After a brutal August 2020, I wasn’t sure I would get another dog. I was reeling after, not only, the loss of my beloved Boxer but the loss of my mother. I was in the grips of all the stages of grief and still in North Carolina with my father. I had the darling dogs my mother left behind to fill the canine void in my heart and it wasn’t long before I realized that I needed another dog.
I had discussed breeds with my mother about 2 months before her death, knowing that my Boxer was declining rapidly, and had narrowed it down to a Standard Poodle or a Doberman.
Poodles are the second most intelligent dog breed and gorgeous, large, funny, and trainable. From a proper breeder, they can have great lifespans. The downside is the hair. It must be maintained for health and appearance. Having grown up with poodles of various sizes, I knew how much effort that hair care took.
Dobermans are the third most intelligent dog breed and large, very trainable, loyal, and easily maintained. From a proper breeder, they have stable temperaments and can live to 10 or so, if lucky. The downsides are the lingering perceptions that they are dangerous, the health issues to which they are predisposed, and the length of time it takes them to mentally mature.
With my shortlist in mind, I chatted with my mother about a dog and she told me that if I was going to stay in DC, she wanted me to get another dog after Roman passed on. She wanted me to get another Boxer or a Standard Poodle and advised against a Doberman. During that time, I presented her with a few names for my next dog and it was her, my amazing mother, who chose Beau.
True to form for many mothers and daughters, I didn’t listen to her. It occurred to me not too long ago that the 3 1/2 months of absolute soul-wrenching difficulties we had were my mother looking down from Heaven saying “Okay, little girl – I told you not to get a Doberman so let’s see how much you can take.”
Then, when things flipped like a light switch, that was her saying “Right, you’ve had enough. Let’s get the dog’s head right.” 😁
Anyway, back to the timeline – In September, I began my search for reputable breeders. After a few false starts, I was very lucky to find a breeder of show-level Dobermans who actually had a litter on the ground, health tested their dogs, and had a male available. A month later, I had Beau. October 10, 2020. I realize just how fortunate I was to find what I wanted when I wanted it. I wasn’t particular about color but didn’t set out to get a red Doberman. Now? I wouldn’t have it any other way.
This blog already chronicles some of the challenges and the triumphs we have experienced over the past year, so I won’t repeat myself. I will just thank a few people and then post some of my favorite photos from our first year together and thank you for following our journey.
– My father for letting a puppy missile invade our house of mourning and create all kinds of havoc.
– Clover Street of Marathon K9 for helping me get training started right and reminding me that I know what I’m doing.
– The folks on the DobermanTalk forum for expert advice, Doberman-specific understanding and virtual friendship.
– Marshall, Jason and the rest of the gang at Academy Dog Training for truly getting me through the toughest time of Year One and helping me to help Beau.
– My friends for listening to me lament and worry over and over and over.
My fervent wish is that Beau and I continue to have amazing everyday adventures and he maintains his good health so he can be with me a long time. Here is to my boy, the silly, proud, intelligent, goofy, protective, cuddly, vexing K-Ley’s Shadow Beau Brummell!