shelter wants to euthanize animals quickly after they come through the door, but with space for only about 600 animals, they did not have much choice. MAJR was contacted by them in the hopes that they could take some jack russells and the cry went up for volunteers to foster. Since I just had a foster dog adopted into a permanent home, I had space for another. I had some options - the 3 MAJR was going to pull from ACCT and others from additional shelters. After hearing of this happy, goofy pup that thought being in the shelter was one big party and not scary at all, I requested him. The person from MAJR that pulled him and had him for a couple of days before passing him on to me, told me he was a complete dynamo and had the potential to be an agility dog, which piqued my interest even more. I'd been thinking about adopting another, but it had to be a really special dog. I wanted a male with high drive agility potential, but who was "easy" in all other ways. Up until now, I've always had "issue" dogs, in one way or another. They've taught me so much and made me a much better trainer/handler than I ever could have been without the challenges they've presented, but I was ready for something different. Something easy for a change. I didn't know if that really existed. Then along came Sprout.
|And wrestling partners|
|Only Sprout can get away with curling up this close to Hokey while she's sleeping|
As Hokey was slowly coming around, so was I. All of my dogs are smart and quick learners, but Sprout is in a category all his own. He's a whip-smart genius that learns anything new in record time. The more I worked with him, the more I liked working with him. Not only that, it turns out he IS that "easy" dog. He doesn't really have any baggage. He's easy-going. Very busy but well-behaved. Eager to please and eager to learn. Crates well. Travels well. Loves to play. Is friendly with other people, but is completely and utterly devoted to me. Excellent focus and work-ethic. Always up, charged, and ready to go when there is work or play to be had, but a total snuggler when the off-switch is flipped. Is fanatical about both toys and laps. Basically the perfect dog in every way.
|Too much sadness is expressed when my lap is already occupied|
I was pretty sure he was going to stay when he chose his name. I'd been holding the same "Sprout" in reserve for a few years waiting for that special dog to come along and occupy it. Since I wasn't sure I was going to keep him and not wanting to give up the name Sprout to a foster, I chose 3 other names to consider for him. I tried them all out on him at various times, but he didn't seem crazy about any of them. Eventually I thought I had the name he liked best and was standing in my kitchen one morning and trying it out on him when, on a whim, I said "Sprout?". He seemed to perk up and respond. I went back and forth between the two names and finally gave him the choice. I held both my hands in front of him and said "Sprout" for one hand and the other name for the other hand. He seemed to think things through for a few seconds, looking from one hand and to the other considering the options. Then he decisively stepped forward and nose-touched the Sprout hand. He's been my little Sprouty ever since.
This little perfect dog is definitely a gift from the universe and I'm thankful that I get to share my life with him each and every day. I love him so much.