JASPER | Sarah Keller: JASPER



Well folks, the Keller's officially became dog owners last week! This is Jasper, a two year old, 75 pound Bouvier des Flanders that we adopted from a Kentucky based pet service. After seven years of marriage, hectic Army life, kids, and swearing off pets for the aforementioned factors, we finally decided that life isn't getting more convenient anytime soon so might as well add a pup to the mix. I had two musts: 1) a non-shedding breed 2) not a puppy. I don't like dog hair, and I have enough babies of my own to want to take on another. So that being said, we found this Bouvier in need of a home and officially took the dog-ownership plunge last week!

And on that note, what a week. Our first sight of him had us smitten. He's a beautiful mix of gray, white, and fawn, with a shaggy face and beard that reminds me of some sort of mythical creature. But under all of that mane is the sweetest teddy bear face you ever saw, with chocolate eyes and a big black peppercorn nose. He's possibly the most striking dog I've ever seen. His hair is so soft and nice to touch. And it turns out that he's got one heck of a personality! A couple of things were evident; he was both extremely sweet and extremely stubborn. He loved being with us, didn't make much noise, didn't jump on us or cause any disarray in the house. He loved to be scratched and rubbed. But unlike most dogs we've known, he didn't like dog treats, dog toys, or even the huge comfy bed we bought him. He wouldn't go up or down stairs unless forced. And putting him into his kennel took muscle. But once he got past the initial nerves of coming to a new place and getting a new family, he was super laid back and easy going, content to relax quietly around the house. Around Thane and I, at least...

Unfortunately, we found out pretty quickly that his affections didn't go much farther than the two of us. It turns out he is a true guard dog, which is what we wanted, but not quite to his "level of professionalism" hahaha. He did a lot of growling at friends and family and neighbors, not to mention lunging at the vet in a very unfriendly manner. To make matters worse, the boys were always acting crazy around him, like running up on him and screaming in his face, finding random objects like yard sticks and running around like they were spears, etc. That made me super nervous and I couldn't help but worry that they were going to stress him out and provoke some sort of terrible reaction.

We were as patient as we could possibly be with him, knowing he'd been through a lot; like a long trip via plane, getting loose and being chased around outside at 2am the night we brought him home {he was so nervous about going into our house that he pulled right out of his collar}, and the fact that he had just been neutered {unbeknownst to us} and had an infection. We don't blame him one bit for being stressed, but after a week he still hadn't shown us that he could be social. As much as we wanted him to work out, he just wasn't a good fit for our family.

So we drove him back to his original owner in Kentucky over Thanksgiving weekend, sad to have to say goodbye to him, and deflated to put such a quick end to our adventures in having a dog. It was such a shame that his troublesome traits overshadowed his great ones. But despite the crazy, hectic stress that came out of the experience, Jasper will always hold a special place in our hearts. I really hope and pray that he finds a home that's perfect for him.


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