Friday, June 5, 2009

Tagged! - how my dogs came to me

So- I've been tagged by Julie - to tell the story of how my dogs came to me.

Logan - Logan is my first spotted dog, my first very own dog, who came to me from the Conneticut Humane Society. Brian and I went to visit the humane society on July 3rd, 1998, where he had adopted Puka (pooka)the year before. Really - we just went to look. I had been laid off in June and I was "thinking" about getting a dog. Brian agreed that if/when I did get a dog that the dog could stay with him since I couldn't keep dogs at my apartment. Heck - they could even visit which meant I was spending most of my time in CT instead of in RI. So - we are at the shelter - and there is this really cute 3 month old spotted dog all alone in her kennel. Her brothers were together playing across the aisle. I just HAD to take her home. I had to! So about an hour later - after going to the bank to get cash and signing all the paper work, I walked out with a little spotted girl. Did I know anything about dogs, or puppies at that time???? Nope! I got her because I wanted a dog and she was cute and all alone! Never gave a thought to whether or not Puka (who was about 1 1/2 yo) would like having another dog around? What was I going to tell my parents .... sigh. The next day we were headed to my parents for the 4th of July cookout and we told them that Logan was Brians dog! It took me until April of 1999 (when Brian got out of the Navy and moved back to Chicago) to finally tell my mother that Logan was really mine. And since I was living with my parents after finding a job in Cambridge, could she come live here with JR (my parents dog - whose name stands for Jennifer's Replacement) who was 11 at the time and had never really been around many other dogs. Thank goodness that JR had the temperament of a golden retriever (he was part golden part chow). JR took to having Logan in the house without any issues! Do you think I realized how lucky I was to have a dog with Logan's personality?

Enter Keegan in May of 2000. Brian had moved back to MA (because he missed me)and I had bought a house. I had discovered agility and dog training. While I absolutely adored Logan's laid back personality (except for some separation anxiety)- she didn't LOVE agility. She was happy to train and play, but would only run as fast as I did. I decided that I wanted a dog that loved to run. So - Brian and I went to the animal shelter up in Salem - to LOOK. The north shore animal league maybe? And there was a litter of black lab mixes that had come up from TN. The puppies were about 14 - 15 weeks old and we were told part Belgian sheep dog and part chocolate lab. We happened to have Logan and Puka in the car and we decided that we should get a boy as we already had two girls. At least this time we checked to see if the dogs would get along. So at 8:30 that evening we left with a new addition to our four legged family. Now we had Puka (Brian's dog) Logan (my dog) and Keegan (our dog). Little did I know what I was getting into this time around. Keegan has taught me a phenomenal amount of things about animal behavior and dog training. Who knew that socialization window was slamming shut so fast and that Keegan would become afraid of big dogs as he got older and lash out with teeth when he felt cornered. He has come incredibly far in the last 7 years (he is 9 now)but doesn't love to compete - probably due to a variety of reasons and not just the fact that he doesn't care for other dogs. He and Logan are my resident couch potatos and bed warmers. So after the addition of Keegan in 2000, I was no longer allowed to "visit" any animal shelters .... 6 years pass ..... I move, Brian moves out to go to Grad School in NY, and in 2005 I decide I am ready to start thinking about adding another dog. Enter Steeler, Kingdom's Thief of Hearts, CGC, TDI.

Steeler Dealer Puppy Dog - OH boy. I thought when I started looking for a dalmatian breeder that it would take me at least a year to find what I was looking for and maybe even longer before there might be a puppy available. I had lot's of things that I wanted in a litter. I wanted a puppy from a raw feeding litter, I wanted someone that did the Puppy Stimulation exercises, I wanted someone that was willing to give me a puppy unvaccinated as I didn't want to vaccinate until the pup was 12 weeks old and I wanted to do single vaccines rather than 5 or 7 at once. For that reason I wanted a winter puppy as well if I could. LaDonna of Kingdom Dalmatians had emailed me that she had a litter arriving for December of 2005. At first I thought - no that is too soon, I'm not ready yet. And so I didn't respond other than to say thanks for the information. Well after the puppies were born she emailed me again to tell me that they had arrived - all 12 of them, 6 boys and 6 girls. Well - I thought - lets see what she thinks of all my questions? And I sent her an email that had to be 3 pages long. Instead of trying to answer that email - she picked up the phone and gave me a call. We almost immediately discovered that we had a lot of common interests as far as dogs went and probably spent 45 minutes on the phone talking. I had said I wanted a girl because I thought that would be easier for Keegan and she said that I could pretty much pick my puppy - after the stud owner picked her puppy and Barb the co-breeder picked her puppy. I could come out and test them if I wanted too, whatever I decided would be fine with her. So when the pups were 6 weeks old I flew out to visit my friend Donna for the weekend who lives in Pittsburgh. Being the BEST friend that she is - we drove out on Saturday to see the puppies for the first time. LaDonna had been telling me that she thought she had the perfect agility puppy for me and it was *gasp* a BOY!!! but I could decide on my own. So we went out and videotaped and did some puppy testing that day. And when I left I had it narrowed down to 2 or 3 puppies. Donna says that she knew I was going to pick Steeler aka Goose the boy that LaDonna thought would be perfect. Luckily Donna's husband Will is a great guy and while Donna was working - he took me back to LaDonna's for another look at the puppies. And yes - LaDonna was right ... I ended up deciding that "Goose" as he was known was going to be mine! Steeler has a couple of spots or combination of spots that are heart shaped - hence his name Kingdom's Thief of Hearts. OK kind of corny I know ... but really I had every intention of getting a girl!!! but he stole my heart. LOL

So I think I am supposed to tag someone else??? So I tag Kim
and Lisa


  1. Great stories Jenn. Though I pretty much knew Steeler's story, I had not heard the stories behind the other two. Dogs are like potato chips, you can't just have one. You tagged Lisa, who tagged me and now I have tagged Barb. HA!

  2. Isn't it amazing how our dogs change our lives? Thanks for playing Jenn. It's great to read your fur-kids stories!