Odo! The newest member of our little family was but a twinkle in our eye until this past Tuesday when Henry, my little brother, and I drove all the way out to Woodsfield, Ohio to pick up the little guy (Julia had to stay home and go to work).
We have been planning on getting a dog for quite some time now, and now that we're moving to a larger space in a more rural area we decided that it was the right time to make the leap, and we couldn't be happier with our decision... and neither could Odo.
|Odo loves hanging out, and is always up for anything.|
Over the past few months we've spent many nights doing research about breeds, sizes, and countless searches on petfinder. We finally decided on an American Eskimo after weeks of debating the pros and cons of different breeds. "Eskies" are great companion dogs with lots of style, intelligence, and loving qualities.
Contrary to what the name would lead you to believe, American Eskimos are neither American nor related to Eskimos; they are actually descended from the German Spitz. They were originally brought to the United States as circus animals. You can see some Eskies on the second and third row up in this vintage photo of circus dogs. Because of this they have been bred to be very smart and they love to play and do tricks.
|He's still getting used to his collar... he says it's a bit itchy.|
We found a breeder in Washington who had puppies for $800 + up to $375 in shipping, but we really didn't want to pay that much for a dog. I mean come on... we don't buy anything at market price. :)
We finally found a shelter in Ohio that had not one, not two, but three male American Eskimo puppies! I spoke to the shelter, filled out an application, and as soon as I was approved I was planning my trip out to OH. It took me over 24 hours of driving in total, but I returned with the perfect fluffy friend. Totally worth the drive.
|That's Charlie on the left; he is my brother's dog.|
Julia never considered herself to be a "dog person" because she only had cats while growing up, but after living with my parents and I in a house with two dogs she began to warm up to the idea of getting a puppy.
|It's fun to bribe puppy with treats!|
... And as you can probably tell from the photos, she is pretty happy about the new situation as well.
We've been spending lots of time at my parents house (and in their huge backyard) so Odo can socialize with the other animals and run around outside of the hustle and bustle of Salem streets. This also gives Bella, our kitty, time to relax as the queen of the apartment for a little bit longer, but she seems to be warming up to the puppy a bit more every time we bring him by.
|Julia, as Snow White.|
Vicious (Vish or Vischy for short), my kitty from high school used to be quite skittish, but is now a big love; she and Charlie the dog came down to visit us and the puppy in the backyard.
Odo went to sniff her behind, and she gave him a good swat on the nose... He quickly learned that she is the queen of the yard. The chickens on the other hand are way too much fun to chase. We're working on it...
Julia and I are beginning our unending task of training our furry friend, but it seems to be going quite well. He's good at "sit" and "come" already, and we'll be moving on to bigger and better things soon.
But in the meantime we'll be hanging out and having lots of fun!
Odo totally ripped this pose off of Snoopy.
This is easily one of his favorite new toys... a piece of rope tied in random knots. Hooray for the easy amusement of puppies.
All in all I think this is the beginning of a beautiful relationship.