"Good boy Chap," Robert said as we walked our 3-month-old puppy to the dog park at Crescent Lake Tuesday night. Just three days earlier we couldn't get him to walk 3 feet on a leash and now he's leading us around like he owns the place.
My husband Robert and I walked through the large dog park gates and unhooked his leash, when all but 5 seconds later; three huge dogs sprinted over to Chap and huddled around him. He just sat there, sniffed a little, but otherwise he just observed. That's his nickname, "The Observer." We really lucked out finding this gem for our first dog!
That's our Chap! My husband named him on Saturday at the 9th Annual Gulfport's Get Rescued event - even before handing over the adoption fee.
"Come with me," he said as I tried to sit down at the Patch booth Saturday morning at Gulfport's Get Rescued.
Chap was surrounded by energetic puppies at the Friends of Pep Border Collie Rescue on Beach Boulevard and like usual; I had a million questions for the animal rescue officials on Saturday. I met Katie Scott who filled us in on the adoption fee and medical information. Chap was neutered and needed one more set of puppy shots; which Scott could finish the day after Gulfport's Get Rescued, on Sunday.
Robert and I sat and tried to play with him all day Saturday. We took him on a very short walk around the rescue organization's booth. Little kids came up and tried to pet him and he just remained calm and collected. He was a cool little pup who was adorable to boot! Every time he sat down he looked around, over and over. Robert told me he was a smart dog and was really examining his surroundings. He was calm, relaxed and quiet. After about an hour of holding him, trying to walk him on a leash and juggling this idea of having a medium to large sized dog - I gave Robert the official "yes."
I spent the rest of the afternoon asking for puppy advice from friends who stopped by the Patch booth. See, I had come to Gulfport's Get Rescued to "work" and meet with readers, bloggers and other Patch supporters. Robert had come to find the next member of our family. While Robert was out petting puppies throughout the day, I was at my booth with Dunedin Patch Editor Katie Dolac, St. Pete Patch Editor William Mansell, Largo Patch Editor Melissa Lattman, Field Editor Leigh Armstrong and Lauren Lowry, Gulfport Patch's Advertising Manager. As soon as we agreed to adopt Chap, everyone at my booth supported our decision with "oohhh's" and "awwww's." "He's a cute puppy," Katie said.
"Welcome to motherhood," Scott Shwarts said when he stopped by the booth. Scott and his wife Anita bestowed upon me the do's and don’ts of taking care of a puppy. Scott is an Animal Behavior Counselor and Local Voices blogger on Gulfport Patch. I took notes, asked questions and explained that this is my first dog. "You'll be fine," Anita said.
We agreed to pick up Chap the following day from the Friends of Pep Border Collie Rescue. This way, Katie Scott could give him his shots and we could finish out our Saturday at the Patch booth and pack up with time "puppy proof" our house.
We learned a little more about Chap's travels and background when we picked him up on Sunday. He's from a shelter in North Carolina and was the last of six pups in his litter to be adopted. Officials believe he's an Australian Shepherd/Border Collie mix with possibly some Catahoula.
Although it's been just a couple days, our pup Chap is adapting very well in his new home.
Did you adopt a furry friend at Gulfport's Get Rescued? Write a "Letter to the Editor" and upload photos of your new family member on this article!
Sign up for the Gulfport Patch email newsletter to stay connected to your community.