming to get back down.

Even another litter from another mama-dog reacted that way.

I’d have had my feelings hurt if not for for the obvious — Puppy had picked me!

Several breeders had gathered that day for the assigning of pet puppies, and they all agreed — this was my pup.

And since he’d just turned nine-and-a-half weeks old, I was told I could take him home.

Here’s our “Gotcha!” Moment:


I’m calling him Sullivan, “Sully,” which is based on an Irish surname meaning “little dark eye.” A strong and fitting name, I think.

We’re kinda busy around here, what with house training, teaching him manners and basic commands, introducing him to his new vet, and growing him into a good dog. I’ve been told the puppy you have at four months is the dog you’ll live with the rest of its life, so this is a crucial period.

On top of all this, my son Domer is coming home next week, so we’ll be even busier, if that’s possible. I’ll do my best, but I might be AWOL from the blogosphere for a little while, okay?

In the meantime, please enjoy some of Sully’s baby pictures:

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48 thoughts on “Introducing…

  1. Good Morno! And what a good morno it is waking up to your puppy post! Congratulations! You found each other! Finally! And well worth the wait! Sully is adorable. Beyond being adorable, he looks so alert and eager. Oh, what fun you’ll have with your boy and your puppy! And I am so happy for you!

    • Thanks so much, Katybeth! He’s kind of a handful right now, but I think he’ll make a great addition. Now, if I can get everybody to quit calling him ‘Dallas’!!

  2. Debbie, so happy for you! Sully has found you – and a special home overflowing with love! He is SO CUTE!!!! Wishing the two of you every happiness!!! 💞🐶💞🌟🐾🤗🐾🌟

  3. I’m so happy for you, Debbie! He’s a gem, and even stirred my kitty-loving heart. The photos are wonderful, and such fun to see. I can’t wait for you to begin documenting your new life with Sully.

    • Be careful what you wish for, Linda, ha! Yes, I’m positive I’ll have lots of new things to write about, now that I have this pup. And when he gets a little bigger, he might even commandeer my laptop and do a post the way Dallas used to.

  4. So exciting! He’s adorable. I’m glad you were able to bring home the dog that melted into you. I’d say you’ve already bonded. It’s going to be a grand adventure! Can’t wait to hear how he and Domer bond as well!

    • Thank you, Dawn. Seeing the world through the eyes of a new puppy gives one a whole exciting viewpoint. He’s so eager to explore, so welcoming all these new experiences. Best of all, he’s brought a JOY that’s been absent from this house for far too long. I’m thinking Dallas would be happy about that!

  5. Welcome, Sully! I’m so happy for both of you, Debbie! He’s so adorable and was worth all the waiting. I love how he picked you and melted into you. Looking forward to seeing more pictures after he is trained and fully integrated into your heart and home. 💙

    • Thanks very much, Barbara! Indeed, he was worth the wait. Perhaps it would have been nice to have him last year during the height of the Pandemic, but I’m glad I didn’t, actually. I’d have been worried over taking him to the vet’s office, finding puppy food, toys, and supplies, and all that. Yes, this time is ideal, with Spring right around the corner.

  6. Oh my! He is BEAUTIFUL! My heart melted imagining you and him melting together. So very happy for both of you, Debbie. This is really thrilling!

    • Thank you, Kathy — I’m sure you understand about that melting. It really is a special feeling, and looking into his deep brown eyes as he watches me brings us even closer. I talked to the breeder this morning, and some of the pups haven’t been picked up yet — we’re blessed to have had a few days together already!

  7. “All I knew was, the moment she put him in my arms, he melted into me. Our hearts started beating in time together. And I was hooked! Who wouldn’t be, looking at his sweet face?”

    OMG Debbie…that made “my” heart melt. And yes who wouldn’t be, looking at that sweet, precious little face!

    Needless to say, I am BEYOND happy for you because I know how long you’ve waited to find just the right pup. And you found him!

    *doing the happy dance for you*

    And that photo of you and Sullivan (Sully) in your gotcha moment is just the BEST! And btw, I love the name you chose.

    I bet you’re so excited for when Domer comes home and meets Sully!

    Thanks so much for sharing this beautiful moment, my friend. And congratulations to the both of you! X

    • Ron, I thank you and celebrate your enthusiasm! So many of my blogging pals were almost as crushed as I was when Dallas left, and it’s so heart-warming to hear all these excited comments … and to know you’re all happy for us!

      Hasn’t he got a cute face? And when I proposed the name ‘Sullivan’ to Domer, he agreed it was a good choice. Strong … something a pup could grow into.

      Yep, I think he’s the one, for sure! xx

  8. Utterly and completely adorable. Welcome, Sully! I love his bright eyes and perky expression. A true Sheltie. Such a smart, vigilant breed. I’ve had two Shelties, and they were such wonderful dogs. Can’t wait to see more pictures of Sully! As far as I’m concerned, there can never be too many.

    • Thank you so much, Audrey. He’s a lot to tackle — I’d forgotten how labor-intensive it is to have a new puppy underfoot! — but he’ll be worth it one day (aw, shoot, he’s worth it now, ha!)

  9. Aw, Debbie, he’s gorgeous! And how lovely that you bonded straight away! Gosh, you will be busy though. I vividly remember T&T’s kittenhood, especially Tommy’s habit of falling down the toilet any time anyone left the lid up. Mind you, he still does that given half a chance but at least he’s big enough not to drown now! 😀 Have tons of fun and don’t forget to take lots of photos so we can all get to know Sully better…

    • Sully likes to hop into the laundry basket as well as onto the dishwasher door — neither of which would drown him, but oh, when he gets bigger, it won’t be pretty! Glad you think he’s cute and yes, I’ll take lots of pictures. His breeder wants some for her scrapbook, ha!

  10. I’m so happy for you! Nothing is better than when the dog lets you know that you’re the one! It sounds to me as if the breeder is a very wise and compassionate person (which makes happy, because as a shelter volunteer, I often see the results of puppy mill breeders, so a breeder who “does it right” cheers me up SO much!) Enjoy your new pup (who is gorgeous) and your time with your son. Things are most certainly looking up!!!

  11. Oh, Debbie!! How precious Sully is!!! I agree it is a good strong name!! You are in store for so much love and laughs. Oh my goodness! I’m so happy the breeder is a compassionate and loving person. God bless her! So overjoyed that you knew it was time to again have a fur angel around. Just so want to hug you right now!! xo

    • Aw, thanks, Amy! The grieving process is different for everybody. It took me almost a year to the date Dallas went OTRB, but it’s time now to once again open my heart to a fur-kid. They have so much to offer us. You’ll get there, my friend!

    • It’s been SUCH a challenge, Dawn! This puppy is NOT Dallas. Dallas was laid back and fairly easy; Sully is a whirlwind of energy and demands all my attention. I’m afraid I haven’t been handling it very well. The house training, especially, has been awful. His breeder did nothing to help, and now I’m having to start from scratch (weather like yesterday’s doesn’t help — 40 degrees, with a hard-driving rain and high winds). And to top it off, he’s got a bladder infection. Sigh. Any advice??

  12. Oh Debbie. I know how frustrating that is. Bonnie, the sheltie before Katie was easy going and calm and I don’t even remember anything about her puppy days because KATIE has obliterated all memories due to her being stubborn and wilful and beautiful and cute and demanding. So…yea…Katie came to us with an infection in her eye, a urinary tract infection and an infection in her ears. She hated us because we were always putting drops in different places on her. And giving her pills. And talk about potty training? With an infection? She had to go ALL THE TIME. She’d pee outside and come inside and immediately pee again.

    Man that was a time. So let’s see. My advice you’re probably already doing, which is crating him whenever you’re not actively watching him, and it’s OK if that’s a lot of the time. Katie was in her crate next to my computer desk because I was a full time student and I couldn’t get any work done and watch her too. She decided that was OK. She wouldn’t pee in her crate so that helped.

    We went outside just about every 15 to 20 minutes when she had the infection. But later on more like every hour, then every couple hours. Even if she didn’t ask to go out we went out, and she automatically pee’d whenever she sniffed her yard. We had one spot we went to in the yard all the time. We’d sing to her…”Find a place, find a place.”

    She got a little treat if she did either of her jobs outside. We didn’t yell at her if she made a mistake inside, we just picked her up in a hurry and went outside. We’d always catch her in the act because we were always actively watching her. Otherwise she was in her crate.

    She learned really fast and once she didn’t have the infection she didn’t make any more mistakes. She hasn’t to this day. I expect it will start sometime again as she ages.

    Lots of hugs to you both. This is a hard time. I don’t know if I could do puppy again!

    We need to see more pictures! 🙂

    • Thanks, Dawn — you’ve given me hope!! Katie has turned out to be such a good dog, despite the initial aggravations, and I pray Sully will, too. You’re right — I need to post more about him — puppies change almost as you’re looking at them! You’re a good friend for taking time to help me, and I’m grateful!!

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