fter Courtney's dog, Duke, passed she realized that a dog-less life was dull and lonely. So she seriously began seeking another to love. She spotted some Springer Spaniel puppies online and the trip to "just take a look" was the start of an adventure.
"Puppies are a lot of work," said Courtney, "and I was looking for a dog with the stamina and energy to keep up while trail riding my horse. Springers are active, intelligent, and have a high prey drive, but bored they can be destructive. The information indicated that a Springer wasn't the right dog for me, but I still kept my appointment to ‘meet' the puppies. Who knows, maybe there was the one chance that one of the puppies was like me - one who doesn't follow all the rules."
Courtney saw 13 sleeping puppies nestled in a small plastic child's pool. She was hooked looking at the captivating ocean of furry cuteness! She watched the stirring puppies and the one with an "adorable Mohawk-like hair style" chose her.
"On our ‘RIDE' home," said Courtney, "I was thinking that the puppy would be my trail ‘RIDING' partner, so I named him Ryder.
Ryder is smart, loves walks, and being in the barn with me. He fast learned the horse's boundaries.
He is a wonderful addition to our family, elevates our spirits, loves road trips, trail rides, and running on the coastal beaches. He's seen more waterfalls than most people, which includes the ten at Silver Falls. His face lights up as he runs beside the horses and, like the energizer bunny, he just wants to keep going and exploring.
As active as he is, he loves, and I mean loves, watching TV! He climbs onto the couch, cuddles with me, and stares at the TV.
One of Ryder's favorite games is chasing our overweight cat, Zeus's, laser pointer. I bought the laser for Zeus's exercise, but when Ryder sees the light he gets so excited. He wags his tail so fast that I'm afraid he is going to sprain it! He would chase the laser for hours if he could, and I had the time.
When I turn off the laser, I have to hide it. He, in turn, searches the house for hours to retrieve it for ‘us' to play again.
Ryder enjoys playing fetch but is more excited when Zeus joins in. The inseparable friends are a joy to watch.
One of Ryder's adorable ‘odd dog' behaviors is that he loves carrying a toy on walks. The entire time he won't let go of it. The toy appears to give him confidence and the times he forgets it at home he seems lost.
I love Ryder, but must confess about his annoying behavior of constantly blocking the doorway. I'm not talking about blocking the doorway when you are inside the house. He blocks the doorway when you're outside trying to get in!
He isn't dumb, he has this all figured out. When you attempt to open the door, he lays where it opens, and places his foot like a ‘doggy door stop' preventing it from opening!
Neither the door or Ryder will budge! He won't move, not even for food. It is his way of punishing me for not taking him out to the trash can when it's pouring rain! The longest he's locked me out of my own house is 15 minutes -- so far! I bet he tells the dogs on our walks about his ‘trick'. They must think he has the funniest ‘scents' of K9 humor!"
"Adopting a puppy is a huge responsibility," said Courtney. "The training and love that you invest in them is outrageous, but absolutely worth it.
We made the decision to crate train Ryder for two reasons: it gives them a ‘safe' spot and is also a safe way for the dog to travel on road trips. I wouldn't trade Ryder for anything in the world."
"Folow" Pet Tips and Tales
Humane Society for Neuter/Spay Assistance Program. (541) 942-2789