Four years ago my oldest son wanted a puppy really bad and he seemed to be more responsible as he got older. Me and my husband gave it careful consideration and then surprised him the weekend after his birthday with a Labrador retriever and golden retriever mix. This particular dog was recused during a hurricane and had a special place in our home upon his arrival. He was given a bath, at least ten times, to wash out all of the mud and grime from the storm.
After a few weeks he finally had a name that settled with us, Shadow. He was definitely our shadow in everything we did and everywhere we went inside and out of our home. Over the years he became a well-mannered dog and member of our family. We gave him everything that a dog could possibly want from a family, love, shelter, and freedom. Of course food and water were necessities so he constantly had that.
Throughout his life shadow as a little ball of fur who loved to play with the kids and run around the back yard. He grew up to be a taller dog, a little bit bigger than what we had initially thought or wanted. He was perfectly fine the way he was and we were happy that we had chosen him. He would sleep in the children’s room on the floor. We thought of it as a way of him protecting them throughout the night while they slept.
Shadow learned to grow up with the kids and in the process he made neighborhood friends with the other dogs too. Unfortunately we had to move and he was uprooted and made to become a house dog. We did not want anything bad coming of him and being in a new location he could easily get lost. Our youngest son around the same time that we had moved, asked if he could get a puppy for his birthday too. We said no originally, but later we changed our mind.
A friend of the family’s had a female husky who had just had six puppies. We were adamant about wanting a male as Shadow was a male and we did not want any puppies. When we finally got the new puppy, he was so energetic that my youngest son could not keep up with him. He frolicked through our back yard like a deer and ran away from anyone trying to slow him down. The first few nights were horrible. He would tear up the trash and in the morning I would have to get up and clean up his mess.
I finally decided that it was time to get his pup a cage. I went online searching for large dog crates for sale to house the active pup until we could train him. I finally found the size that he would fit into with still a little room left over. Many of the crates were built poorly and I needed one that was sturdy enough to withhold a puppy trying to destroy everything it could put out. He was very strong and could potentially break the cage, but we had to do something.
After about three weeks of training him to sleep in the cage, Chance became a great listener and at night he would go straight to his cage and wait for someone to lock the door after he was told to do so. Being that Chance was younger than Shadow, there weren’t any problems aside from Chance being very active and wanting to play even when Shadow did not want anything to do with him. We learned that Chance had a special kind of way to express his feelings, he would jump high into the air and sometimes land scratching the person in front of him.
We are still working on training Chance, but hopefully Shadow will come in handy when the time comes to train him for certain things. Until he is fully trained, he will have to spend his nights in a cage and his day time being supervised. My youngest son is scared of him because of how hyper he is, but we are going to make due and stick it out.