I’ve always been a pet lover. Well… more specifically, I’ve always been a cat person. Well… a cat and rabbit person. My first pet at age 3 was a rabbit. When we moved to Florida, a friend of my mom’s cat had kittens. We chose the runt of the litter, who ended up living longer than any of the other kittens. He was a beautiful blue eyed albino cat that was deaf and was the loveliest cat I’ve ever known. We also got a hand-me-down rabbit from a fair that our neighbors didn’t want to keep. My dad built another hutch for him. When his hutch was blown down in a severe thunderstorm, he decided he liked free-roaming the backyard. At the age of 8, he died peacefully in the backyard and my dad buried him under his favorite bushes. When we had to move out of our house, my mom gave my cat away without telling me. Between college and living with my new family (who are anti-pet) and roommates, I haven’t had a pet other than fish since.
Around our first anniversary, Chris and I starting thinking about getting a dog. With Chris, cats and rabbits are unfortunately not an option, since he’s allergic. We’ve baby sat a Min Pin a few times, but Chris has to be really careful not to pet the dog and then his eyes and we have to be ultra vigilant about vacuuming up hair and such. So it’s not a breed that we could really live with. We wanted a dog that would be good in an apartment, would be cuddly sometimes, but not a mindless lap dog… a dog that would still be fun. A dog that would be good with children when we got around to having those and one that was from a rescue organization. We did some research into dogs that might not bother Chris… I’d mentioned bichon frises, I think, but Chris thought they were too fru-fru. That left us with (mostly) minature schnauzers and poodles. My aunt has a giant schnauzer, and Chris doesn’t love that dog. I don’t love the poodles that I’ve met, but was willing to give them a chance. And we wanted a puppy.
We started to go to adoption fairs and speak to some local rescue organizations to let them know what we were interested in. I kept an eye on Petfinder. Around October of 2008, I found a listing for some cockapoo pups from a rescue group about an hour south.I emailed back and forth and put down a deposit on the puppies, getting ready to meet them. Chris warned me to take it slow and not get invested. Then, the listing changed a bit and noted that the mother was a schnauzer. Um… there’s no schnauzer in cockapoo. I emailed back and forth some more and it became clear that we couldn’t be sure that these puppies would be okay for Chris. And even if the puppies were, the adults might not be. I got my deposit back and we stopped looking for a bit. It was really heartbreaking. I don’t know how people who try to adopt kids and have them taken back by the birth mother deal with it… I can’t even imagine how heartbreaking it must be.
So we stopped looking. Football season came around again and we found ourselves going to our friend Scott and Ashley’s for the games sometimes. And Chris met their dog Buddy, a bichon. Buddy was about 3 years old and they kept him cut in an all over cut, rather than the typical fru-fru bichon cut. Buddy is one of the coolest dogs in the world. He’s cute and cuddly and fun and playful and hearty. Chris loved him. And even better… he didn’t bother Chris’ allergies at all. So now we knew what we wanted. A bichon.