This isn’t the best time of year to consider buying a puppy. The urge hits you and you check the internet hoping there is nothing available to get you all excited.
Our beloved Maxx, a German Shepherd died last fall. Rosanne and I decided we’d take a break from having a dog around the house. In early December, she gave me what you might call a muted hang-dog look. I nodded. With no words spoken, she went to her Ipad.
“What do you think of him?” she asked, showing me a small black and tan shepherd from a previous litter, bouncing around on a backyard grass, then stopping to sniff the camera lens.
She had picked out CITYWIDE GERMAN SHEPHERDS in Toronto and owner Mauro Mila. He had a litter born 7 December (2017). If we wanted one, he said, in his pleasant, reassuring way, we could take a dog home at the end of January.
They would already be checked over for any infirmities by a registered vet, registered by the Canadian Kennel Club. He would have the first of three vaccinations. Parasite control. A microchip implant should he get lost.
Rosanne, Nathaniel and I drove into Toronto to pick him up last Sunday. You could tell Mauro Mila loved his dogs by how he treated them. Part of one big family. He gave us good advice on feeding them.
He makes up his own fresh food, meat, sending us home with a week’s worth. For kibble, Costco’s in a red bag is good, and not too expensive. Watch his sharp first teeth. He’ll use them to rip apart things you never thought he could get his teeth into.
Nathaniel chose the furry little one with floppy ears, and a blue collar. Mauro carried Levi – I think of Levi-Strauss, my favorite brand of jean – out to the car, gave him a hug and handed him over. Mauro would call us the next day, to make sure we, and the pup was okay.
Author’s comment: Be warned about taking on a new puppy. They’re hell raisers in ways you can’t imagine: their uncanny ability to attack with joyous abandon every little weakness in your home.
Electrical plugs, furniture legs, bedroom slippers. All to keep their little minds off the ache caused by growing first teeth. Buy hard toys to chew on. Like tough plastic squeakers.
The moments when these attacks overwhelm Levi (below), he flops down exhausted, and dozes off. It’s then we convince ourselves there’s a light at the end of the tunnel. And cross our fingers that it isn’t a train.