Posted: July 12, 2013
For months, I scanned dogs on pet adoption websites.
Our dog, Whitey, passed last July and we’ve missed him since. Only recently have the husband and I felt ready for a new dog.
We enjoy having a dog, a companion, a pet to love. We also need a dog for the farm.
Last summer, our garden produced no cucumbers or winter squash; the vines were eaten by rabbits and groundhogs. We’ve never had a fence, but this had never happened before. When our neighbors complained about critters, I said, “We don’t have that problem.”
When Whitey died, we knew why. We did not realize that when our small poodle-terrier mix was dashing around the fields chasing varmints, he was actually doing the work of a farm dog.
So, in looking for a new dog, I felt we needed a terrier or terrier mix. Because I am not an “animal person,” the dog also had to be cute, housebroken and well behaved.
When a poodle/terrier mix finally appeared on the Augusta Regional SPCA website, we went to check him out. In the kennel full of barking dogs, this fellow, P.J., was quiet. He peered up at us from under his bangs with a “please take me home with you” look.
We took him for a short walk and liked him, but the staff warned us he should not go to a home with small children because he gets nervous. We have grandkids who visit frequently, so that could be a problem.
Maybe, we thought, it depends on the kid. A few days later, we returned with our 8-year-old grandson, Thieron, who has always had dogs in his home and knows how to treat them.
The dog loved Thieron — he licked his legs and loved being petted. That was all we needed.
On the way home, we decided the dog needed a new name, so we began brainstorming.
“How about Sammy?”
“Pippin’s good. We could call him Pip.”
And so we did for several hours. Then, we decided he doesn’t look like a Pippin or a Pip. So, we started again.
“Blake, we can call him Blake!”
The husband shook his head.
“How about Ojo? Or Jojo?”
So, Jojo it is, even though my son says it sounds like a little kid thought it up.
Jojo looks a lot like Whitey — cream and gray edged with black — but larger. He learns quickly. At first, he jumped up to sit on the furniture. When I told him “no,” he refused to budge. It took a bit of coaxing to get him down. The next time, when I told him to get down, he paused and then obeyed. Now, he gets on the couch when we’re not around, but as soon as one of us enters the living room, he jumps down. We’re getting there.
He seems to need exercise. I take him with me on my long walks every day to build up his cardio.
Jojo growls when strangers come to the door. He follows me around the house and flops down in whichever room I’m in.
Luanne Austin lives in Mount Sidney. Contact her at RuralPen@aol.com, facebook.com/rural pen or care of the DN-R.