Angels have four paws

I love dogs. As simple as that. I love them, I’m obsessed with them, I cannot live without them. My dad is also a dog lover and I have to thank him for passing on this passion to me too. My first dog was called Bob. He was a mutt and came home when I was just 2 or 3 years old. Bob changed my life! He showed me that we are never alone when we have a dog and that he would do anything to protect me.

When I was misbehaving and my mom wanted to smack me, I would run to Bob so he would stand in front of me and not let my mom touch me! He was my hero. Bob always knew when it was time for me to come back from school and how nice it was to see him waiting for me at the gate at 12pm. He would walk with me to the front door and lay down at the entrance because he knew he wasn’t allowed to go inside the house.

Bob lived with us for 12 years and sadly we had to put him down. I still remember how hard it was to say good-bye to my first dog. After Bob we had a brown dachshund called Xule, which means smelly feet in Portuguese. Xule was picked by me and I chose him since he was the only puppy of the litter to come to me when I entered the room. We named him “smelly feet” because he used to like to sleep inside of my dad’s runners or lie on our feet. Xule was barky but a very companion dog. He stayed with us for 11 years when once again, we had to put another dog down. You would think I would be able to cope with the pain right? It was as hard as with Bob. Specially because I was no longer living at my parents house so I couldn’t say a proper good-bye.

Xule had another 2 brothers during his 11 years of life: Toy and Preto. Toy was a black dachshund and Preto was a mutt. I didn’t pick Toy but I was the one collecting him once he was ready to go to his permanent home. Such a tinny puppy who almost died in his first night! We let him in a room outside of the house and he got his head stuck in one of the things we used to block the way. Toy was very independent and would only ask for love when he wanted to. He was the one who stayed with us the longer, 14 years.

Preto (black in Portuguese) was giving to us by a man who knew my dad. He was around 4 or 5 months and it was in a horrible state. He was beaten up as a puppy by people and grew up with older dogs who bullied him all the time. When he arrived to our home his face was swollen, he was very skinny and terrified of everything. I was the first to say “let’s keep him!”. My dad was a bit nervous since we already had Xule and Toy and my mom is not a fan of dogs. We all voted yes and Preto stayed.

It was so nice to see that frightened and hurt dog become into a beautiful dog! We could never rehabilitate his traumas though. He was scared of everything and anything: the wind, a noise, a shadow, a broom, a raising hand… But despite all that he was such a big teddy bear. Preto was 10 years old when we discovered a tumor in his leg. Sadly, we had to put him down since he would most likely not survive the surgery due to his age. I cried like a baby when my dad called me to give the bad news. Preto and Xule were put down at the same day.

When I moved away from home to go to colleague in the South of Brazil, I had to live without a dog. It was so strange not having that little furry thing running around, cheering me up. That’s when the obsession of having my own dog started. It took me years until I had my very first one. I would never imagine my first dog would be Irish!

After 2 years in a relationship with G we decided to have a dog. We talked about it for a year and when we knew we were ready, we made the first move. I searched about dog breeds to make sure we would have a dog with a good temperament. Since we were living in an apartment we needed a small to medium dog who preferably, didn’t shed. After reading a lot I found the perfect breed for us: Border Terrier.

I love dogs who look like dogs you know? So when I saw a picture of a Border Terrier I knew, immediately, that that would be my dog! After few months we found a breeder in Norther Ireland and secured a little pup for us. During that time I was getting ready! I bought a book so I could know everything I had to know about raising the perfect puppy. By the time we brought Kaboosh home I was as ready as a turkey on Christmas day!

Kaboosh came home on May 10, 2014. That’s when life changed for better and for good! Even though I always grew up with dogs that was actually the first time I owned one. This one was my responsibility… I thought I was so ready but I was actually scared! Scared because I knew that this time it was not just fun and games, I was actually in charge of training him, minding him, feeding him… basically make sure he would stay alive!

The first two weeks we had to keep him at home since he didn’t have his second vaccination and was not ready yet to go outside. It was the most two intensive weeks of my life!!! That puppy had so much energy! He would run like crazy around the living room non stop. We crate trained him so he was waking up every 3 hours crying to go to the bathroom. Of course I was the one in charge of this! I cannot even tell you how many times he woke up at 3am or 4am full of energy thinking it was play time!

After 2 weeks of no sleep, stress, doubts about having the dog, and not seeing the outside world everything calmed down and I couldn’t be happier. It’s amazing how things have changed since this angel with four paws came into our lives. I can’t even remember how life was before him. It’s weird to say this but it’s true.

Of course sometimes it’s tough. Don’t even let me start talking about hangover days! Hangover and dogs do not go together. Staying home the whole day in pajamas is not an option anymore… You think you can do it, at least once, until you look at that sad/bored face looking as if he was saying “you don’t love me”. It breaks your heart and before you know it you are out the house!

I feel that after this experience, I am actually half way ready to have a baby (in case I ever have one). Ok, I don’t have children and I am sure everything is 100% worse, and also 100% better, but I am sure that dog mothers go through the same kind of responsibilities! In the end of the day, you are the one responsible to keep them alive – every single day!

It’s funny to look back and remember the doubts and fears I had in owning a dog. But I also remember how determined I was to make it happen. I knew I would do whatever it takes to have my own dog and make him the best dog in the world. I have certainly achieved this goal!

I will never regret the day I decided to own a dog because it was one of the best decisions I have ever made! With him I learned that we are all animals because I could kill someone for him. Kaboosh taught me that a bad day ends the moment I see him. He showed us that our relationship could get even stronger and meaningful.

There’s not one dull moment with him and the house is empty and sad if he’s not there. He is my cuddler, my companion, my everything. He is my true and unconditional love!

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