By Tamara Low
Co-owner of Tail Blazers
Getting ready for a new puppy felt a bit like preparing for an arrival of a human baby!
Buying puppy things, getting the home ready, and letting everyone know with so much excitement and anticipation. The excitement of counting down the days until his arrival was palpable! I had not had a puppy in 18 long years. Skylla was with us when we opened Tail Blazers in 2000. Kobe joined us in 2002. There has been foster dogs during that time, and then Nicky. Nicky has been with us for the last 5 years. He was around one when we met him. He is a very sweet and mellow couch potato – a greyhound/whippet rescue from Ireland. In the house he is the calmest dog that you can ever imagine. Maybe even too calm? It is sometimes easy to forget he is even there! He sleeps and lounges on the couch or bed all day, because that is what “grippets” do!
The new arrival
The little Brittany Dog with three names arrived at the Kelowna airport around 5pm on Aug 7th. He was the cutest thing ever! His tail was wagging so hard. He was so happy to see us, and us him! He slept on my son Chayton’s lap all the way home. We were very excited to introduce him to Nicky….
Nicky was interested in him for the first three minutes, then looked at me like “wait a second, what is going on, here?!?” In my mind, I was hoping that this meeting would be like two long lost friends, being reunited! Ha. That is not exactly what happened.
From the get-go, the puppy was obsessed with jumping up on Nicky, wrapping his arms around his neck and biting his neck and face. Hmmm. His very own live stuffy toy! He definitely needed to learn boundaries, and Nicky was not helping him out much with this learning! He was relentless!
For the next few weeks of the new puppy adventure, I felt like a referee between the two. I even broke my toe, accidentally “surfing” down the stairs to stop an “incessant bugging attack” on Nicky. Oh boy! Thoughts of “what did we do?!?” definitely crossed my mind! To say that this unbelievably cute little bundle of puppy was disruptive, wild, chaotic and rather Tasmanian devil-like, is an understatement. As someone that needs peace, quiet, and calm in my environment, it stretched me in a very large way!
I was so excited to go for long, leisurely walks with him. At first, he froze and would not move. As time went on, the freezing turned to sled dog pulling. It was not so leisurely.
I did not expect that the puppy biting would be at an Olympic champion level. This made just being with him and connecting with him a challenge. Snuggling with him was out of the picture, unless he was asleep!
He just did not listen. Hundreds of times, I guided him “off the bed”, and “off the couch.” He knew what I was asking, he just did not care. Up he went again…my overwhelm, and frustration was getting close to Olympic champion level as well. I can only imagine what his wild and high energy self was thinking. Probably something along the lines of “you guys are so boring, LETS GO!!”
As I write this, he is now 5.5 months old. I find myself going for much longer periods, not every three seconds anymore, checking where he is, what he is doing, what he is into. Most often, he is just sitting there being good, playing with a toy, and most often just laying peacefully, right beside Nicky! Wow! I am pleasantly relieved, so is my son, and so is Nicky. I was not the only one that he was too much for at first!
Our communication is getting clearer and there is so much less frustration on both sides. The Tasmanian devil has left the building. I have to admit that for that, I am grateful! The stress and overwhelm has mostly cleared (leash walking still needs a lot attention), making way for many fun, enjoyable, and delightful moments. He is a sweet, beautiful, delightful soul!
He makes my heart smile every time I look at him. I know that Nicky has embraced him as part of the family too. He busts the door open with his nose each morning, to see him. Before this, he was in no hurry to get out of bed. They can be found playing together regularly as well.
We definitely got a higher energy dog than I would have wanted- that is a fact. A middle-aged rescue dog is where I was at. Animal rescue is very important to me! I mentioned that Nicky was calm in the house, this is true, but not when we leave the house. He is anxious and on high alert. He had a very traumatic first 6 months of his life, and we have had so many challenges and limitations with him, as a result. So, it was a must for us, that our second dog be balanced, trusting, playful and lighthearted.
We searched for 7 months, for the perfect rescue- fit for each of us (that is a whole other story). That door was not to open, for whatever reason. Chayton really wanted to do agility and obedience training with a dog, and be able to take it all kinds of places, and have all kinds of fun adventures, and this door opened.
Chayton did his first puppy class with him. He is a very smart, driven and focused puppy! He has a deep level of wanting to understand and learn. There have been so many things learned, and adventures to be had already….
We look forward to so many amazing years, experiences and adventures together, with Bodhi Ezekiel Elliot (we don’t call him all of those names, its just his full name on his birth certificate – haha)!!