In a little over a week, it will be nine months since he entered my life and frankly, to date it has been the loudest nine months of my life...
I've pushed off and pushed off introducing you all to Hoot, not because I haven't had words but because he really doesn't need an introduction...
Hoot lives LOUD.
It's as simple as that.
From his VERY LOUD personality, to how incredibly vocal he is, you cannot miss when Hoot is in a room (or building for that matter). From his grumblings in the morning when we get up for the day, to his yoo-yoo's when he knows we are going to go hiking, then his flailing/running/bouncing thing he does while hiking, to the bouncing and flailing he does every single time my husband comes home and Hoot has to spin "hot laps" around his feet (and tell Mike all about his day with a weird mix between a growl and grumble that I've never heard another dog do) Hoot simply LIVES LOUD.
For all 16 1/4 inches and 27 pounds of him, Hoot's personality somehow manages to stay squished in such a small package, although I can physically see it oozing out of his ears at times...
And although he often overwhelms me with his shenanigans, I can't imagine things any other way with my little owl.
I have lost count of how many times I have been asked, how I ever managed to pick him when his litter was born. My answer has always been simple...
Hoot chose me and I mean he REALLY CHOSE ME.
At a whopping 2 weeks and 1 day old, he picked me. Then he kept picking me every single time I went to visit the puppies and when my husband tagged along to meet the puppies for the first time, Hoot bullied his way into his lap and stayed there as if to say, "Your my person too."
His persistence paid off, as I had been telling his breeder for months before the puppies were born that I was only interested in a blue merle or black tri girl, but here we are...
When he and his littermates turned three weeks old I finally caved and admitted that little "Chandler Bing" (the litter theme was names from the sitcom Friends) was meant to come home with me (see photo below of me caving.)
Now, that very BIG personality in such a small body has kept our focus on life skills #lifeskills #lifeskillsforthewin the entire time he has been a member of my family. It means Agility skills have been on the back burner, but eventually we will get around to those.
Skills that he does have are a BOMB PROOF recall, he is a fantastic co-pilot in the car and he is a perfect gentleman when he gets to hang out at Shine's herding lessons. He has yet to meet a stranger, although we are working on him offering a better behavior than nose bonks and flails (those he gets to reserve for his Grammy Jamie), he knows tricks galore and 80% of the time he is a great puppy in the house (the other 20% of the time is when he doesn't get to go for his off leash hikes because of bad weather, then WATCH OUT!)
Those skills are all very important to me (and to Hoot, even if he doesn't know it) in the grand scheme of things and I take it as a win that he no longer has a meltdown when he goes through the KFC drive through because he didn't get a Pup Cup like he does when we go to Culver's (for the record, that is a 100% true story) nor does he feel the need to bark and scream the entire time we hike, which I and all of my other dogs appreciate.
Right now, Hoot and I continue to learn about one another and I recently stumbled upon this quote:
" Fearlessly meandering is the wondrous part of of the journey to your authentic self."
I couldn't have explained how I feel about Hoot and how we are growing together, better if I had tried. All I know is, that I want to continue to embrace who he is and build his training around him and not around my goals or far off aspirations that I have for us on (and off for that matter) the Agility course.
So, everyone, I introduce you to Hoot and as Hoot would say, LIVE LOUD!