Sunday, April 19, 2009

Meet the new pup!

Life without a canine companion is no fun, so welcome the new Village Green puppy. His name is Hamlet and he's 12 weeks old. I traveled to Coshocton to pick up this Sheltie yesterday.

When I was a kid and living in the former wilds of Medina County, I had Collies for companions. We roamed the fields and woods together. I loved the Collie temperament as well as it's beautiful stance, majestic shape and long hair. Now that I'm an urban dweller, I decided to go for a smaller version. I realize there are distinct differences between Shelties and Collies and look forward to gaining more understanding of this diminutive herding dog.

I was fortunate to find a reputable breeder who was offering this pup on a pet contract. He is going to be too big for showing in the ring or breeding. (The standard is from 13" to 16" in height at the withers.)

I did consider getting a rescue dog, but I've been looking for quite some time now and didn't find any puppies. It's mostly senior or rescued from puppy mill types. Having lost my two senior dogs in the past couple of years, I wasn't emotionally ready to take in another senior dog. And as for puppy mill survivors, those poor creatures need round the clock care in order to combat all the behavior consequences developed under horrifying conditions.

There are pups on Petfinder offered up as "part Sheltie." About 17 years ago, I took in one such pup who had glorious Sheltie markings but grew up to be a giant-sized Beagle with all the Beagle habits and none of the Sheltie's! I loved him very much, but learned the lesson that if you want a specific type of dog, it's best to know exactly who their parents were!

Here's Hamlet in his new indoor pen. He's a blue merle in color, and quite the theatrical personality! So his nickname will be Hammy! He came crate trained and beautifully socialized, running right to me as I entered his Coshocton living room. He immediately gave me a bunch of puppy kisses and I was in completely enamored! He rode without any crying to his new home in the back of the smart car, observing the rolling hills of Amish country as we drove back up to Akron on Route 93. I'm enrolling him in puppy classes and look forward to lots of fun training time over the summer. Yesterday, we worked on "sit" and he got it in a matter of minutes! First thing this morning, I asked him to sit and he did so without hesitation -- quite the intelligent pup!

So Hamlet the pup and Ophelia the cat are in the beginning stages of sorting out their relationship. Ophelia has lived with dogs before, but in the past two months has been top animal around here. Hamlet just wants to have fun, but she is alternately fascinated and extremely upset. Hmm, sounds just like a certain play by William Shakespeare! Notice Ophelia giving a coy head twist while rubbing against Hamlet's pen:


redhorse said...

Congratulations to you and Hamlet.

We've picked up both breeder and rescue dogs, and another in between. They all have challenges, but at least with a purebred, we have a better idea what those challenges will entail.

Dave P. said...

He's beautiful! His coloring is a lot like that of Macy, our female blue merle.

Ebo said...

So you're back in the doggy set. Congratulations! Let's just hope he doesn't follow in the footsteps of his namesake.

Cookie said...

I've always missed having a dog. I settled for a cat, but the word "settled" is a misnomer. I love their beauty, grace and independence. I still enjoy watching the "dog" parade in my neighborhood and I'm settling for that

KevinBBG said...

Boy, is he cute! I'm more of a cat person but that doesn't mean I can't appreciate dogs. Have fun.

Village Green said...

On behalf of young Hamlet, thanks for all the comments!

One of the challenges with a Sheltie will be keeping them busy with "work." I plan on taking him to obedience classes and eventually trying out some agility work -- it will be good for both human and dog to get some exercise.

Dave -- I love the pictures of you Aussies (and Amy's delightful dog tales!) and was thrilled to have the opportunity to get a blue merle type.

Ebo -- What's in a name? Would a Hamlet by any other name be as dramatic? Actually, I couldn't resist having an Ophelia and a Hamlet. Rehearsals are ongoing!

Cookie -- I have always lived with both cats and dogs. They provide different kinds of companionship and there are always plenty of each looking for good homes.

redhorse said...

Do post where you take him for class. I've got a 5 month old boxer in need of a class and the place we used to use is no longer.