Elizabeth and I have a puppy! We adopted him on October 30, and the last month or so has been a never-ending battle of spray bottles, carpet stains, chewed socks, and way-too-fancily named dog treats. Scipio is 3 and a half months old, is an Australian cattle dog mixed with a Pomeranian, and has completely taken over my life.

Elizabeth has wanted a dog for forever, and given the ongoing pandemic and her work-from-home status I didn’t feel like it was my place to keep telling her no. She started looking at 405 Animal Shelter and fell in love with a lab puppy named Jeremy. We submitted an application to meet him, and waited. And waited. And waited. And eventually got back word that because we didn’t have a yard, our application was denied for him.

Undeterred, Elizabeth next turned her attention to a litter of Australian cattle dog puppies. We each picked out our favorites and set a time to meet them. The first little guy we met was named Jay. He was staying at a foster home near Lake Hefner with his brother Raider. And also… two other foster puppies. It was a rowdy environment.

While Jay was undoubtedly adorable, he didn’t seem very responsive to humans, and I didn’t think he was the one for us.

The next day, we had another meeting with Jay’s erstwhile brother, who was staying at a foster home in Norman. The foster parents brought Rick right to us. Maybe it was just the fact that we had the puppy all to ourselves instead of competing with 3 more for his attention, but Rick was a perfect fit. He greeted us. He licked my face. Most importantly, he chased a tennis ball around the apartment with me. And then he plopped over on a blanket and fell asleep.

No more than 15 minutes into our visit, I turned to Elizabeth impulsively and said, “Do you want to adopt him?” And just like that, we were dog-parents-to-be.

It took a couple of days to finalize the adoption, since Norman was crippled by an ice storm that left half the city without power. It wasn’t until the day before Halloween that we were able to meet the person who runs the shelter in an Atwoods parking lot to get his tracking chip shot and finalize the adoption.

The newly named Scipio scared his adopted parents on the way back to our apartment. He whined the whole way. At the time, we thought it was because he was scared of the car, but now I think he just was scared to be away from his foster parents. Fortunately, he came to accept us as his adopted parents very quickly and settled into life at the Meister-Leslie home.

That didn’t mean the first week was easy, however. It was tough getting used to having a puppy whose bladder lasted 45 minutes. He bit anything and everything, and required constant supervision. More than once in that first week, I broke down at the thought of what I’d gotten myself into. After learning more about Skippy, though, and taking a puppy training class or two, we’re starting to round the corner from out and out terror to merely a rascal. It helps that he sleeps 16-18 hours a day.

The rest of this post will be devoted to pictures and videos from Scipio’s first month and a half here.

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