A text came across my phone with the words: PLEASE and a picture of a blue merle Australian Shepherd puppy. I was working at a spay and neuter clinic for cats. We talked about getting a dog, but we both agreed that one of us needed to be home more often before we did it. I volunteered to quit my job. This did not go over well.
I drove over to the mall to meet my husband at the pet store. I know what you are going to say. Never purchase a puppy! And don’t purchase a puppy from a pet store in a mall! Check out my explanation of that separately.
I tried to resist. But he was almost everything that we agreed we wanted in our first dog. The only thing he was not, was a female.
We purchased our puppy for a large sum of money. His official paperwork said he was from a breeder in Kansas. I knew once we got him home that he was from a puppy mill. He had no clue about how to be a puppy. But he knew he liked us, and he wanted to please us. Walking on a leash, going potty outside, eating, these were all foreign concepts to him. He was 8 weeks old and a blank slate.
My husband slept downstairs while Elliot slept in a crate in the living room. Being crate trained was one of my criteria for getting him. He whined for a little bit but quieted down because he was exhausted from the day. It really only took two nights for him to sleep thru the night and not whine. Elliot did not like being yelled at or scolded in any manner. He always tried to please.
I spent 30 minutes walking him around the block every morning. One block – and I went down the alley! The first time, I only made it halfway around and then I carried him the rest of the way. He loves walks now and is a very good walker.
We took our time picking a name and Elliot only spoke to us after we searched thru all the boy names on the internet. Facebook started to send me ‘What to expect when you’re expecting’. I must be having a baby since I’m looking up boy names! Finding a boy name seemed extremely hard since I had my heart set on a girl. The name Elliot just suited him. We loosely related it to E.T Or at least my husband did.
My husband decided that Elliot must play every evening so that he’s ready to sleep through the night. My husband left at 4 am and got home somewhere between 5-6pm. I was working four 10-hour days a week, so he was in his crate a lot. So every night, my husband would sit there and play fetch and wrestle with him, etc. This had its good effects and bad effects. Elliot did sleep thru the night. But even to this day, when daddy is home, he brings him his toy. Everything in Elliot’s life revolves around playing. Playing with Frisbee is his favorite toy of all. But now his sister gets in the way of frisbee fun days.
Although Elliot does like me, he is daddy’s boy. My husband can get up to go to work and Elliot doesn’t care. He will act normal but gets a little antsy when it’s about time for daddy to come home. But if Elliot knows it’s the weekend and daddy gets up and does other stuff before leaving to run errands, then Elliot sits and mopes by the door. He waits and looks at every car that drives by, barks whenever he hears a noise that could be daddy and is all around annoying until he can be reunited. Elliot’s first choice is to be with my husband!