Friday, January 25, 2008
Many of you know that we had to give Paco, our beloved 5 year old mix (in the photo with our lovely Siva), a new and improved home this last year. We adopted Paco, a beautiful blue heeler, german shephard, pit bull mix, from the Kitsap Humane Society when he was 8 weeks old. He is such a joy - incredibly intelligent, attentive, people-oriented. Unfortunately, with a new baby, we just could not give him the exercise that he needed each day. He now lives with my parents who have an acre outside of Poulsbo and a greyhound labrador mix that is the only dog that can keep up with him. They run and run and run and run...
Kelsey and I have missed Paco terribly, especially these last few months. While Siva, our lady labrador, is dearly loved and will always be our first baby, at fifteen and a half years of age she moves very slowly, sleeps most of the day and, although she loves kids and babies, is old enough that the only thing she gets up for or excited about is the low calorie, fiber-rich kibbles that pass as dog food. She is riddled with lypomas, non-cancerous fatty masses, and she can barely get up off of the floor due to severe arthritis. She has traveled the country with us and backpacked in several Midwest and Western states. She has steel plates in her knees, the result of the rupturing of both ACLs. She used to be a frisbee-catching master and could tirelessly swim in mountain streams too cold for most of us. She is now a lovely, old dog who we appreciate everyday - we know these days are limited. The vet said that should she not go on her own terms, that we'll know when it is time... she will finally refuse the tasteless kibbles.
So Kelsey and I started talking about a doggie addition for our family, but more importantly, for Owen. Dutch was discovered out of our interest in beagles, which consistently make the top ten list for dogs that are good with children. We've never been "pure bred" people, rescuing our dogs from shelters or from other fates. Siva was six weeks old when we got her - a non-papered daughter of two hunting labs, she was destined for the humane society.
I came across pocket beagles during one of my late night web searches and began asking questions of Kate, of Metropolitan Pocket Beagles. She immediately directed me to Dutch even though I had inquired about another in the litter. He was the first in the litter to be adopted, only to be returned due to a sudden illness in the family. He was the family favorite. Kate and I had several exchanges. My main concern was that beagles can bark quite a bit and be obsessed with what comes to their nose. Kate responded by saying that pocket beagles "...bark less and wander much less than their full size counterparts." Dutch will not exceed a foot high and about 15-20 pounds. There is a bit of controversy over pocket beagles, and whether they are actually just "runt" beagles. AKC or "pure bred" status does not matter to us - what does is that we find a dog that will be gentle, calm, smart, loving and is a size that is managable for Owen.
The photos are not staged. Dutch won't leave Owen alone - whether Owen is eating, sleeping, sitting. Dutch is very calm, very smart, and VERY into Owen. It is such a gift to our family to have this newest canine member. We think he will bring all of us, but especially Owen, great joy. We are calling him our Snoopy Buddha.