Forgive me Father, for I have sinned. It's been years since my last confession. I've been prejudiced. I never really liked little, yappy dogs. Well, until recently. I've met a few I like. But, I've been known to call them "kick-me" dogs.
"For your penance, go now and rescue a little dog."
It's true. I never had a special place in my heart for diminutive dogs. Most of the ones I knew were irritating spoiled brats. My idea of a "real" dog was one that weighed at least 40 lbs, a dog you could run with, who would make you feel protected.
My mind changed, though, after working for Invisible Fence. I was in contact with scores of dogs, big and small, and in-between. Some of these little dogs were very cool, just like "regular" dogs! They behaved, they listened, they were easy to train, and fun to play with! What made them just like "big" dogs? And others like gremlins?
LITTLE DOG SYNDROME
Many tiny pups suffer from what is known as "little-dog-syndrome." Check out more on this phenomenon at this website: www.dogbreedinfo.com.
In short, it isn't their fault. Humans put up with behaviors in little dogs that we wouldn't allow in larger dogs. Let's face it. A 90 lb rotty who runs up and jumps on you is just plain SCARY! Yet, a 12 lb "Yorki-poo" jumps up and it's "cute." Annoying little dogs are just DOGS who do what dogs do--assert themselves in a pack hierarchy--and get away with it.
NOW I WANT A SMALL DOG
How cool would it be to have a tiny, obedient dog to bring to work with me? I thought. What a great example!
So, I will find a small dog, but I've got to narrow my choices--what breed? I insisted on a puppy under 12 weeks of age. Remember, part of wanting a new puppy was to challenge what I learned about training and socializing during this critical phase--from about 8 to 16 weeks.
During the month of January, 2008, I spent hours perusing PetFinder. LUCY, a 12 week-old terrier mix (maybe). TAMARA, a 7 month-old min-pin (too old, but cute). TODDI, a Tibetan spaniel mix, age unknown (could be too big). AUBURN, an 8 week-old Boston terrier mix (hmmm). I also visited the Macomb County Animal Shelter. Not too many young puppies here.
So many choices; I wanted ALL of them! I just couldn't decide. I might have to wait until May for the annual adoption event where I found Gypsy, "Meet Your Best Friend at the Zoo."
IN THE MEANTIME
My nephew gave his six-year-old daughter a female Yorkie puppy (she named "Miley") that same Christmas, a grand-slam-home-run. Unfortunately, his busy household with three kids (one an infant) and two working parents left little time for house-training. He called me for advice. After a long list of instructions, he gasped in exasperation. "That isn't going to happen!" Let me take Miley home for 2 weeks and I'll do it.