We've had our new puppy for a few weeks now and I thought it was about time to share some facts/milestones/stories/etc. about him. Here are some questions that people have been asking us about the newest addition to our family.
How did you get a puppy?I have been begging and bargaining for a puppy for a LONG time now and Jake has been holding his ground pretty well for at least a year. His reasons were totally valid, but they still didn't satisfy my craving for something cuddly. In fact, every time things got hard with school or work, I would find myself on petfinder.com looking at adoptable pets and coming up with names for my future dog. Then I would email the links to Jake and wait for the inevitable dinner conversation about how it really wasn't a good idea at the moment. A lot of it had to do with being in school full time and not having the extra time to train or play with a new puppy. Each discussion ended in me being disappointed, even though I knew he was right.
A couple weeks before my graduation, my family started sending me picture messages of my brother's new dog. I was really upset for a few reasons. 1) My brother Logan is 20, his living situation is changing constantly and he already has a huge black pitbull named Bagheera. 2) This was the cutest dog and the most perfect breed ever. 3) This dog had just fallen into his lap! 4) I was way jealous.
I tried to be "cool" about it by mentioning to my brother that if he didn't want another dog, I would be happy to take it off his hands and give it a good home. I did a bunch of research about the breed and convinced Jake that it was ideal for us... and guess what... I got his APPROVAL! It was so perfect, but my brother said no! He said he wanted to keep the dog, then texted me two days later and said he had given it away to another friend. I was mad and I let him know it.
What I didn't know is that I was being tricked... big time. Jake and Logan had already talked on the phone and Logan had decided to give me the puppy as a graduation present. They were planning on waiting until my party down south, but because I was so upset with Logan, they sped things up and brought him to my graduation in San Jose.
I was so surprised! In fact, I just repeated things like "are you for real?" and "oh my gosh is this really happening?". It was a little overwhelming and it made me late for graduation, but it was the best gift ever. Thanks bro... and Jake for saying yes.
Where did he come from?
His origins are a little mysterious. What we know is that he was originally sold by himself on Craigslist to a friend of my brother's girlfriend. They couldn't keep him, so they gave him to my brother. Unfortunately, during that time, he got very little training and no shots. Needless to say, he was in need of a steady home.
What's his name?
My brother's girlfriend's friend called him Tucker. My brother and my family called him a lot of names, including Tucker, Kilo and Tom Collins. Once we got him, we had to pick a name. I had always planned on naming a future dog Smudge, but he definitely was not a Smudge. I spent a good chunk of my graduation ceremony on my iPhone looking up names that reflected the origin of his breed. We decided on Axel.
How old is he?
Based on his teeth, he is about 4 1/2 months old. He is starting to teethe! Fun!
What kind of dog is he?
Axel is mostly Vizsla, a Hungarian sporting breed. They are known as bird hunting dogs and very good family companions. They are affectionate and sensitive and at the same time fearless and protective. They are lean with short reddish-coats and red noses. We know that Axel is not a full Vizsla because he has a black nose. Other than that, he is completely true to every characteristic you can read about a Vizsla. He has very sensitive hearing and a great sense of smell, he loves to run and retrieve (kinda) and he is a total cuddle bug.
What it is like living with a Velcro Dog?
They call Vizslas "velcro dogs" because they are VERY attached to their owners. Axel is no exception to this. Our apartment is only 310 square feet, but if we walk to the bathroom, closet, kitchen or the other side of the living room, he will follow us. If Jake and I are both doing different things, he will find a good spot right between us. He hates being alone and I don't blame him.
This is what it is like sitting on the couch with a Velcro Dog...
This is what it is like surfing the web with a Velcro Dog...
This is what it is like going to sleep with a Velcro Dog...
This is what it is like waking up with a Velcro Dog...
This is what it is like doing dishes with a Velcro Dog...
This is what it is like writing this post RIGHT NOW with a Velcro Dog...
In fact, the only thing that can make Axel move away from me is his fear of the blow dryer.
Is he trained?
We're working on it. Axel is a very very good dog and he really wants to make us happy. At the same time, he is a puppy and he hasn't had any consistency in his whole life. He is mostly potty trained. At our house, he hardly ever has an accident. He is an excellent traveler. He has been on long drives with us a few times already and can easily sleep through them. He knows his name now and he knows the commands for "sit", "stay", "quiet", "up" and "off". He will do them all of time for me, most of the time for Jake and some of the time for friends and strangers. In the apartment, he is the perfect gentleman, but when we go outside for walks he can be easily distracted or hyper from all the smells and sounds.
One big challenge we are having is crate training. It is impossible to take a dog everywhere and there are some times when we need to leave Axel at home alone. He has intense separation anxiety and will bark and cry for hours if left alone in his crate. We've been working on it everyday. We've gotten to the point where he likes his crate, will go in it on his own to play, and can go it in quietly for a couple hours at a time when we are home with him. Now all we have to do is get to the point where we can leave the house. It won't be long, but boy has it been hard to go anywhere lately. Thank goodness all our friends love puppy sitting.
We love that Axel will never be satisfied being just our dog... he demands to be part of the family. Since we've gotten him, we spend a lot more time taking walks and little adventures and much less time in front of the TV. It's really great to feel our little family growing. He is the perfect dog for us.
Things Axel Loves:
-Digging holes at the beach
-His rope toy, Kong, soccer ball and tennis ball
-Chasing birds and squirrels
-Being near us
Things Axel Hates:
-Singing, humming, or whistling
-The "off" command
-Hair blow dryers
Things I Never Thought I Would Do:
-Let a dog sleep in my bed
-Have a lot of cutesy nick names for a dog (Baby, Vizsla Baby, Axe, Axe Man, Pup-eroni Pizza, Hound Dog, Shark Attack)
-Write a post this long about a dog
Things I Still Won't Do:
-Call Axel my "fur baby"
Here is a video of Axel "playing fetch", which really just means enjoying the grass and sometimes bringing the ball back. Enjoy!