12 July 2014

A Tough Week

It's been a tough week.

On July 4th, Wisdoc and I drove 200 miles to Lexington, SC, to pick up a new puppy. We spent a couple hours with the litter, selecting out candidates by—mainly—disposition. We chose this little fellow:

and named him Kona because he reminded us of the color of the sand there. (We visited Wisdomie in Hawaii in June). He rode the three-hour drive home sitting quietly next to our miniature Dachshund, Lily, and Wisdoc.

It didn't take long for Wisdoc plus all the Wiskids to fall in love with him. He's a German Shepherd/Poodle mix. Very sweet and self-possessed.

As readers here will recall, we lost Jake, our beloved Shepherd of 13 years, last Thanksgiving when he succumbed to doggy Lou Gehrig's disease. Jake was a truly great dog and family member. I've written plenty about him here.

Over the years, though, Wisdaughter developed an allergy to Jake. We'd grieved for over 6 months and felt we wanted another big Shepherd-like dog. We did some research and learned that some folks were breeding Shepherds with Standard Poodles to produce a hypoallergenic dog with all the qualities of a Shepherd and the calmness of a Poodle.

We took Kona to our family Vet on Monday afternoon. She found a disastrous heart murmur and told us it was likely inoperable. We were in shock—PTSD-like. It didn't help that it was the same Vet who put Jakey to sleep. We immediately (then and there in the Vet's office) informed the breeder who, likewise, was shocked. After much soul-searching and after seeking a second opinion, we agreed to exchange Kona for the puppy that came in a close second in our disposition testing.

Wisdoc was disconsolate and hardly slept Monday night. She'd already become attached to Kona.

Tuesday afternoon (yes, during yet another World Cup match—this time, the Germany v. Brazil shellacking), we met the breeder about halfway to SC at an exit on I-20. We spent about an hour with the new little fellow, introducing him to Lily. She brought us her Vet's certification of his health this time and assured Wisdoc she would raise Kona as her own pet, letting him live out his days on her farm.

I had no choice but to believe her.

I took the new guy to our Vet on Wednesday, and she gave him a clean bill of health. I told her she owed us some good news.

We had trouble naming the new little boy but eventually, after a debate of what felt like hundreds of group text messages between and among the entire Wisfam, settled on Bruno.

He's a fuzzy 14-week old puppy. Adorable, sweet, playful, and well-related. Black with some brown highlights, a white spot on his chest, and white tufts on his front paws and chin beard. He should grow to about 60-65 lbs (not as large as Jake but large enough). He doesn't shed, and, importantly, Wisdaughter had no allergic reaction to him.

Also, he sleeps through the night!

He's a happy fellow and has adjusted wonderfully well to Sasha (our cat), Lily, Wisdoc, Wesdom (who's home from college for the summer), and, of course, yours truly. He bonded immediately to us and seems to have accepted his place in the pack order around here. He looks me in the eye to see what I want him to do. He is not aggressive with strangers.

We Facetimed Wisdomie in Honolulu for a couple hours, and he enjoyed watching the little fellow play.

It was tough having to give up on Kona. A puppy with a congenital heart condition is a sad thing, especially one you've grown attached to for however short a time. The breeder will no longer be able to breed Bruno's and Kona's sire and dame, and she plans to put them up for adoption. I hope little Kona will be able to live out the rest of his life in the comfort of her farm.

Now, if I can only get Bruno to stop peeing on the rug.


ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© said...

I had a feeling something ominous was up when I didn't see new puppy pics after you mentioned going to get one.

Sorry for Kona and your family. Best of luck with Bruno!

Jim H. said...

Thanks, thunder. It took awhile before I could write about it, but Bruno has worked his way into our affections.