My search for Ellie Roo began some two years ago when I began casually searching for a puppy for Hank. I always scoured through rescue sites for the dog that would fit just right into our family. Hank didn’t want a puppy, but I knew he’d appreciate it once he got to know her. He is always the one playing with the puppies and teaching them gentle manners while all the other adult dogs ran away or snapped aggressively. But he’s a momma’s boy.
You see, he’s been a solo dog with me his entire life. In fact it was just him and me for four whole years of graduate school and a bit after. And then Brent entered our lives and we became three.
When Covid took the world by surprise and I was sent home to work, I realized I had a unique chance that I might never have again in my 9-5 work life career. The first few months of getting a puppy are crucial in terms of bonding, training, and setting a puppy off on the right paw for success. When I first got Hank, he was able to go to work with me every day and I think it was crucial to him becoming the dog he is today.
My casual search turned into an active search around April 2020 when I realized that staying home was going to be more long-term than anyone could have anticipated. I looked everywhere for a similar breed to Hank, mostly in rescues over the past few years and they are so rare it just never happened. I looked through “Hangin’ Tree Cowdog” pages on Facebook and kept an eye on all new litters for just the right one.
I have this knack – I always just know the right one when I see it. This applies to so many things in life for me (not just puppies). And while I scoured rescues for the right puppy, one day I typed in “Catahoula Aussie Mix” on Facebook and was taken to a woman’s post in Arkansas. It was an older post, and a long shot, but I reached out and there were two puppies left. One little white puppy and a little black puppy, the two little girls of the litter.
I knew right away, that was the one! That was my girl!
But that was the kicker, Arkansas is at least a 17 hour drive away from me. My current car isn’t really set up for that kind of a drive, rental cars don’t allow pets, and travel in general was not generally advised. I asked if I could put some sort of a hold on the puppy while I sorted out a plan of action. She said no hold was needed, if I wanted her, she was mine. She held that little white puppy for nearly a month during this time. Now I’m pretty sure, most people I told this story to, didn’t believe I was really going to pull it off. But if you know me well, you’ll know that about anything I set my mind to, I manage to achieve.
I started looking into transport companies for dogs and found out about the secret network of private transport companies for them. I found out that most of these don’t pop up in a Google search, but I found a group on Facebook that posts routes across the country constantly. They transport for breeders, for rescues, sometimes for families who fly to their new homes across the country and can’t bring the dog on the plane. I put in a request post and a handful of companies immediately reached out saying that it was on their route and they were happy to pick her up.
I did some research into the couple, as much as I could, and felt comfortable with them picking up my new little best friend, who I couldn’t wait to meet, and set it up. I had done it.
Now when they told me more about their travel route I found out that one of their stops was where my brother lives, actually the stop just before me. He had been contemplating the other little black puppy himself. He was in a similar place in life where he, for the first time, was ready for a dog in his life. His own first dog, in fact.
He had been in the same boat with the transport as I was, and when they were going through his town anyway, it sealed the deal. Two puppies were headed west.
Needless to say, I could not WAIT to have this little bundle of wiggles in my arms. Not much has gone right this year, but here were these two little creatures headed our way, to spend the rest of their 12+ some years of life with us.
The drivers dropped off my brother’s puppy Friday morning and around 11:30pm they delivered my little bundle of wiggles to me. She was shy, and hid under the seats of the car most of the trip. She still doesn’t like car rides much, yet. This tiny little white creature I had been oogling over in photos for over a month was here! The more she woke up and sniffed around that first night, the more wiggles she became until finally crashing on a pile of blankets in her new crate beside the bed.
So then we were four.
Hank’s usual, new-puppy-friend excitement eventually wore off when he realized that she wasn’t actually just visiting and she proceeded to take over his beds on a regular basis.
He found out that she was actually a pretty good play buddy often though, and livened up his daily routine. Walks increased and playtime increased. He was glad to have a new ball partner, and a new reason to go outside ALL the time! So maybe it wasn’t so bad.