It wasn’t love at first sight the day I adopted Buddy back in Fall of 2007. It was more of a “what have I gotten myself into now” kind of moment. This 9 pound skinny, white poodle mix, who looked more like a little lamb than a 2 year old dog, was going to depend on me, and only me.
Regret began to stir in my head: What if he goes to the bathroom all over my new condo with my newly purchased furniture? What if he barks all day when I’m at work? I’ll never be able to go away on vacation again! I wanted a more unique looking dog! Am I doing this because I just broke up with a boyfriend? I began to sweat with anxiety on the long drive home from the shelter, while Buddy whined in the back seat.
The first week was definitely a tough one. We did not get much sleep the first night. I tried to make him sleep in the cratee, but he cried nonstop. I finally gave in around 4am and reluctantly let him on the bed, he then curled up next to me and we both finally got some rest. He barked for a solid 30 minutes after I left for work. I had to apologize to all my neighbors. I hired a dog walker, but he hated her, and then I fired her. He aggressively barked at other dogs and tall men. I thought, “Great, now I’m single and I have a dog who hates other dogs and men. My life is over!”
Then something changed. My vet gave me some training tips. I listened intently and put those tips to work. I started to slowly introduce Buddy to other dogs, starting with a friend’s elderly, submissive shih tzu. Buddy and I got into a routine of waking up early and going on a 30 minute walk before work. After our walk, he would run around the condo squeaking his toys and wagging his tail. I caught myself smiling and laughing in the mirror while putting on my make up. I couldn’t remember the last time I had laughed at 6am. My co-workers began to ask why I was so energized in the morning, and I had Buddy to thank for that. After work, I looked forward to getting home to see him greet me at the door with his 2-legged poodle hop.
Today, Buddy is a happy, 13 pound dog that will do almost anything for a treat. He has accepted my husband as part of our pack and my husband adores him as much as I do. It’s hard to imagine a life without Buddy. Everyday is a joy and he gives the most unconditional love a dog can give. The best parts of my day are cuddling with my Budders.
Co-Founder of The Rescued Dog