Moony

A small dog playing with a kite

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“Moony at 6 weeks old”

Moony

My wonderful wife has a friend from high school that lives in Texas. She posted on Facebook that she had puppies that she was looking for good homes for. When I first saw our Moony girl, I knew she was the dog for me. I fell in love with her the moment that I saw her. I knew she had to come home to us. I texted my wife at work and shared the picture of Moony with her and she asked me what she was asking for them. I texted my wife back and told her that I wasn’t sure what she was asking for the puppies. This is when I contacted my wife’s friend (Denise) back to ask her what she was asking for her puppies. She responded back to me to let me know that they were free. I then texted my wife back and let her know that they were free. When my wife came home from work she let me know that we would be going to Texas to pick up Moony. 

I was so excited with the news that she brought home to me. I was like a little boy for the first time getting my own puppy. I began to count down the days when we would be taking our trip down to Texas to pickup our new addition to our family. We weren’t sure what type of breed of dog she was. My wife’s friend wasn’t sure what type of dog they were either. She wasn’t sure who the father was as well. She had a feeling that it might be the brother of the mother or not.

  The drive down to Texas seemed like eternity to get there. I had a hard time going to sleep that night when we arrived at our motel. Knowing that the next day we would be driving out to my wife’s friend’s house to pick up our Moony girl and be meeting her for the first time made me too excited.  My wife’s friend came and met us at a gas station, that way we could follow her out to her house and not get lost by trying to find her house by ourselves. 

“Moony at 9 weeks old”

Upon arriving we pulled our car up the driveway and parked. We got out and stood there and visited for a few minutes, then she introduced the four puppies to us. I didn’t know what to think when I got there and opened the door and walk over to where she was playing with her three other sisters. If you want my opinion, I would have taken all four of the puppies if we had the place to house them and care for them.  A thought came to me that there was my dog sled team right there in those four puppies. I knew we did not have the room for all four of them. I was able to walk over and meet our new addition to our family, Moony.  She was everything we hoped she would be and more. The moment I picked her up she snuggled right to me and I knew she was my dog. Right there she just melted my heart for this little lady. This is all it took for me. I knew at that moment I was not going to let anything happen to her. God placed her in my care now; I was going to care for her with every fiber of my being that I have to give our Moony girl a good home to live in. On that day she lifted my spirit to a new height that I cannot explain how I felt. How I am feeling right now, when I wake up every morning to a bright, bubbly, playful puppy that she is. 

 I first recognized the Beagle in her because she looks a lot like my old Beagle/Husky that I had a long time ago. She even howls like my Beagle did when she needs out to go to the bathroom This is when I really got to looking at her, she had all the markings of the beagle in her face features. My wife at first would try to tell me that Beagles do not howl. I did not push the issue, I just let it go.  Then my wife would try to tell me that she is not a Beagle because she did not have the Beagle floppy ears. I told my wife if she has another breed in her so she would not necessarily have the Beagle ears.

This is when I turned to our famous search engine today, Google, where we all turn to find answers that we are seeking for.  Google! What would we do without Google in our world today? It is like a modern-day Encyclopedia right at our fingertips with trillions of information at the click of a button. I opened up Google and searched for Beagle puppies and sure enough you could see the markings of the Beagle in her. We knew that she had one other breed in her. We thought we had pinpointed the second breed to a Rottweiler. I was taking Moony for a walk when I stopped and started to talk with a lady who lives in the same park as we do. Moony loves meeting new people so I stopped so that Moony could visit with her. As a service dog you want them to be able to get along with people. Every opportunity we get to allow a person who wants to meet Moony to do so. This just helps her to be more friendly around people in social gatherings. We got to talking about our dogs and she asked me what type of puppy Moony was.  At first, I explained that we were not sure what type of breed she was. Then I began to tell her about doing research on Google and I began to explain to her that we pinned her breed to beagle/Rottweiler mix. 

She then told me when I stopped and let her visit with Moony that she didn’t see Rottweiler in her but could see the Beagle in her, but she said that she sees more of the Australian Cattle Dog in her than the Rottweiler. From this lady and the help of Google again looking up Australian Cattle puppies we could see the resemblance in Moony in the Beagle/Australian Cattle or (Blue Heeler) puppies.

Between the two breeds she has in her, she is a pistol that has lots of energy and will need to be taken out and exercised on a daily basis to get out that bowl full of energy that she has in her. Trying to go to bed is another chore itself. Trying to get her to calm down in the evenings before we go to bed is tough.  I am hoping that I can get enough exercise for her during the day that this will wear her down towards the evenings before my wife and I head to bed.

I spent this morning working with her to try and teach her that when she is on the bed this means it is time to settle down. Moony did pretty good for our first training session; we still have a long way to go before she fully understands what we are working on, but I have faith that she will get there down the road. I will work with her first thing in the mornings, that way I can get my schoolwork done. Also get my personal writing done as well. 

 The other thing my wife and I are trying to work with Moony is not to bite at us every time she gets up on the bed. Especially when we are trying to lay down and go to sleep. I know what you are thinking right about now. Why don’t you put her down on the floor and sleep in her own bed? Because I have let my other dogs sleep with us on our bed and we are not going to change what we have done in the past with our other dogs. We just need to work with her and let Moony know that we are the Alpha in the house and when she comes up on the bed this means that it is not time to play but time to lay down and get ready for bed

Moony is desperately trying to make friends with our five cats we have. Most of the cats are not having anything to do with her. However, there is one that has begun to tolerate her and has started to play with her a little. Our big cat Marco gets a little rough with the other cats when he plays with them. However, he tends to hold his own with Moony. The problem that Moony has is she tries to be herd them like they are her cattle that need to be herded and they are not having this at all.

Having these two mixed breeds in a dog you will have a lot to work with. Australian Cattle Dog and Beagle mixed are very high wired dogs that need a lot of running space and not be tied down in a house all day. That is why I am trying my best to take Moony out for walks every time we go out to use the bathroom. This way she gets the exercise that she needs throughout the day. Australian Cattle Dog or Blue Heeler is what they are commonly known as were bred to help the cattlemen herd the cows and sheep on their farms. They are very intelligent dogs and can learn very quickly if you really work with them every day. We have Moony sitting, laying, sitting up, and shake. I haven’t tried working with her on roll just yet. We are just working with these tricks right now, but I know that we will get there with her. It is going to take time and teamwork working with her on these tricks. Both breeds are very loving family dogs and are loyal to their owners.

Beagles were bred for hunting in England. Their size made it easy for the hunters to carry them on the back of their horses when hunting. They are good for hunting small game such as rabbits, foxes and other small animals. Beagles tend to have a mind of their own, yet, you can train them to do what you want them to do. It takes a lot of patience and time to work with them. You also need to keep your commands to one or two words only because your beagle’s mind is wired to think this way. Do not underestimate the intelligence that a beagle has, because even though they only understand one- or two-word commands, beagles are very smart. For example: if you want them to lie down you have to tell them down or point down to the ground. You cannot tell them to ‘Lie Down’ or you will lose them. Another example is ‘Sit Down’; you cannot tell them to do this or they will never listen to you. All you have to do is tell them to ‘Sit’. They also have a keen sense of smell and once they lock on a scent, have fun trying to get them away from it because they will pick it back up the minute you set them back on the ground. Often times beagles will just stare at you in the face and go back to doing what they were doing.

To a beagle your hands seem to be a toy to them if you let them get away with this. They will sit there and bite at your hands and when you try to tell them to stop, they will often think you are still playing with them. This is when you have to put your hands behind you and tell them enough. If this does not work say the word ouch every time they go to bite you. This mimics when they are playing with their mother or siblings and they yelp out after one of them gets too rough while playing. We are dealing with this with Moony and it has been really hard to get her to stop because even when I put my hands behind me she tends to jump at my face and then I have to use my hands to block her from going after my face; then she thinks you’re still playing with her. I finally started getting up off the bed and leaving the room and this seems to be working. I will see how it goes for the week and keep you posted on how this works with training her. 

We are also working with her chewing items besides her toys and this is a challenge because she will take the item and run away with it before you can catch her. She is also at the age that puppies love to chew on everything that they can get into their mouths and we are now having to put everything up away from her reach. This way she will not be attempted to chew on these items. It has been a while since we have had a puppy and have forgotten what it is like to raise one, but we are getting there. The one good thing that we have little problem with is potty training her to go outside to use the bathroom. Even though she has been an outside dog, she has been pretty good to let us know when she needs out. 

Moony has had some accidents using the bathroom in the house. Yet, most of the time she let us know if she needs out by her bark or by a whimper sound. Other times that she has an accident is when she is running around playing with us or her toys and gets too excited that she forgets to let us know she needs out and just stops what she is doing and goes right there because she’s been an outside dog. She never had to worry about having to tell someone that she needed out before. 

She is a people person dog! Everyone that she comes in contact with she wants to go say ‘hello’ to them.  This is hard for her to understand at times when you have to tell her ‘no’, they are busy doing their thing. They do not need to have you bother them. This is a good thing because we got her to be a service dog for me. We need her to be friendly around people as long as I am going to have her in the public with me all the time. This is one good thing about beagles and blue heelers they are good around people. They are people person dogs. We were looking for another good service dog for me and she fit right in with what we were looking for in a service dog for me. Moony is good around other dogs. She tries to make friends with them. It does not matter what size the dog is. She will go right up to them, if you let her. This is where we have to be very cautious with her because other dogs are not as friendly as she is. 

Moony is like a little child that is learning as they are trying to grow.  You are trying to discipline when they do something wrong. They will push you to your limits. Well Moony is one of those puppies that will push you to the very edge just to see how much she can get away with until we will start to correct her misbehaviors. Like children you have to love and be patient with them if you are to teach them right from wrong. This may take some time on our part as puppy owners, but in the end, it is all worth the work you put into your puppy or a child that you are raising. 

Like the old saying goes, “A dog is man’s best friend.”  You have to love them and be patient with your puppy. A puppy will come around, just give it time. You will see how much your hard work goes into training your puppy that you’re the Alpha in the house. What you teach your puppy will be greatly rewarded in the very end. My advice to you puppy owners, don’t give up on them. You will come to understand that they all need human companionship like the rest of us do. Our puppies we taken into our lives, just need a little bit of guidance to help them grow into an adult dog that will become your best friend in the end. Moony is my pride and joy, even though she may get on our nerves at times. Sometimes she will not listen to a word you are trying to say to her, and this makes training a puppy frustrating at times. You still have to love these little beasts. I would not trade our Moony for anything in this world. A dog is truly man’s best friend if you will allow them into your life.

Written by L.A. White

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