Phoebe is our four year old Eskipoo. She just celebrated her fourth birthday (yes, we are THOSE yuppies that buy birthday cakes for their dogs) so I thought I would share a little bit about life with Phoebe.
We bought Phoebe from a pet store in the mall in Columbia, MD. I know, I know, pet stores are the most horrible place to purchase a dog, but we just could not resist. I had just taken my CFP exam and we had decided to celebrate by having a nice quiet evening out at the movie theater. Being as we were in the middle of Columbia on a Saturday evening we should have known better. The movie was sold out. So we decided to go play with the puppies in the pet store. Yeah, we did this often...we like puppies! Little did my wife know, but I was already planning on getting her a puppy for Christmas. So we found a dog similar to one she had been wanting (she wanted a Cockapoo)...and took her to one of the little stalls to play with her for a while. We both fell in love with this tiny little black furball.
While playing with her, she started to twitch and jump backwards. We thought, oh how cute, she's 'special'. At the time she weighed four pounds and easily fit in my palm. We sat in there for an hour discussing the pros and cons of adding a new puppy to our mix. My dog, Billy, was getting old and grumpy. He hated playing with other dogs...so naturally we thought that getting a puppy would help.
My wife is an engineer, so it took some time for her to realize she wanted to commit to taking this little mutt home with us...luckily I can be quite the convincer : ) The poor puppy was scared to death on the car ride home. Billy wanted nothing to do with her for the first few weeks, but eventually she grew on him.
That's when we made the horrifying discovery. Puppies from pet stores cannot be crate trained. They've been pooing in their crates for some time. For months, we would come home from work (at lunchtime too) to her having rolled around in pee or poo. It was DISGUSTING. One on of her trips to the vet, the vet asked us how often we bathed her because she had developed a small cause of dandruff. We calmly explained how when you come home from work and your puppy is covered in its own feces...you know the body parts she couldn't reach to eat it...you tend to want to bath the little bugger. This continued...for months. Then she decided that the snow wasn't fun and really to suite her well for taking care of her business. Many times that winter, I would stand outside in pjs begging the dog to poop. She would sass me (see this post for more on that), come back inside, stare at me and piss on the floor. SO COMPLETELY NERVE RACKING!!
Eventually she grew out of all these fun little poo tricks of hers. So now she's four. Finally out of the puppy stage. Yeah, four and no longer a puppy...it has taken that long. Sure, we had thoughts of giving her back, taking her to some sort of doggie military school, or leaving her in the backyard until one of the neighbors shoots her for barking nonstop until she's allowed back in the house. But she's finally the dog we always wanted (note: Billy is the perfect dog, so we had high expectations from the start). She'll listen to us (for the most part), loves to cuddle with us (on her terms), and is fiercely loyal to us. Best of all, she has got so much personality it amazes us each day. It's been a long four years!