On July 20th, 2018 Ozzy entered our world and made our already wonderful lives significantly better. After dog-sitting for a friend one Sunday afternoon, we realized that we were more than ready to take on the responsibility of raising a puppy, and began eagerly searching for our future family member. In a stroke of fate, we came to find out that the puppy we looked after that day had a brother in need of rescue. He had been adopted by a woman in Reno who, for one reason or another, didn’t feel she was a good fit for the little guy and decided she was ready to part with him. Although it did seem like the perfect opportunity for us, we ultimately decided to do the responsible thing and sleep on it before making such a life altering decision. It’s beginning to scare me how much we are becoming responsible adults (writer pauses and stares longingly over his computer screen at some invisible “portal to the past”, but quickly realizes that this is best saved for another post, and decides to continue his story).
The next morning I was awoken to my wife with a look in her eye that I could only compare to an excited puppy, and I swear that if she had a tail, it would have been wagging her off of her feet. She was not only ready to get the dog, but she was really fired up on the idea. Once I sat up in bed and gathered my thoughts, I re-confirmed with myself what I already knew… that I was ready to get a dog as soon as possible. With both of us on board, I immediately sprung in to action. I contacted the owner, booked a flight to Reno (where the puppy was located) for the following night, followed by a rental car and a hotel. Flash-forward 36 hours and there I am in Reno, waking up in a Motel 6 and then driving my way to an address about 15 minutes down the road.
When I arrived, I was greeted by a sweet middle age lady, a barking mini-chocolate labrador retriever named Cranberry, and hiding in the furthest corner or his kennel, a mini-golden retriever pup with a name tag reading “Alfalfa”… soon to be our sweet little Ozzy (my wife and I agreed immediately that he would be getting a name change). I slowly approached the trembling puppy and as I reached out my hand, he began gently urinating all over himself and his kennel. This will be quite a learning process I thought to myself as his then-owner began talking me through her life with him thus far. She then walked him outside where he ran to the nearest outdoor lounge chair and hid underneath with his eyes affixed to the stranger in his home.
After signing papers and some goodbyes, my rented Nissan Rogue was making its long journey back home to Hermosa Beach with a puppy hiding in his kennel, atop folded down seats. Every time I would look in the rearview mirror my heart would break as I saw the eyes of pure sadness and fear. It was as though the pup was on his way to meet his maker, and his last act on earth was peeing on the floor. I kept looking back at him and smiling as if for some reason, he would in turn smile back at me. Instead he just looked up at me with his little puppy head pointing down at his little puppy paws, while his little puppy body was curled up in a tight little puppy coil. When I stopped for gas, I attempted to get him out to relieve himself, but I quickly realized that he was not getting out of his kennel without a fight, so I thought it best to just plow through the rest of the drive. It would be a total of 8 hours without relief.
After returning the rental car and transferring him to my wife’s car, we eventually made it back home where we carried his kennel with him inside to our fenced patio. When I opened it up, I had to pull the terrified little guy out and as soon as he hit the concrete he sprinted out of his kennel and began pissing and shitting as he ran for his short life. Within seconds, he tried to jump through a trash can barricade I had set up and got himself lodged between the trashcan and the stucco of the house with his front paws out like a little puppy superman. I simultaneously sprang into action and ran around the opposite side of the house in an attempt to stop him from going into the street, and thinking to myself what my future psyche would be like if I killed a puppy within seconds of getting him home. Lucky for me, my make-shift barricade stopped him and I was able to carry this “still-shitting” dog back around to a safe zone. I quickly noticed that I had broken a sandal strap amidst the chaos. After taking a moment for everyone to calm down, we then decided to give the feces-covered pup a bath before we proceeded with anything, and to our surprise, he completely calmed down. We were able to sit with him for hours on the patio as he began to acclimate to his new life.
He spent the next few days hiding out under our coffee table, but now after five days with us, he is already become a comfortable member of the family who enjoys walks, playing with other dogs, and of course the best spot on the couch. We love him to death, and can’t wait for many years of great times with our Ozzy!