Templeton is my faithful pom-chi (probable Pomeranian/long-haired chihuahua mix) adventurer. I’m not sure what his age is, maybe 9 or 10 years old. I adopted him 6 years ago from an animal shelter that rescues highly adoptable animals from kill shelters. I had left my emotionally abusive husband 6 months earlier and was feeling lonely going from 4 cats to one. I discovered I wanted a small lap dog, so I started preparing for adopting my first ever small dog. I bought toys and beds and bowls and researched breeds. I had no intention of buying a purebred. I only adopt rescues as I don’t support breeding animals. I prefer mixed breeds anyway. Their temperaments seem to be easier going.
I perused the pet finder websites and found a sweet little miniature Australian shepherd. I let them know I was interested, and they acknowledged she was having some potty-training issues and they’d get back to me. No word for a month or so, so I called them, and they apologized but they had adopted her out. They had forgotten about me. I was devastated.
I kept poking around the internet looking at little dogs but not much luck. One Saturday I traveled north about 30 miles for a grocery shopping trip at my favorite food co-op. On my way back I decided to stop by the Northwest Organization for Animal Help (NOAH) shelter and wandered through the buildings looking at various small dogs. I went back to the front desk to let them know which ones I would like to meet, and we started with this little Pomeranian-looking dude. We went into his room he shared with another small dog and he immediately jumped onto my lap. They let me take him for a walk around the parking lot and I sat down on a bench. I texted my son “look who my new buddy is.” It was love at first sight.
The staff person then took him over to the fenced-in outdoor cat area to see how he reacted around cats. When one hissed at him he backed off quickly and when one was friendly, he touched noses with it. So, in we went to fill out the paperwork for Templeton’s adoption. His story was that he had been rescued while running down the streets of Olympia- a little 9 pound unneutered, unchipped, uncollared dog.
One of the shelters gave him the name Templeton. I didn’t like it much but after we got home, I realized it fit him well. A three-syllable name for a little dog. He’s been fantastic and frustrating. He came to me with an itchy belly from a small benign tumor being removed. Then he developed an allergy. I’d been crating him while I was at work but the vet put him on steroids so he couldn’t hold it and soiled himself in the crate. The veterinarian wanted me to send him to a specialist because he didn’t believe it was food. (The same vet who Templeton tried to nip. The only person he’s ever nipped). So, I slowly took him off the steroids and changed his diet on my own. His allergy disappeared. We didn’t go back to that vet! Then I bought him a metal “play pen” and put it in the kitchen since I found he likes to pee on carpet and isn’t very potty-trained. We’ve worked on it and it’s better but not great. Then we went to Petco for obedience training and after several months Templeton received his AKC Canine Good Citizenship certificate. The trainer and the other participant were astounded at the change in him. And I discovered that dog training is more about the human than the dog.
Templeton has turned into quite the camping and traveling dog. We took my little trailer out for a three-week adventure to Alaska and back. He’s the perfect size for the little trailer and he has his own little seat in the truck that a friend gave to me. We’ve camped in the tent several times and he insists on crawling inside the sleeping bag. Nothing like waking up to a little dog butt in your face. We’ve hiked muddy trails and crashed through sagebrush and forest understory and over rocks and through sand. During animal communication sessions he regularly tells people how much he enjoys our adventures. He’s no prissy little dog! (Although I have been known to put a little doggie coat on him. And he has a stroller.)
Templeton doesn’t play with toys (a real lap dog) but spends most of his time sleeping next to me or sniffing around his fenced yard. He burrows under blankets and buries dog bones (not real bone) in couch cushions and his beds. He barks too much and not enough. He curls up with the cat and they practice mutual grooming. He rides in his little seat in the truck and watches the landscape fly by. He’s the best dog ever and I love him. My other bestest best buddy.