Half-priced Puppy, no braces required.
As an empty nester, I’m guilty of overusing the phrase, “Child replacement therapy” when speaking in terms of dog ownership. I didn’t coin the phrase (or maybe I did), but I throw it around to sound smarter than I am, hoping to compensate for a severe IQ point deficit.
After nearly seven happy years of dog ownership, we kick ourselves for not starting sooner. Heidi, our first dog, was acquired as more or less an impulse, at a time when our daughters could lend a hand (they didn’t) and when we had a home with a yard to support (we did).
Truth be told, even before Heidi we admired the kind gentleness of the Pastore Abruzzese (Italian Sheepdog) since returning to Italy in 2006. We lived in an area which bordered fields and watched with great interest as a young Italian man herded a small flock of sheep and goats past our house to graze at a nearby meadow. This flock was tended by one or more of these large off-white furred, black-eyed dogs who served as guardians rather than shepherds. We’ve wanted one ever since (a sheepdog, not an Italian man) yet have zero regrets with Heidi.
Last fall, I started looking for a breeder from which to buy a puppy. My wife believed Heidi needed a playmate, and I believed I needed to spend more time picking up dog poop – a win/win, right?! In the end, Bridget located a breeder who was selling pedigreed puppies at a mere $1K a whack. The father was an Italian (duh) champion show dog named Drago who, at 100Lbs and handsome, didn’t need the bragging rights of a blue ribbon to “get” the lady dogs anyway.
This time we chose a boy puppy to even the gender score in the Lund household, and to, hopefully, break the curse of our male pets dying before their time. As a male (last I checked), but not a pet, I’m still wary of an early demise. We do have concerns of a boy dog displaying and wagging something other than his tail, particularly when we have guests. I’ve long since been broken of this habit, which is probably why I’m still around…
We first laid eyes on the litter of puppies (take my money now!) just before Christmas. If over-dosing on cuteness was a thing, we died three times that day. Agostino, pictured above holding Thor, sold us the puppy. He communicated well enough in broken English to make us aware of Thor’s single defect — his lower jaw is a wee bit shorter than normal, creating a bite alignment problem. It isn’t an issue now, but may be later on, and is why the price for Thor was reduced.
Sadly, because of this flaw the little fella will never win a medal in a dog show, but he’s already won our hearts. We’ll bank the savings and hope that doggie braces won’t be needed. Welcome to the family, Thor!