Friday, August 6, 2010

Proof that great things come in little packages

Meet Max!

Max is our little baby and our practice run at parenthood. I told my hubby at the outset that if we screwed the dog up then we knew we were not destined to be parents. So hubby and I agreed that if we could feed it, care for it, love it and generally spoil it, then we’d have some chance of succeeding as parents (hopefully!).

The good news is Max has more than survived, he has thrived and so have we. Max is a Maltalier, a designer breed of dog but simply put he is a cross of Cavalier and Maltese. And he leads a pretty charmed life.

A little bit of background as to how and why we settled on the dog that we did. Growing up I always had a family dog. Our last family dog died about 12 months before I moved out of home to live with my boyfriend (now husband).

After buying our first home and getting married, we decided the time was right to get our own little puppy. I grew up with fox terriers and jack russells while my sister chose a chihuahua when she moved out of home. But after a lot of research and talking to people, we decided on a maltalier. The reasons were mainly because of the cavalier influence. I had been told that cavaliers were wonderful pets, especially for families and children, and were very easygoing and not too hyperactive. I received positive comments from most people I spoke to and most of the information on the net. However when I called the vet my family had always dealt with to seek some advice, she promptly launched into a lecture about the problems of cross breeds. At that point, I doubted our initial decision to select a maltalier. My sister-in-law who at one point in her life had bred dogs pointed out the family vet was actually a breeder herself, of pure breds, and so may have been slightly biased towards cross breeds. My sister-in-law reassured me with some good advice – do what feels right for you and what you’re comfortable with. How right she was.

So we went with our initial decision and I have not regretted that decision for any moment of the past two and a bit years we have spent with Max. Hubby and I have both said to each other on many occasions that Max has been one of the best decisions we have made. My parents-in-law have even commented on how much more relaxed and comfortable we have become since Max arrived.

Max has proved to be the perfect choice for us. He is a very chilled out and relaxed dog who is happy to go with the flow and adapt to the situation. He absolutely adores people and loves nothing more than a cuddle. And boy can he lick. He licks everything, everyone and even licks thin air.

We bought Max from a breeder in Bathurst, NSW. I found the breeder online, spoke to them and requested a maltalier with a strong cavalier influence. The breeder placed us on a waiting list in December 2007 and we received an email in mid April containing photos of two male puppies. We picked a little apricot puppy, named him Max and waited for the four weeks to pass until we could collect him.

We prepared ourselves for his arrival; bought a little bed, blankets, soft toys, bowls for food and water, collar, leash, treats and anything a puppy could possibly want. It was finally time to collect him from the breeder. We met the breeder at a local park who was carrying a tiny, furry little bundle in his arms. He gave us the rundown on this little puppy; what to feed him, vet information, etc and then I signed a couple of forms, parted with our money and he was ours. The breeder also revealed that he had placed the puppy on the floor in the backseat of the car in a little box and the puppy had crawled through to the driver’s seat and snuggled up in his lap. Looking back, this was an indication of the personality of the dog we were taking home with us.

Dogs are incredibly loyal and loving. It's one of the amazing attributes of dogs. And Max for us is certainly proof of this love and loyalty. The excitement he displays each night when we come home from work is evidence enough of that.

Next week...Max goes to puppy school

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