We finally had the opportunity to add another little puppy to our wonderful Air Force family. This little girl is Ginger. She is about 3 months old and she is an Australian Shepard and possible Collie mix. I am so excited that Odin has a playmate and we have a new baby to spoil.
A few disclaimers about getting a dog
1. Always adopt. I seriously don’t understand people who still use breeders. We rescued both of our babies. One from abuse and the other from a high-kill shelter. Ginger had 5 siblings… only 2 others were allowed to live. Odin has marks from cigarette burns and other scars that are without a doubt human made.
2. Do Breed Research. Not all breeds are created equal. Some are smarter or faster or bigger or need more sleep or exercise. Each breed is so different and it is important to learn about whatever dog you choose to adopt. We knew nothing about Beagles because I had spent all of my time researching other breeds, but Odin was love at first sight. Before we adopted Ginger, we were set on a Husky or an Aussie mix, and thankfully I learned as much as I could before adopting. She as a lot of energy and needs training but we have hardly had her for 3 weeks and she is fully potty-trained. Australian Shepard’s are so very smart and we need dogs that can keep up with us and love walks and playing games.
3. Prepare for Training. Even if you get a 3 or 4 year old dog, they will probably need an update with training, and you will want them to know your rules. A lot of times, when you adopt, the dogs can come with bad habits given to them by their awful previous lives. This is not a reason to get discouraged or to not adopt. It is more important to save a life and deal with a few things being chewed on, than go the easy route.
4. Invest in your Dog. This animal is now a part of your family. They are not an accessory or a toy, they are a living creature that you are expected to do EVERYTHING in your power to take care of. You shouldn’t skimp on food or treats or toys. Not only will they not last but there is a large chance they could be hurting your dog too. When we first got Odin we did a mix of cheaper treats and more expensive toys. His cheap treats made him sick every day and he was so lethargic. Yet, the toy that we had spent a little more money on lasted him over 6 months of good and sometimes overly vigorous play time. Dog food really is the same way too, make sure to always read ingredients, and understand that if you are feeding them well they will feel so much better and want to play more.
Make choices that will benefit your puppy as well as your family as a whole. This is a lifetime commitment and honestly probably one of the best decisions you will ever make.