Tuesday, September 30, 2008

The Beginning

The only reason Otis came along to us was because he had a fault. A tiny little pink spot on his nose. If you look, you wouldn't even see it. But you're probably not a judge with a discerning eye. Otis' daddy was a show dog champion. So was his granddaddy. And there were high hopes for Otis, too, but one little pink spot made all the difference. I met his breeder at a dog show at the expo center in Portland. I was in the market for a dog that would be good with kids. Alice and I were planning on a child one day and we didn't want to fall in love with a dog who didn't want to share the attention and space. We went to the show because word had it there would be every type of breed known to man there. And it seemed there was. But there was one breed in particular that struck us peculiar: The Staffordshire Bull Terrier. There was a line-up of 'em. About twelve in all, each sitting there contentedly, as if they were actually smiling up at you. And they had the cutest little snort as though they were trying to say something, like "take me home with you, please!" But these Staffys were show dogs without imperfections. I asked the breeder for his card, but he was sure not to give me much hope. His dogs were highly sought after and people were willing to pay top dollar with hopes of bringing home a Best in Show.

On a whim, I called him a few months later. He informed me that one pup of his latest litter was born with a tiny fault and that he might consider selling him to me if the fault didn't correct itself over the coming days. He lived in Long Beach, California and I informed him I'd be down there the following week and I'd give him a call. Lo and behold, Otie remained imperfect, which isn't to say he came cheap! I gave the fellow $500 and off I went to the airport. The fella's last words to me were, "Hey, if you think you're going to neuter him, please don't. I will give you your money back." Realizing I'd paid him cash and he didn't have my phone number, I assured him I wouldn't. Six months later, Otis would lose his ability to sire a show dog champ. He had officially become domesticated.  

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