First there was one, now… there are four! If you are a dog-lover like myself, then you know how much love, companionship and comfort these four leggers bring to our world. Life without them would be far less interesting.
If you follow me on social media or browsed my about me page, you might be aware that I am a PAWrent to four Shih- Poos; Dusty, Spice, Cinnamon and Fat boy. I have gotten tons of questions about my dogs. Why so many?Are they related? How do you manage?…There is an interesting story behind these fur babies that I wish to share with you.
Let me rewind to Christmas Eve 2013. Rory and I drove passed a pet shop and he asked, “Cam, do you want a dog?” At first, I thought he was joking since we never discussed owning one. He knew that was one of my weaknesses. Without awaiting my response, he pulled up in front of the shop where we were greeted by several cages of small paws. There were paws of different kind. Their coats were silky soft as if they were never touched, their eyes were so bright and daring and they married mine. Can you see my heart melting? I wanted them ALL! How could I choose just one? That was a hard almost impossible task.
After moving from one cage to the next, I spotted a brown coloured fur ball who stumbled over the other pups and made its way to play with me for a couple seconds, then crawled with its tiny feet to a corner. It was the smallest of all the dogs and looked a little lethargic; but there was something about this pup that captured my heart.
“I want that one!”
I remember pointing at the brown fur ball. It was suuuper cute and could fit in the palm of my hand. Rory suggested that I choose another pup because it wasn’t as energetic as the others. “No! this one had me at hello!” I responded with gleaming eyes. I learned from the seller that it’s a boy and he was only 9 weeks old. Rory granted my request. In no time, this little guy was off to his new home. We named him Dusty because of his dusty-brown colour. Within hours, Dusty displayed a happy playful side. He brought tremendous joy to our home
Dusty at three months
After a year, Dusty got very sick. We literally lived at the vet with this fellow. One condition after the next came like a domino effect. We thought that maybe it would be a good idea to get him a friend of his kind. He seemed to lack companionship. Dusty is the perfect dog, could we find a female version of him? After two years of contemplating, we were finally on the hunt for his companion. Finding a dog who was a great match proved more difficult than expected though. A few months later, Rory stumbled on a dog breeder who was looking for a stud for his shih-poo. I was convinced that if they had puppies, I could have one of Dusty’s offspring. We agreed to keep Spice (the breeder’s dog) for 15 days. Was that a good idea?
Honestly, at first, I was reluctant in taking Spice home because she was filthy and infested with fleas and ticks but my heart told me to give her a chance. She didn’t hesitate to follow us. Throughout the journey I saw a shy, fearful dog who was in need of some good TLC. When we got home, I Immediately gave her a long warm bath and attempted to get rid of the nasty parasites.(Bravecto worked wonders). After a couple days, Dusty warmed up to Spice and they became besties. I could tell that she appreciated the freedom from being tied outside on a dirty leash.
I thought about Spice’s situation long and hard. I begged to question whether her owner had any love for her. Imagine… During the entire time at a stranger’s house he didn’t check on his dog once and to make matters worse there was a hurricane. He didn’t supply a grain of dog food; all she had was a faded red dirty collar and leash. When I looked at Spice, her tail constantly wagged from the joy of being in a happy home.
After 20 days, the owner called for us to return his dog . Spice was only a breeding shell. I do understand that it was a business for him but he could have at least shown some concern. If Spice was in a good home I would gladly hand her back without feeling emotional. There is no way I could let Spice go back to her state of trauma. I begged to purchase her, but he was not willing to sell. On our way taking Spice home, I felt hollow; my heart sank in an abyss of thoughts of what could happen to her. I pleaded one last time but it fell on deaf ears.
A few days passed and I felt gloomy as I reminisced on poor Spice. Then the phone rang… Unbelievably, it was Spice’s owner with these words “I saw a deep sad look in the dog’s eyes.” He was interested in releasing her for 800 US dollars and when the pups were born I would keep 1 and hand over the rest. Whether this was a good deal or not I didn’t hesitate to say, “YES YES YES!” but easier said than done!
October 27th 2015, three beautiful pups were born; 2 girls and a boy. (hats off to Rory for assisting Spice with the delivery). I beamed with happiness, but soon the smile was wiped from my face when I remembered that I only owned one pup. We agreed to keep the boy, my friend called him Fat Boy because he was the chubbiest of the three (the name stuck). The breeder was interested in the girls. How could I convince him to sell me the other two pups? Should I lie that Spice only gave birth to one boy? That wasn’t the right thing to do. I love a clean conscience and that wouldn’t help. He suggested that he was going to sell one girl and keep the next. I quickly offered to purchase one of the girls but which one? What did I get myself into?
At that moment, I understood what it meant to be stuck between a rock and a hard place. After weeks of being indecisive, I finally decided to keep the pup that fitted the description of “Cinnamon” . I already selected that name before the pups were born because it went well with Spice(Cinnamon,Spice and everything nice) She was the only brown coloured pup of the three, and was also the smallest. I thought that if I gave up the other pup her body was big enough to handle child’s birth. (deep thoughts flooded my head) .
After 8 weeks, it was time for the other pup to go. I cannot begin to describe how depressed and broken hearted I was. I handed over the sweet innocent puppy to her new home and walked briskly from the yard. When I got home, Spice greeted me with a questioned look, she searched every crevice and corner for the missing pup, that was so painful to watch.She was a new mom, and had no clue what was going on. The search lasted for a few days. Now, she is an amazing mom to Cinnamon and Fat Boy.
Here we are today, one happy pawmily. My dogs bring me so much joy and happiness (I wished the other dog was here with us). Their love is from a pure and honest place. Surprisingly, Dusty hardly gets sick. I guess he really craved company of his kind.
There are challenges that come with caring for four dogs but believe me, the rewards are far greater.
Are you a pawrent or thinking about adopting a pet? How is it going?
SPICE AND FATBOY