I went to meet the puppies on August, 16, 2006. Of the six that had been surrendered to the shelter, only three remained: all boys. I like boy dogs, but it did present a problem, because I really only had a favorite name for a girl: Thisbe.
When I arrived, two puppies were getting a bath, so they didn’t bring them out to me. They brought out the one dry puppy for me to play with in the office. He immediately piddled all over everything...ah, puppies.
This puppy was very fuzzy and freckly and a little bit roly-poly. He was very interested in everyone in the office and seemed very sweet, but also very shy. I asked them to bring out the wet puppies, too, and they came in the office like a whirlwind. They even got the roly puppy excited as they swarmed around squeaking and piddling and jumping and squeaking and squeaking. The two wet puppies were a very shorthaired muscular guy and a tri-color fuzzy guy. The wet puppies weren’t nearly as shy as the dry one and had a good time jumping up on everyone. We were all laughing and playing with them. Eventually it became clear that the very muscular puppy NEVER stopped for a breather, if you put him in your lap, he squirmed right out again. The tricolor would stop for a cuddle, but then jump down to play. I knew the shorthaired puppy was too much puppy for me, so I had them put him back in the kennel so I could focus on the other two. I did a few things that I had read about for testing puppy temperaments: I grabbed each puppy and held it on its back; the books say that the dog should struggle for a little while then calm down: the dry puppy never struggled, the wet puppy never settled down. We brought out some tennis balls: the dry puppy didn’t seem to know what to do with them; the wet puppy played a little game with himself. I took each dog outside to see how he would react to the great outdoors. Both seemed a little overwhelmed at first, but the wet puppy relaxed after 30 seconds, the dry puppy acted very stressed the entire time. I loved them both, but knew I could only have one, so I asked to adopt the wet, tri-color puppy. The shelter said yes! He came home with me that day.
Filling out the paperwork didn’t take long, but did resolve one question: the puppies had been listed as Border Collie/Australian Shepherd mixes. However, they looked more like Border Collie/Australian Cattle Dog mixes. Indeed, the puppies were BC/ACD mixes; the women at the shelter didn’t understand that heeler = cattle dog. The paperwork for the puppies all said Border Collie / Blue Heeler.
Here’s the first picture I took of the puppy: