Here’s a fun fact about our dog Jasper – He’s from Mexico. Although we didn’t know about his origins initially, it was an added bonus and makes us a truly international household (Tyler is from Canada and I am from the US of A). We discovered Jasper through an adoption group called Animal Rescue Without Borders. When we found him online, his name was Shiloh and his description said that he would end up to weigh about 50 lbs. As I write this post, Jasper is three and a half years old and weights a healthy 115 lbs and we love every ounce of him!
Why a dog?
I never had a dog growing up. My mom said it was because she was attacked as a child but admittedly, she’s more of a cat person so who knows her true motives. (To be fair, my mom loves Jasper and even took him for a walk by herself last time she visited!) Before you start feeling sorry for me that experienced a childhood without a k9 buddy, let me just tell you about my experience as a proud member of the 4H club. Growing up in a rural part of Northern California had certain unique benefits, one of them being the 4H culture. From the third grade through 6th grade, I raised sheep and showed them (and eventually sold them!) at the county fair. So my childhood was filled with lots of cats and several sheep. Fun!
When Tyler and I got married, I was traveling a lot for work and the company he works for had a “dogs ok in the office” policy. He wanted a buddy to hang with when I was gone. I had seen Tyler around his family’s dog and after he showed me all of the tricks he had tough Brewster, Tyler proved to me that he was pretty much a dog whisperer. So we were set to adopt a dog…
What happened next?
Tyler began tracking several dogs online (who knew such a thing existed? It was like online dating but for puppies). We were looking for lab mixes and when Tyler saw that a Pet Co in San Diego would be showing the dogs, we thought it might be a good idea to check it out and turn in our paperwork. I should mention that we had been married for a mere 1 month at this time and were staying with friends in San Clemente. So we cruised down to San Diego and saw little Jasper/Shiloh. The person running the dog showing asked us if we knew he was from Mexico and quickly followed that up with a statement that went something like this “If you want the dog you are holding, you need to take him home now. Otherwise he will go back to Mexico and it’s unlikely he’ll come back to the US”. Not the most ideal thing to hear as you are holding a 2 month old ball of adorableness. The lady didn’t seem to care that none of our paperwork was filled out and that she didn’t check out home to make sure it was suitable for a dog (good thing because at this time we were technically homeless!). So off we went with our new puppy. We broke the news to our friends that we were staying with on the drive home – they were cool with it but had just remodeled their home so we quickly changed locations until our home in Carlsbad was ready to move into. It was quite the experience being “homeless”, having half our stuff in storage, being newly weds, and having a brand new puppy.
Speaking of puppy..
Jasper didn’t stay a puppy for long. From the beginning, everyone commented on the size of his paws. When he was less than a year old, he was tipping the scale at 100 lbs.