I had to put Xena, the Warrior Puppy, to sleep in June. She was 15 years old and a part of my life for a long time; and she's in my house book, Building a Cool House for Hot Times without Scorching the Pocketbook--pictured on the back cover with me and inside looking out a window.
I'm still missing her, and at one point--although browsing the local SPCA website--I found myself saying rebelliously: "I don't want a puppy. I want Xena!" I knew then that I wasn't ready, but my sister, who was closely monitoring the website, sent me a picture one day and said--Look at this one. Hmm, I thought. She meets the criteria (female, short coat, not too big, etc.), though I prefer a younger puppy (she was listed as four months old), and I said OK. We can go and look at her. We took her to an outside exercise pen to check her out, and she wasn't very interested in the humans, but sniffed all over the pen and wanted to play with the dog in the next pen.
I wasn't sure about her; some puppies are all over you, but she was an older stray. Hard to tell... When I saw her on the website, the name Blizzard popped into my mind. (She was white.) After thinking for a while--there were no other puppies I was interested in (I chose Xena from a litter at the SPCA.), but most of the dogs--and cats--were older--and she did respond to the volunteer and to treats, and I liked her so I finally said: Yes! I'll take her. I couldn't take her then since she had to be spayed, but I picked her up a couple days later. Keeping her on leash for ten days so she wouldn't be too active and rip out her stitches helped with training and bonding, although she really wanted to run sometimes--and jump up and down on Bryn, the Corgi.
Yesterday I took her to the vet for her final puppy shots and check-up. (I've got to get her used to riding in the car so I don't have to carry her in and out.) She was happy to get back to her home, and I was so happy to have her here! She's part of the family now, though I'll always treasure Xena's memory.
Btw, the SPCA has a great selection of cats and dogs looking for good homes, and it's such a good deal since the price includes altering, shots, and more--depending on your local shelter. And right now our SPCA is taking in dogs abandoned because of the Gulf oil spill affecting people's lives and livelihoods....