ďDogs are not our whole life, but they make our lives whole,Ē said Roger Caras. I wholeheartedly agree with that statement. My Family has owned dogs my entire life. When my husband and I moved in together, his labrador retriever mix, Sui, came to live with us as well. I have always known the comforting sound of paws, wagging tails and happy panting.
I grew up with golden retrievers, and all were very Family-friendly, loving dogs. My Family dog, Ginger, still greets visitors to my momís house with a curious sniff at age 13. She is the sweetest girl and enjoys nothing more than a long car ride with her head out of the window.
My husband Spencer grew up with a Weimaraner, which is a type of dog from Germany that was bred to hunt large game, such as boar and bear. Unlike most hunting dogs, Weimaraners were bred to stay inside with their owners, so they want to spend every second as close to you as possible.
When we first started dating, my husband would tell me about the Weimaraner he grew up with and how he wanted to get another when he settled down. Fast forward five years, a marriage, a move to Fayetteville, and we are now the loving parents of a wild Weimaraner we named Keegan.
I believe strongly in adopting animals, but we could not find a Weimaraner puppy up for adoption after searching for months, so we compromised. I told Spencer that we could purchase a dog if he would agree to adopt one down the road when the puppy was a little older, and he agreed.
We brought Keegan home on Aug. 12, and our life hasnít been the same since. People always say that having a puppy is excellent preparation for having a baby and boy is that the truth. From nighttime bathroom wake-up calls and potty training to cuddling, I began to understand a small portion of what new parents go through in the first few months of having a newborn.
Weimaraners are very high-energy dogs and Keegan is no exception. She requires multiple walks or visits to the dog park a day to release her energy. Eventually, she will be able to run a few miles with us, but can only go short distances while she is still growing.
Like humans, dogs learn most quickly when they are young, so we started training Keegan as soon as we brought her home. Her parents were around 90 pounds each, so we wanted to make sure she was well-trained to not jump and stay before she got close to that size. So far, she has mastered sit, stay, down, paw, and come, but she is also stubborn and sometimes chooses when to listen and when to ignore (typical teenager).
Keegan enjoys eating pretty much anything, including socks, wood and tennis balls. The first few times she ate parts of our socks or other items, I freaked out. We have since learned to keep these objects hidden away when we arenít looking, but sometimes her nose is too good for our hiding spots. You live and you learn ó just like with children.
My favorite part of every day is opening the door to our bedroom and seeing Keeganís whole body wagging in excitement. There is nothing like coming home to someone who loves you so unconditionally like that. When my husband and I hug, she will stand up and hug us as well. Keegan is truly one of a kind and we feel so lucky to have her in our lives.