Jagger is an unexpected miracle. I had researched many breeds of dogs, hoping to find just the right one. I admit my requirements were unreasonable and part of their personality would come from training. Living the vagabond lifestyle, especially in a small area and moving often would be a challenge. Starting from a puppy again? Cute, but the work would be daunting, not to mention sleepless. My last companion, a Shetland Sheepdog, lived a full life dying at 16 years old. I missed having a dog and it had been over 7 years since Jinger died. I knew I could never replace her. She was one of a kind.
My list of requirements was impossible (and probably not reasonable):
- Must love children and put up with their accidental hurts.
- Must socialize well, since I move so often and meet new people.
- Must be smart and listen – I need help along the way 😉
- Hopefully, it won’t whine, I would rather sleep 🙂
- Absolutely can’t be a barker – I will be expelled from RV Parks.
- Must be a decent size for hikes.
- Must be a good watchdog, but not aggressive.
I looked at rescues, spoke with many people before deciding to “start from scratch” with a new puppy. After placing a deposit down on an unborn puppy months ago and timing it to happen when I took delivery of my coach in February, it did not materialize. Needless to say, I was somewhat disappointed. After speaking with the breeder that I chose a few weeks ago, she mentioned an opportunity that was of interest to me. A six-month-old Australian Sheppard was looking for a home.
After meeting Jagger, the breeder and I felt he was a match for the task at hand. Several days after that I took my son and granddaughter for a second and third opinions. My son and daughter-in-law had raised several guide dogs in the past and I respected their opinions. Nothing was observed during the visit that may be a major issue, so I made the decision to bring Jagger home to fill the role of my sidekick.
We have been on numerous walks around our camp overlooking the south end of the Lake Pleasant. This past weekend there were many people, RV’s, ATV’s, motorcycles, children, dogs, boats, kites, etc. We sat out in front of the coach in the cool breeze Sunday afternoon and at I actually heard him bark at a guy walking by who was about 50 feet away from our site. I was beginning to wonder if he actually could bark! 🙂 When I told him it was okay he stopped barking. I think this is going to work! He has been with me a few days and settling in fine. Almost zero barking and whining only when it’s time for a walk to relieve himself. A great balance of energy and accepting the leash. His ability to learn is impressive, at least to me.
We will be staying close to camp for the next few days, then on to the RV shop for warranty repairs, before heading north. I think Jagger will work out just fine.
Safe travels until next time…Gary