When Ryder was an 8 week old puppy (almost two years ago now!) we registered him for Purina's "My Puppy" program. Outside of the welcome kit and birthday emails, I haven't received many emails from Purina, so seeing one pop into my inbox peaked my attention. Specifically the headline: "Is Ryder a Pet Hero". Opening the email and clicking the headline redirected me to read more about a contest called "Better Together". To enter, you write your story and submit a picture. Now as i'm reading and I look up to see Ryder sniffing out some goose poop (yuck!!) and I had to laugh - my hero, the goose poop sniffer. (Side note: He did not eat said poop, I said "No!" and he turned his attention to his sister Rosa who was playing in some long grass). So as I read more about the contest and the current submissions, I started to realize how i've learned from both of my pups.
Rosa is a 2.5 year old Alberta Rescue Foundation rescue dog we first met when she was 4.5 months old at the Pet Expo at Spruce Meadows. A shy puppy, hiding on a box under a table choose to come out and say hello (she sat in front of Mr. Puppy Pals and gave him her paw <3 ). We were the first couple she showed affection to, the first couple to go and meet her and we couldn't be happier she waited, in hiding, to choose us.
Rosa has shown me how to be a strong, independent, alpha female. The importance of running and chasing my friends through the tall grass, and then to take time out for myself and sit in the silence of a cold room. To stay calm and composed, but to know when to raise my voice. To explore curiosities, be stubborn, yet respectful, and always make time for belly rubs and cookies.
Ryder is an almost 2 year old Alberta Rescue Foundation rescue. We had scheduled a visit with another adoptable pup who upon meeting, had no interest in us what-so-ever! Ryder wiggled his little furry bum over and started nibbling on my big toe. It was love at first bite. (Note: The other puppy found her forever home a few weeks later).
Through his unwavering loyalty, Ryder instills the importance and value of family and togetherness. He encourages me to gaze into the blue sky and chase the flies but never loose track of what and who is important. As busy and as distracted we we get, to remember to check-in. Ryder is very brave and headstrong. He reminds me to chase my dreams but know my limits. That it's okay to be goofy, to grunt at the small stuff but never ever pass up the opportunity for a snuggle.
The small stuff
With Airdrie Puppy Pals, we work with a lot of dogs; young, young at heart, high energy, relentless energy, and some with behavioral problem. Owning a dog and being a fur parent can be a lot of work. I often hear the exhaustion and frustration. However in our attempts as humans to be the pack leader, to correct, modify, and train it's important we don't overlook the gifts. As a puppy Rosa ate her share of shoes and while potty training Ryder peed, well, everywhere. (e-v-e-r-y-w-h-e-r-e... ) My advice, hang in there. Material items can be replaced and surfaces can be cleaned and disinfected. Take the time to admire and appreciate the little things... the big things, the young things, the old things and most importantly all the furry things.
Until next time... see you and your furry ones at the dog park!