From Mike McCurry’s “Talk of the Town” column in The Clarendon Courier, August 2, 2018
As we’re pulling into Perry Farm Park in Bourbonnais to meet our dog breeder Sabrina, I began to reflect on our journey to dog ownership.
It began a few years ago with a firm, “No!”
Over time, that firmness really never softened, but my wife’s persistence, and children’s determination came to a head, and an announcement at a backyard family barbecue that we put a deposit down on a puppy was the begining to my journey to Bourbonnais.
I realized that they were going to do this with or without me. I have a feeling I’m not alone in the “dragging of one’s feet” department. The stories that I’m hearing from other men around town sound familiar to mine. Some have even imparted words of wisdom about what happens when the honeymoon ends, and their pet is grown. The promises to walk, feed and take care of their pet will be forgotten. They tell me that walking the dog isn’t that bad after all, and that it’s even an enjoyable experience, because that time spent with man’s best friend becomes “our time.”
Now loyal “Talk of the Town” readers know that I am not an animal-hater. Growing up, I had a hound named T-Bone, Chrissie the teacup poodle, Rusty the Irish setter and Jill the dalmatian. As for cats, we had Mittens, Jubes and Suckles.
And now you are probably wondering what kind of puppy we picked up in Bourbonnais. I like to call it the “Clarendon Hills breed,” because there are so many of its siblings and the mix of dogs who look similar around town. It’s the distant cousin to the goldendoodle: the Labradoodle.
I’m confident that there are readers who have also visited the Perry Farm Park to pick up their new pet, just like us. I know the Labradoodle isn’t the only breed around town, but it does seem to be a common trend lately.
From my vantage point, I watch the doggies dragging their owners to my office’s front door for their daily treats. Some are mutts, a few are pure breads, but a surprising number are rescue dogs from local shelters. I have heard how the shelter interviews the family to make sure they are a good fit for the pet—not the other way around. It’s a much different experience than buying from a breeder—and very rewarding for both the pet and the new owner.
We are now on day three of owning our new puppy, and we haven’t named her yet. We’ll wait until our family is reunited with my wife and son, when they return from their African mission trip. There are a few names, however, that are being tested by each member of our household. My daughter Abigail likes Rosebud; Elizabeth likes Lucy; my wife and son Micah have thrown in their favorites from Africa: Robi (short for Nairobi) and Kenya. As for my son Noah and I, we like Vike (short for Vikings) and Skol (the war chant for our favorite NFL team). We realize there is no chance our names will make the cut. Noah has opted for Copper, just in case.
It’s now been three sleepless nights up with our little four-legged pet, and we’re becoming fast friends. It’s been quite a journey that started with a “no.” I’m happy for the persistence, because the joy that “puppy” has brought to the McCurry home has been immeasurable. She is so cute, and has a wonderful personality.
I can’t wait for our long walks around the neighborhood, and to introduce her to the cousins.