We love our collie-shepherd mix Lola enormously. She was my Christmas present in 2007 – and by far the best one I’ve ever gotten. I had wanted a dog for ages and that was one of the things I was looking forward to the most about moving in with MBH: getting a puppy together.
I was adamant about getting a puppy from a local shelter – there are too many animals in need of good homes for me to consider buying from a breeder. MBH made the first trip to the Chesapeake shelter on his own and had fallen in love with a Husky. We already had names picked out (Sasha!), but when I went back a few days later, she had (happily!) been reunited with her owners, so it was back to the drawing board for us.
The next trip it was my turn on my own. I walked up and down the shelter rows saying “Sit!” and asking to see the dogs who obediently sat down in their cages. I had seen Lola, but she was just a tiny little scrap of a thing, happily chewing on a blanket in her cage, and she wasn’t one of the ones I’d asked to see. After a while, I got a little teary and overwhelmed at the thought of all the dogs I couldn’t take home, and asked the shelter staff if they could find a dog who fit our ideals: a puppy who was small now while we were living in our apartment, but who would grow into the bigger dog we both knew we wanted when we bought a house.
They had the perfect dog: Lola. MH drove out and met us, and we took her home that day.
I truly believe that responsible animal ownership means ensuring that Lola has the happiest life possible. And so over the years, we have tried to take Lola to do as many dog things as we can.
Like sheep herding, which she loved.
It was amazing to see her natural dog instincts be put to use – she knew exactly how to move them, exactly how close to get, and you can see her little ears perked up. (We took her to Cheswood Kennels in Chesapeake – it took a bit of Google sleuthing to find, but most states have some sort of herding dog training available.)
And Dock Dog Diving. She wasn’t as big a fan of this activity… we needed to ply her with treats to get her anywhere close to walking down the ladder.
And of course the requisite trips to dog parks, beaches, and hiking trails.
Lola has had quite the accomplished life. Her next challenge? Getting certified as a therapy dog, so she can visit with sick children at our local hospital, and hopefully bring a little of the joy she’s brought to us to others as well!