On December 9th, 2010, my life changed forever.
On that day, a tiny terror of a Tasmanian Devil dachshund puppy fell smack into my life with the force of a category 5 hurricane. That 2.5lb bundle of teeth and energy turned my world upside-down, made my head spin, and challenged everything I thought I knew about dogs.
I was given way more dog than I bargained for, or thought I could handle at the time. Nola is my first dog of my own, though I did grow up with them from birth on. However, a gentle, lazy Mastiff is very different than a scrappy, hyperactive Dachshund. I remember thinking on more than one occasion "how in the hell are you even the same creature as what I'm used to?!".
She made me laugh, and she made me cry. She made me beam with pride, and she made me crazy with confusion. She accepted me, and she challenged me. She frustrated and fascinated me.
Instead of giving in to frustration, I started reading. Blogs, online forums, books, YouTube, any and everything I could get my hands on. Through that, I discovered the wonder of positive reinforcement training. With that and more patience than I thought myself capable of, we formed an amazing bond of trust, respect, and love.
That dog...she gets me. She knows me, and she reads me like a book. I couldn't ask for a better dog, or a dog that fits me better. I may not have gotten the dog I thought I wanted, but I damn sure got the one I needed. She truly is my heart and soul dog, and I wouldn't change her for the world.
She became my baby, my bright spot and much needed distraction during a horrid time in my life, all within the first few minutes of meeting her. She has become my muse, my pride and joy, my best friend and my heart dog over these five intense, amazing, eye opening and incredible years. Heres to many, many more together.
Happy Gotcha Day, Nola!
|December 9th, 2010|
|First trick (aside from the basics of sit, down, stay, come, ect), "Bang!".|
|6 months old|
|Second road trip, 11 months. This is the same park we visited last month!|
|The first Nikon!|
|Our very first review! (Chewy.com, and yes, we've been with them since they've started!)|
|First time off leash in public! St. George Island, January 2011. So, around 13 months old. Here starts our journey of debunking small dog stereotypes!|
|Amping up the "leave it" intensity. 14 months old.|
|Moving day! May 2012.|
|Taking (and passing!) the AKC Canine Good Citizen test, 2 years 1 month old.|
|Down/stay and Leave It around two goats, 2.5 years old.|
|Visiting a nursing home, September 2013|
|3 years old!|
|Qualifying in Rally Novice (and 1st place, too!), March 2014.|
|Pike comes home! April 2014|
|Playing with the 35mm, June 2014|
|Olivia comes home! November, 2014|
|Visiting a state park, February 2015|
|Random, spastic leg jumps, June 2015|
|Counter conditioning to dremeling the nails, September 2015|
|Finding Roxie, October 2015|
|Meeting Roxie, October 2015|
|Visiting Ellijay, GA, November 2015|