Your heart just melted, right?

Meet Princeton! Isn’t he just the cutest thing?  Yes, this is my surprise!  And a pretty darn good one, too!

To answer a few questions:

He’s about five months old.

We’re not really sure what kind of dog he is–but we’re thinking he’s a Sheltie (Shetland Sheepdog)/German Shepherd cross.

I’ve had him for three days now.

He was given his name by a random name generator, and I liked it so I kept it.  His name also makes him sound like a smart puppy, which he is.

He’s a rescue puppy from a local animal shelter.

Yes, you can see another picture.

Happy now?

As to how I got him…

I’ve always loved animals.  Always.  But I’ve only had one or two pets that were my very own.  Most of our animals are “family pets,” which means that mom and dad get to make all the decisions, and that I can’t take them with me when I go places.  And the pets that were mine were only mine by default–they were around before my siblings were born.

We’ve had a dog for the past five years.  His name is Sugar (bless his heart, he’s gender confused and a total pansy, but I’m not willing to admit it was his name that did it), and he’s a “family dog.”

Mr. Gender Confused, aka "Sugar."

During my freshman year of college, I said I’d take him with me after graduation, and every time my siblings heard me they voiced their disapproval loudly.  Which I guess I can understand.

So I changed my tune.  I started saying I wanted a puppy for graduation.  And my parents said, “if you can get a job to pay for it, then you can have a puppy.” I held on to that dream of graduation puppy-getting for three years.  And then I graduated.  But there was no puppy like I had hoped.

I moved back home, and it took me a long time to get a steady job after graduation, which isn’t uncommon.  But two months ago I managed it.   Secretary work, which doesn’t even require a degree.  But it’s a job, and in this economy…work is work.  (It is important to note that I do love my job.  So very much. Even if it’s not related to my degree.)  And almost immediately I started trying to convince my parents to let me get a puppy.   (Their house, their rules.  Yeah, it sucks sometimes.)

Surprisingly, the convincing was harder than expected.

Even with the four years of conditioning, my parents very nearly refused my graduation wish.  They would have said “no” indefinitely, if not for what happened last week…

It was Friday afternoon, and my sister was googling kittens on the internet.  Oh, come on. You’ve done it.  Kittens are cute.  It’s okay to admit it.

But anyway, she was googling kittens, and I pulled up the animal shelter’s facebook page to show her the cute kittens that you could own for yourself!  Who needs pictures of someone else’s kittens in cups when you can take pictures of your own!

Except she decided she didn’t want a kitten, she wanted to look at the puppies instead.  So we did.  And then I saw one. He was beautiful.  A German Shepherd pup with the cutest face.  We promptly loaded up in the car, yelling “we’re gonna get a puppy!!!” to my mom as we sped out the driveway.

Okay, so maybe we asked first.  And maybe she said to ask my dad before we brought one home.  Maybe.

When we got to the shelter, I found out that the cute puppy we’d come there to see had been adopted five minutes before we got there.  Sadface.  Not to be discouraged, I asked to see the other puppies.  And, eventually, we found him.  He was curled in a ball, shaking, terrified of the shelter and the barking dogs around him.  I held him, he snuggled into my shoulder, and my heart melted.   But he was new to the shelter, and the vet hadn’t made the rounds for the rabies shots yet, and could I come get him on Thursday?

Thursday?  Nearly a whole week away?  Well…okay.  I guess I can wait that long.

And wait I did.  The waiting was made uh…less important in my life by something I’ve yet to write about here–but I will, once that situation resolves itself.

And Thursday did come, in due time.  Princeton sure seems happy to be out of that shelter.  And I’m sure happy to have him with me.  He’s the sweetest puppy–all he wants to do is give you kisses.  He loves everyone.  He listens well, and he learns fast.  I don’t understand how anyone could abandon him beside the road and leave him all alone and defenseless.

Shelter dogs are just as good as dogs you find anywhere else.  They have the same needs, the same problems, and the same ability to love you unconditionally.  They aren’t always broken and vicious, just like purebred dogs aren’t always sweet and loving.  And they need you in a way that the breeder’s dogs don’t.

Unless they’re lucky enough to be in a no-kill shelter, their days are numbered.  The day I picked up Princeton, two puppies about his age were in danger of being put down within a day or two.   I can’t save them all, but I can save one.

If I ever decide to get another dog, I will get one from a shelter.  Because pet store dogs will be sold.  Their lives aren’t usually in any danger.  But shelter dogs’ are.

He really does seem happy to be here.
I guess he hasn't realized how weird we are yet.

I think I made the right decision.  I’m pretty sure he agrees with me, too.


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