We feel strongly about supporting our community. We feel strongly about supporting our boys. How do we do both and get a dog.
Well, it’s complicated.
Let’s go back…way back. Back to before I met my husband, back before I went to college, back to before I can really remember, I wanted a dog. I wanted a dog of my own. My dad has always had dogs. As long as I can remember, my dad has owned and trained dogs to hunt raccoons. The dogs don’t harm the raccoons, not that some wouldn’t if given the chance, but my dad trains hounds to hunt and “tree” raccoons — these dogs are aptly named, Coon Hounds. These hounds were always a part of our family growing up. My brother and I loved to pet them, and play with them when they were puppies, and cried when they were sold to other hunters or reached the end of their lives.
While I loved those dogs immensely, what I really wanted was a dog of my own. Fast forward to my first dog: he was a brilliantly beautiful boxer named Buster. Leroy “Buster” Brown. I named him “Buster” Brown because as a pup, he really looked a lot like the Buster Brown pup from my childhood that hocked the shoes. I named him Leroy because I loved the name. It reminded me of my dad singing and dancing to “Bad, Bad Leroy Brown” as a child. These two childhood memories fused into one when I met the dog of my dreams, but that’s another story.
When I met my husband, we had our dog, Buster, act as part of the wedding procession by walking down the aisle on our wedding day. We prepared him when we brought our children home, letting him smell their clothing and being a wonderful playmate — always patient, kind, and loving. When he passed away, my heart was broken. He was my nearly constant companion for years. When we adopted Kemo, he was sweet, but he wasn’t a large dog. I yearned for a large dog.
In enters Darkpaw. What a sweet boy — he’s a Labrador mix, black as night like our Kemo, and has grown into the large dog I desired. We met him and fell in love with him instantly. Although we knew owning a larger breed puppy would prove more work, we knew that it would also allow our boys to each have dogs “of their own”, our dogs would have companionship, and I would have the large dog to fill the void that my sweet Buster left so many years ago in his passing.
When we began thinking of getting a second dog, we looked initially at P.U.P., where we’d adopted Kemo. However, P.U.P. focuses on placing mainly smaller dogs from overcrowded shelters in California. However, after looking at other rescues and shelters, Darkpaw (formerly Sparen) was offered for adoption by our own P.U.P. shelter! We couldn’t have been more thrilled!
He has become an integral part of our family in the short weeks since we’ve adopted him. He is a great solace to us as we prepare for my surgery. I look forward to the next chapter of our lives with this sweet dog in it.