Ever since we had moved into our new house a year ago we’d been discussing getting a dog for Judah. We knew from multiple sources that children with Autism greatly benefit by having a fur-friend. And since he is allergic to cats and a cow wouldn’t fit in our house, a dog was the only option.
After going over everything together, my husband and I came up with a list of what type of dog not to get. We knew we would have to start out with a puppy that would grow to know Judah (and vice-versa), that we could train to fit into our little family. This was the next best idea to spending untold thousands we didn’t have on an autism service dog. We also knew it couldn’t grow into a large dog as they get big quickly and Judah gets nervous around them. I personally didn’t want a toy dog or a “yappy dog” and my husband didn’t want a loud over excitable dog. We needed a small dog that was both very playful and had the ability to sit and be a lap companion.
I honestly didn’t think it would be so difficult to find a dog that met the criteria. There are dogs needing homes everywhere! We lived near by multiple shelters and animal control offices. At least one of them had to have a puppy needing a home. We would soon learn that there were indeed many that had puppies needing homes, but that none of the offices (but one) within 100 miles could be bothered to return phone calls, emails, applications or messages on multiple platforms. After weeks of trying to get ahold of one place the puppy would disappear, over and over again. I don’t think I need to explain how confused it makes a child when you ask them if they like a certain puppy and then tell them they can’t have it over a dozen times over a few months. As much as I wanted to rescue a dog, I realized it was futile.
As I tend to do when I get aggravated, I found a place to complain about this entire mess on our county pets FB group. There a lady who had “accident” puppies contacted me about a tiny Beagle. We took her up on the offer to see the puppies even though we knew they were going to be small loud and difficult to train dogs. My husband gave me many warnings before we saw them, but they all fell to the wayside the moment Judah (of his own accord!) chose to pick up a puppy to hold. He fell in love with the Beagle puppies and we got the last little boy available.
I had found out afterwards that the local shelters work on “know someone who knows someone” basis and a friend of one of the facilities gave me a private number, but I never used it. I feel bad for all those animals wanting homes, but those agencies ignored me for months no matter if I went through them directly, through Facebook, Act Now Rescue or Pet Finder. The Little Beagle and our family found each other and despite the fact that he wasn’t at a shelter, he still need a forever home and my little guy needed a fur-ever friend.
Judah named him Sammie after the ice-cream place in town and has made him a little spot in his room. A tiny bed complete with beagle stuffies for bedtime so he doesn’t feel lonely when he gets here. We still have a few more weeks, but it just makes it much more exciting and allows me time to puppy-proof the house. If you have any advice on puppies or Beagles specifically, let me know. I’ll probably need all the help I can get!