Guilt is a funny thing. Sometimes, it can be this sub-concious fuel for decisions that seem impulsive or make no sense from the outside. Getting a puppy was sort of like that for me. I had been wanting a dog this whole year, but held back, because of all of the insane ups and downs that were happening, including all of the travel. Also, I desperately never wanted what happened last year to my dogs, happen to me again. My heart couldn’t handle it. I rehomed them to get out of a really shitty situation and it’s one of my only four regrets in this life. I miss Roarke in a way I would imagine I would miss my right arm.
So I knew when I got a dog, I would do this RIGHT. I called this one my “redemption dog,” the one I hope will ease my pain and guilt that swirls around in my chest like a nasty cold. It’s been almost two years since I’ve owned a dog; for a true dog lover, I think that’s enough penance.
A couple months ago, I contacted various breeders, knowing that rescue wasn’t the solution this time around. I wanted to have a competitive dog and after owning a too-submissive border collie and dog aggressive pit bull, I wanted to go to a breeder for temperment and ability. I must have contacted over half a dozen breeders and while I liked one of them, she had a failed breeding for a litter due a split heat. Another one didn’t even seem interested in getting to know me or the household their puppy would end up in. That made me very uncomfortable.
Finally, I ended upon Nightshades Border Collies and I saw the puppy named Sarge…and knew he was it. Those ears, that eyeball…I could feel it in my gut. I could barely contain myself when I called Merry Gumm, excitedly putting down a deposit, barely registering that they were all the way in Kansas. I did road trips when I was a kid, but hadn’t ever had a road trip with a significant other before…but it wasn’t like Dustin was going to let me do it alone. So after shooting Savannah and Nathan’s wedding last Saturday (thank god it was a brunch wedding), we packed up and drove the eleven hours to Witchita, KS.
We slept for five hours at a $50 Days Inn and then made the hour drive to the middle of nowhere Kansas, where a pretty little farm littered with dogs and horses held my redemption.
The front door opened and there he was, my little shivering merle puppy. He shook and whined, tramatized from his bath, acting like his world had crashed. I clutched him to my chest, wanting nothing more than to open my ribcage and insert him. Gruesome, I know. We chatted a little bit with the Gumms, then made our way back to Texas, which took a solid twelve hours because I was determined to be accident-free with Argo. Oh yeah, that’s his name. Means swift wind. And boy, this little dude is a fast one.
We stopped at different rest stops, choosing places that had least of a chance to have a dog at in the past. I’m so scared of Parvo. His very first walk was in a cemetary, a place I was quite sure had never had a dog in it before. He chased us, being the little sweet face that he is. He conquered stairs with only a little protest. He pretty much stole our hearts.
When we FINALLY got home, Fallon greeted him like the long lost brother from another mother. Rolled on her back and lets him bite her tail. That cat is just plain badass, by the way.
I’m exhausted as I type this, an anxious mother all the way, even when he sleeps in the bed with us. I’m scared he’s going to pee on my memory foam mattress. He fell off the bed last night and I felt so bad! But we’re already starting his foundation training for agility, which he’ll begin training for in the next couple weeks. This dude is meant to be a champion and I can’t wait!