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My Journey to Lola

1330 Views 2 Replies 2 Participants Last post by  Besoeker
This is kind of a story about both me and my dog. It's a story of heartbreak and lessons learned. A story about how sometimes things happen for a reason. Just a warning, this story is going to be long, but it does have a happy ending. :)

Recently my senior Jack Russell Terrier, Mina, turned 15. I had been noticing some gradual changes with her, but it wasn't until most recently that she just... stopped wanting to spend time with me. We've always been super close. She's my little shadow. Follows me everywhere. When I leave, she always waits for me to come home. When I go away on a trip, she always wants to come with me (which I did take her plenty of times). But lately, it's just like... our bond has been broken. She recently lost some of her hearing (not all, thankfully), so I do know that's part of it. But the only time she'll actually come to me is if I have food. She'll look at me when I call her and then stubbornly look away, like nope, not gonna do it. It's left me feeling really lonely. Suddenly, my dog that's been my CHILD wants nothing to do with me. I try to be patient with her, she's old, and I know that's a big part of it. I know she probably hurts more than she used to, and the loss of hearing has to frustrating. But that doesn't mean it doesn't hurt, you know?

So because of all of this, I decided it was time for me to open my heart up to a new dog. I've always been wary of that because I look at Mina like my child and I never ever want her to feel replaced. But now she's so old, that she just doesn't care about things like she used to. I figured she's not going to feel jealous over a new dog. Maybe she won't even care at all. And as for me, I can let her have the space she wants, but have a new dog to give me the attention I miss getting from her. It just finally seemed like the right time. My biggest hope was to find a dog that would get along well with her and maybe she would bond with, but I knew that was asking a lot of my stubborn Terrier baby.

I started looking for the 'perfect' dog. I wanted a breed that got along well with other dogs. I wanted one that was known for being smart and easy to train. And most importantly I wanted one that wasn't going to be super hyper, because Mina is old and obviously that wouldn't be good for her. My perfect dog was one that would get along well with Mina without stressing her out too much. I looked over a lot of breeds, and kind of got my heart set on a Cocker Spaniel. I used to have one a long time ago, and she was, well, she was my baby before Mina came along. She was so smart and sweet and I loved her dearly. So I was hoping to find another dog kind of like her.

I wasn't dead set on a Cocker, though. I kept my options open. I wouldn't have minded having a Golden Retriever or a Rough Coated Collie. I preferred smaller dogs but after looking over the small dog breeds, none of them fit what I was looking for. These three breeds were exactly what I wanted.

I started with looking online, and then I took to looking at shelters. I really wanted a shelter dog, but after looking every week, I was getting discouraged. In all honesty, I was being too picky. I can see that now. But at the time, I just really wanted to make the RIGHT decision. I didn't want to go to the shelter, grab a dog and bring it home without a second thought. I wanted to take the time to find the dog that I KNEW would be right for me.

I started getting impatient the longer I looked and found nothing. I put an ad on Craigslist, saying what I wanted, and soon ended up taking it down after someone tried to scam me. I found a beautiful Golden Retriever/Collie mix, that I just fell in love with her pictures, but it was on Craigslist, so someone snatched her up and then tried to flip her. I felt so bad for the dog, but I couldn't bring myself to give the flipper money after what she did, so I kept searching.

After I stopped looking at Craigslist, I went to Facebook. I put up an ad there too, and I got some hits, but none of the dogs the people offered me was what I was looking for. I felt so frustrated that I wasn't finding anything. I wanted a new dog SO BAD but yet nothing seemed to work out!

Then it finally happened. Shortly after that person tried to scam me, I found a litter of Cocker Spaniel babies. They had a black female, which was exactly what I was looking for! But... they were a lot more than I wanted to pay. By this point, I was so impatient that I said, you know what, I'll just do it. I'll contact the breeder, and if they have the black female still avaliable, I'll pay the money. I just want that perfect dog!

So I contacted her, and the black female was in fact still avaliable. We talked a little on the phone, and she told me the pups weren't registered because AKC will only let you register one litter a year, and these pups were an accident. I didn't care much because I didn't plan to show her or anything, but that struck me as odd... I ended up googling it, and I could find no evidence of this being true, which told me the breeder was lying.

That was when I should have just said, you know what? No way. She lied to me about that, so she could easily be lying to me about something else. I hate liars. So I should have just decided not to get the pup. But as I said, I was feeling so impatient. I was fed up with searching and finding nothing. And it was just one little lie. I didn't want the pup to show either, so did it really matter if she had papers? Looking back, I want to just slap myself in the face and say what the heck are you doing?! But... I did it. I ended up driving around 3 hours to Indiana to get the puppy.

When we got there, I could tell this family was just... to put to frankly, trash. My suspicions had been right but the baby puppy was SOOOO cute! I instantly fell in love with her. I paid the lady the money and took her home. My mom went with me, and she said she felt like the puppies were too young. She was honestly a day away from being 6 weeks old when I brought her home. I hadn't had a young puppy since my Cocker Spaniel and we had found her on the side of the road. I didn't know that it was illegal in the state of Indiana to sell pups that young. Back then, selling them at 6 weeks was normal. I mean, this was like the 90s. It was a long time ago. So I didn't know. At least not until I got home and googled it, but by the time, I already had the baby home and I wasn't going to drive 3 hours to take her back. I figured if she had any social quirks, I could just work on them with her. A lot people got pups at 6 weeks and they were fine. I wish I could say that was the case with Milly, but sadly, it wasn't.

I named her Milly because I thought that was an adorable name for a Cocker Spaniel baby. She was the cutest and sweetest little angel. Mina was scared of her when I brought her home, which made me sad, but... I figured she'd come around eventually. And I didn't plan on letting Milly harass Mina or anything like that. I planned on keeping a close eye on her and training her to leave Mina alone.

It was a fun experience getting to see Milly learn about all the new things in the world for the first time! The other two dogs in the house seemed to like her too. Everything was great. It was tiring taking her out a million times a day to teach her house training, but I was willing to do it. And she only had accidents at night when she was crated for hours. All and all, I fell instantly in love with her, and I was looking so forward to watching her grow into a wonderful dog. Sadly, that didn't happen.

(continued next post)
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I had her for a total of four days when she just became ill, out of no where. She was fine the morning I got up. Being her usual little cute self, and then the next thing I know, she's throwing up. It was just a little at first, so I wasn't too worried. I put her in a box so I could clean her crate up, but then when I went to get her out, it was worse. She had thrown up A LOT, and she also had diarrhea. I knew something was terribly wrong. So me and my mom rushed her to the vet as quickly as we could. It was Saturday. OF COURSE it was Saturday. So we had to get an emergency vet on call. I wish I could say that I got her there and she survived, but I could tell she was dying even before we got out the door with her. On the drive, she got weaker and weaker. She eventually started what looked like gasping for air. When we got her to the vet, she checked for a heartbeat, but there was none. She was still gasping, though, and the vet that was just a reflex. She was gone. I was completely heartbroken.

I cried for the rest of the day as we took her home and buried her. The vet didn't know what happened. She checked her for Parvo and thank God, she didn't have it. She was supposedly up to date on her shots and wormed. All the vet could guess was she ate something toxic, but I watched that puppy like a hawk. I never let her outside without being watched, I never let her free in the house without being watched. I honestly don't know what happened and I probably never will.

I spent a lot of time blaming myself, regardless of everyone telling me it wasn't my fault. I felt so stupid from buying from that breeder when I knew it was a bad idea. I wasn't even going to ask the breeder for my money back because I assumed they wouldn't give it, but eventually I just felt like it HAD to be the breeder's fault. They sold me a puppy much too young, illegally, and it just had to be her to blame. So I told her, and she assured me out of all the pups she had sold, they had all been healthy. Like I assumed, the moment I asked for my money back after only having the pup for four days, she completely broke all contact with me. I've since then sent her a letter with all the evidence I have against her selling me an underage pup, but she's completely ignored it. The money is gone, and you know what? I only have myself to blame. I knew better. I did. I should have listened to myself instead of ignoring all of the warning signs.

It was only a few days after I lost Milly. Not even a full week yet, I don't think, that I saw this dog pop up on my Facebook. It was a group of dogs, actually. Urgent ones at my local shelter. There was only one female. She was black and white like Milly. They had dubbed her Angie.

I saw her pop up the night before went to bed, and I was like, no, I don't want another dog after what happened to Milly. Milly dying was a sign, and I should just give up the search. But then she popped up again the next morning. My friend had shared the group. I looked at her picture for a while, and I was just thinking about how this dog was in need. If someone didn't adopt her, she was going to die. So I decided I would just call and ask about her. If she didn't sound like a good fit for me and Mina, then that would be it.

Well I called, and the shelter staff didn't know too much about her. They told me she was high energy, which was NOT what I wanted, but they also said I could just come in and meet her. So that's what I did. I went in and asked about her. They let me take her out of her kennel and into a fenced in yard. She didn't seem overly interested in me, but she didn't seem wild and crazy either. She actually seemed really calm and good natured, not high energy like they claimed. After talking with the staff and seeing her for myself, well... I couldn't leave her to possibly be killed. I adopted her. I left her there so that she could be spayed and picked her up the next day.

You know that perfect dog that I was looking for all this time? I finally found her. I renamed her Lola, and this dog has been... almost perfect since day one. She's so calm and laid back. She's barely showed any signs of aggression towards the other dogs. She was curious about them when we first brought her home, but it's been over a month now, and she's fitting in nicely. She did nip at Mina once when we were training, but it was more of a hey, I don't like what you're doing nip, and not an aggressive, I want to eat you nip. Mina was kind of getting in the way of her treats at the time, so I think she just got frustrated with that. I had been warned by the shelter that she was food aggressive, but I've not seen any signs of that at all. I don't let the dogs eat near each other, but she's never once growled or anything while she's eating. I swear, this dog is perfect.

The only real problem I've had with her was teaching her to go out to pee without me. For a while she would just hold it. Seriously hold it all day! But eventually, I guess she realized I wasn't going to leave her outside, and by now, she's doing great going out by herself.

Lola is so smart and intelligent. She can learn tricks in a snap! I have literally NO IDEA why she was being overlooked at the shelter. All I can guess is because she's a Pit mix. She looks a lot like a Pit Bull. But I like to call her a Lab in a Pit disguise, because her personality, to me, is definitely more Lab-like than Pit. Either way, she has been such a joy and light in the darkness of losing Milly. She's really helped me move on, and also given me the attention I was hoping to find with a new dog.

If you've actually read all of this, then I congratulate you! I knew it was going to be long. I just wanted to share it. I'm a firm believer that things happen for a reason. Had I not made the stupid decision to buy from a bad breeder, I probably wouldn't have ended up with Lola. Honestly, I think she was at the shelter when I looked all those times (she had been in there for almost a month) and like so many others, I overlooked her because she wasn't the perfect breed of dog I was looking for. In a way, I guess I'm thankful for everything that happened, because it helped me to find her. But you know, my lesson was DEFINITELY learned. NO MORE BUYING FROM BREEDERS! It's shelter dogs only for me from now on.
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I read a lot of fposts on here, yours included, that hugely sadden me. Some of the probblems that get aired are dreadful. Your loss, the bad house training from others, nipping, biting,'s all there.

We maybe just gut lucky with our rescued collie. He is a big chap at about 80 pounds and over five feet long excluding his magnificent tail. He is now a little over two rears old. But mature for his age.

And very gentle with children.

I hope you can get a dog like him.
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