The first dog I loved was a foxy cross named Judy. We got her when we first moved from England to New Zealand. Dad had told us we would have a dog and I was so excited. However, for some reason I was frightened of her and wouldn't put my legs down at the table at tea time in case she bit me! She was extremely frightened of us - at 9 months old we weren't sure what sort of life she'd been through, but she became the love of my life. I didn't think another dog could ever be so wonderful, and I overlooked all her many faults.
Next up was my own dog - my baby. I was 19 years old and ready to be a Mummy. She was a tiny little 6 week old Australian Silky Terrier. I now realise that 6 weeks is two weeks too early to leave a litter, but I didn't know that then, so I didn't question the breeder.
She was a darling and a poppet, and I spoiled her awfully so she had problems!
I loved Silkies so much that when our 2nd boy was 4 years old we got a second Silky. She was extremely dominant, and developed a grass allergy which became a huge problem when we moved out into the country. 2.5 acres of grass didn't suit her at all. She would be fine until we cut the grass, or some specific type of grass started to grow then her tummy would become inflamed it was time for another trip to the vet.
During this time our old Silky hurt her back, not for the first time, and we made the decision to put her down. She is buried here on our property.
My 2nd son had been praying for a dog of his own and everything worked for good and along came a darling darling little short-legged Jack Russell Terrier that the boys named Judi, in honour of my first dog - spelling changed to prevent confusion. :o)
Well, we ended up having to make a decision on what to do with our Silky because of her grass allergy and also the two dogs had started fighting which was putting us all on edge. So the Silky went to a new home.
We were a one-dog family for a couple of years there - we had enough to be going on with learning about cows, goats, chickens, sheep, the problems with building bad fences ...
But about a year ago I started to research dogs again. What sort would we get IF we got another dog? I thought that it could be my daughter's dog so that she could do the cleaning up and feeding etc, and have something to Mother and love. With that in mind I narrowed down my choices of breeds.
Then one day I was browsing through the puppies on Trademe - only the ones available in our area as we told ourselves we wouldn't buy a puppy who needed airfreighting (after a bad experience with our second Silky). And there right in front of me was Bobby.
He was ten weeks old, and his price had been reduced because his breeders needed to sell his sister and him before they got any older.
I had never considered a Pomeranian, but I heard that spitz dogs were good for a family. Actually the person who told me that said "Perhaps not the Pomeranian as they are very small" at the time she was eyeing my little boys who were charging around the room.
I rang the number and tentatively asked the breeder whereabouts they were - when he told me I just about jumped for joy. They were 15 minutes away from us!
When we went to visit Bobby, to see if he would be suitable, the breeder came rushing outside to tie up his big dog. He was carrying a tiny little orange ball of fluff. He pushed it in the car window onto my lap.
"Hold this," he said "I'll just tie the big dog up."
The children all craned their necks over my seat and we stared at this tiny little quiet bundle with the beautiful eyes.
Our decision was made.
And we have no regrets.
Who would have known that this little puppy could bring so much joy! He's a perfect little poppet.