Monday, February 13, 2023

He’s neither a special breed nor gorgeous, and mostly, still is a clumsy fellow. Why he’s remarkable is his easy-to-read face, with expressions clearly quizzical or humorous, and always friendly. In a couple of weeks, he’ll be one year old.

I adopted Chase on the spur of the moment while working at a feed store. A rescuer from Warm Springs brought him into the store. He was eight weeks old, very quiet, and barely bigger than her hand. Right away, I was on it. She said he’d grow into a tiny dog because she’d seen both parents. So I bit, and Chase came home with me that afternoon.

After eating and sleeping, he became very active, and I guessed that rescuer might have exhausted him. Warm Springs is about fifty miles away; maybe she had been dragging him around for hours. Well, at last he had a real home and would grow into a cute little boy.

Within a week or so, my neighbor, Julia, strolled past with her sweet Lexie, a doodle-type dog. To my surprise, Chase immediately charged at full speed after Lexie, wanting to play, refusing to give up, and barely reaching Lexie’s hocks. She tried avoiding the puppy, but he was unstoppable until I could leash him. Afterward, I began wondering how Chase’s temperament might develop. After all, he’d transitioned from super-quiet at first glance to a courageous and seemingly fearless little package.

Chase started growing without slowing until he reached the size of my fifty-pound hound, Ranger. A visit to the veterinarian confirmed Chase’s weight as fifty pounds. We decided that primarily he’s a Rottweiler-Shepherd mix and also has other genes.

Like his rapidly increasing size and weight, his early puppy energy with Lexie was no one-off. While growing up, he’s always been very busy, is a speed runner, and leaps higher than I want to see. He could clear the fencing with only slightly more effort.

Dear Friends: A quick summary of my first year with this fun and challenging mutt puppy. Diana

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