Today marks the 265th day since Hendrix entered my home. Today I thought I would share the story of how I got him, and why I think he is the best dog I have ever had.
I didn't know what I wanted, exactly. I went between wanting a smooth collie to wanting a labrador to wanting a standard poodle to wanting a mutt from the pound. I eventually settled on a poodle and contacted almost every breeder around. All of them were out of my price range by a long shot and I was miserable.
One lady had a black girl for sale who looked perfect, but the dog was $2200 and I just had to say no. I wished the woman luck very politely and didn't expect to hear from her again. Imagine my surprise when she emailed me back two days later, telling me about a friend of her's who had a miniature for sale for really cheap.
I didn't want a miniature. I didn't want a boy. I didn't want an apricot. But home came Hendrix for $1000 instead of the usual $2000. He was blind in one eye and for that reason, half price. I was sold. I couldn't resist his little face with the one beady eye and the kind expression.
Little did I know, the dog was A DEMON. We went and picked him up, where the dog was struggling against the leash, knawing at it and growling fearlessly. But when he saw us, he stopped. His tail wagged wildly and he ran over, licking every body part he could reach and running in circles with some kind of crazed excitement. I put on his absolutely tiny black collar and leash and we lead him out.
He was put in a crate on the back seat and I sat beside him. Of course, I very quickly cracked and let him out onto my lap like the bad person I am. He was adorable and - VERY - friendly. He chewed a pig's ear and threw his head backwards so it lay flat along his spine. I started to wonder how much puppy this would be to deal with.
I spent the next three nights fitfully. The first night, I spent FIVE HOURS trying to get out of the bathroom. I couldn't leave him crying like they tell you to, because the dog next door would respond to his howls and people were complaining. It was 3am at that point, so I don't blame them. I ended up sleeping in there the first night. The second night, I only had to spend two hours getting out of the room. I would sit near the door and when he fell asleep, I'd very slowly crack the door and creep out an inch at a time. If he woke up, I had to go back in and tell him I was still there.
It may sound silly, but the third night was much easier and since then I have never, ever had trouble with leaving Hendrix anywhere. He stayed in the bathroom for the first month, at which point he was moved to a crate in my bedroom.
At first, we had a lot of trouble with house training. In fact, Hendrix still had accidents for about five months because he was so unpredictable. His bladder was like the size of a pea, or something. We would watch him piddle outside, bring him in, and he would almost instantly do it again. I hated leaving him outside and he hated being on a leash inside.
I started taking Hendrix to school after that five months (I go to a school for those who are disconnected from school and I previously took in my other dog in. I have anxiety and they are allowed to come in to help with that). I had already trained him to do around 20 tricks and everybody was amazed my his happy-go-lucky nature. He loved everyone he met, dog or human.
Hendrix is perfect for school. I mean, at first he was a nightmare, but he is just great for it now. He lays down the whole time and a special couch was put in so I could have him on my lap instead of on the floor. I bring in his daily dental chew and he eats that. He loves everyone, and I think that is both his redeeming quality and his worst trait at the same time.
It has been nine months and Hendrix knows 50 tricks. He has become everything to me. I could tell you a million stupid stories about Hendrix. Like the time I left him in the car and he PUT THE WINDOW DOWN, JUMPED OUT, and nearly got ran over. Or the time I left him in my bedroom for five minutes, and came back to find he had somehow found an old packet of Fantails (chocolates) and eaten every single one, but had also SOMEHOW managed to get every wrapper off every chocolate without tearing one of them and didn't get sick at all. Or the thousands of times he has gone through the CLEAN laundry, pulled out every pair of underwear, and proceeded to rip up every one. Or just today, when Hendrix popped a balloon for the first time, he didn't even flinch, just stared at the place where it was a second ago.
I could tell you of the incredible joy I feel when a trick finally clicks in his head, or the pride I feel when he flawlessly performs a trick in front of someone, or the intense determination to train after he runs off on me, or does something naughty.
He isn't perfect. He still jumps on people and he still licks every body part (especially ankles), wall, floor, burning hot heater, piece of fluff, table, chair, and book corner he can find. I still sometimes come home and see that he has ripped the tissues into a million tiny pieces, and sometimes he still bolts on me. He stills sometimes sees a person and races at full speed into their legs, crashing to the ground in a pile of total joy, but I don't care.
I can only see how beautiful his blind eye is, how much I love his face when it's freshly shaven, how much I secretly love it when he pushes his nose into me. How smart he is, how playful he is, how goofy he is, how sweet he is, how he never, ever, lets me down when I need him. How even though I am nervous when I clip his nails, he never moves an inch. He will sit through a blow drier, an electric clipper, rough brushing, medicine squirted into his mouth (he actually likes this, the freak), teeth brushing, ear plucking, grooming in areas he probably doesn't want anybody to go anywhere near, ANYTHING I DO TO HIM. Also, how MASSIVE AND WHITE HIS TEETH ARE!!! He is Hendrix and he is my perfect, perfect dog.
I am planning on posting more pictures of him later. Attached is of Hendrix with his head along his spine, in the crate on the way home.