Last month, I adopted a puppy. The decision as a little spur of the moment… I knew I wanted a dog, but I wasn’t sure of exactly when to pull the trigger. I’ve been ready for some companionship around my place, and I’m feeling really settled into my career and my home. Although I have been researching breeds for a few years and talking about getting a puppy semi-seriously since I bought my condo last May, the final decision to bring home my dog was made during the third quarter of the Super Bowl. By noon on Monday, I was driving home with my puppy in the back seat.
Let me back up a bit and overshare a bit about my allergies. I’m allergic to pretty much every animal there is. I’ve found that cats and horses tend to be the worst. We’re talking eyes swelled shut, nose running like a faucet, funky rashy skin, chest so congested I can’t breathe kind of allergies. Some dogs get me there too. But, I’ve noticed more and more in recent years that my allergies do pretty well with “hypo-allergenic” dogs. Not 100% perfect – I need to be diligent about washing my hands, keeping my place vacuumed/dusted, etc. and I take a daily allergy pill just to keep things in-check. I overshare all of this information to tell you: I can’t have just any animal in my home.
Also, I wanted to be picky about what type of breed I wanted to get. Something too small just didn’t feel right for me. I also live in a >1,000 sq. ft. condo, so a giant dog wasn’t a good call either because I don’t have a big house or yard. Because of my allergies (and because I’d rather not have to vacuum every single day), it was important to find a dog with hair instead of fur to cut down on excessive shedding. I also wanted a dog who I could train without an insane amount of effort, because I refuse to let my condo smell like pee. It’s the little things, people.
Somehow I settled on a Wheaten Terrier. They’re terriers, so they’ve got some character flaws (diggers, runners, barkers) – but they also fit every piece of criteria I listed above. I’m 100% for the #AdoptDontShop movement, but sadly I couldn’t guarantee a forever home to a dog that didn’t mesh well with my allergies. [Note: so far so good on the allergy front with Chandler. Score!]
What I learned that it’s HARD to find Wheaten Terriers near where I live. Seriously! I’ve been casually looking since last summer and had a few moments of weakness where I almost drove 10 hours to New Jersey or Southwestern Missouri to pick one up. Then, during the Super Bowl after only a few beers and two bowls of Doritos, I found Wheaten Terrier puppies in Plymouth, MI. That’s only two hours from me!
Like a crazy person, I texted the breeder at 10 pm. She texted back right away, we exchanged some pictures and information, and I made tentative plans to just visit and look on Monday morning. At 11 pm I was in the car on the way to Meijer to buy chew toys, a dog bed, a crate, treats, a collar, leashes, training pads, and waste bags. I thought the Falcons had the game under control (wrong), Lady Gaga had already jumped off the roof (crazy), and I just couldn’t wait. I knew I was bringing him home with me the next day.
When I met the breeder, there were three adorable puppies there. I wanted a boy, and she brought up two boys and a girl just to show me who was there. The second boy was adorable, but about two weeks younger than the little guy I decided to take home. I felt like it made more sense for him to get a bit more time with his mama to grow and learn before someone took him home. Lucky for me, I picked up Chandler.
Looking forward to sharing more about our first month together in an upcoming post! Also, if you read this far then special treat for you: I’ve been keeping up a separate Instagram for Chandler’s adventures. Check it out here.