a dog blog
For those of you who are aware that we're puppy-raising a Lab for PADS, Jesse, the baddest service dog who ever lived, is going back to the training facility for advanced training on June 9th! I can't believe he'll be 14 months old already. Last week, to get the dogs prepared (OK, OK -- to get the PEOPLE prepared) for the transition, we did a puppy swap for a week and had a female yellow Lab named Mala (short for Malaysia -- a pup from the 'Asian countries' litter) with us. What a good girl! She was a total charmer and a REAL Lab who, unlike Jesse, loves water and can destroy anything in a matter of minutes. But, like the people pleaser she is, she only destroyed approved items. Jesse, on the other hand, spends half his life with a shoe, a tea towel or a pair of my undies in his mouth, staying just out of arm's reach. How I'm going to miss my bad but beautiful boy.
To ease the transition I think it's time we finally got a permanent family pooch. It's been nearly a year and a half since we prematurely lost Zappa, and though I didn't necessarily want another Australian Shepherd, when I saw Coco's photo I had a funny feeling that she was the one. She may be part Border Collie but is probably a purebred Aussie of older, working lines. Not the frou-frou type like Zappa (who was, nonetheless, all athlete under that unbelievable coat). This photo of Zappa and me was taken in the summer of 2006.
When I emailed Mary Ann about her, giving her my wish list for a dog (temperament requirements that is ~ breed and gender were not so important to me) she seemed to fit the bill exactly. She's just under a year old, athletic like Zappa, good with dogs and cats and a little more reserved with people than the yahoos that came before her. Yay! I've known Mary Ann from the days in the early '00s when I worked in conjunction with her, fostering and rehoming Australian Shepherds. She is a rescue saint, not a nut job like some, who has found new homes for over 750 dogs, much of that time fighting cancer. The bad news is that it has now spread to her brain from two other sites and though I was going to meet her in Olympia, Washington, this weekend, she suddenly had to start radiation therapy for the new tumours so had to stay home near Coeur d'Alene, Idaho. My good friend Sonya came to the rescue so we are now leaving tomorrow on a road trip (I must be Thelma to her Louise since I'm as tall as Geena Davis) to the Idaho panhandle to pick up Coco. Sonya has a nice Acura, the weather is stellar, I've packed up some CDs and my camera and off we go! I'll let you know if we see Brad Pitt on our mini adventure.