Taz was purchased from the Puppy Pen in Palmer, Massachusetts by a family from Ludlow for $200 plus tax. According to the receipt for this purchase, she is a labrador/cocker spaniel mix born on November 5, 2003. My guess is that she was bought in time for Christmas by the B. family, who had two very small children.
Mrs. B. told me she had wanted a dog who would grow up with her children. Unfortunately for both the family and the puppy, Mrs. B. vastly underestimated the amount of time and effort it takes to housebreak and train a dog. Both she and Mr. B. work, and they have an extremely clean and neat newish ranch house. The kind with doorways but few doors, and beige wall-to-wall carpeting in the family room. No way to isolate a puppy in a vinyl-floored kitchen.
So the puppy ended up crated from 8 p.m. (childrens' bedtime) until 6 a.m. (childrens' wake-up time) in the walk-out basement, then immediately taken outside and chained on a run in the spacious, treeless, boring backyard. Despite this schedule and the fact that the crate was right next to the slider, the puppy managed to piddle on the carpets with fair frequency--running outside in the morning, for example, then running distractedly right back inside, piddling on the carpet, and then running out again. Mr. B. seemed to dote on his children but care nothing for the dog, and Mrs. B. was at her wit's end.
Mrs. B. put an offer in the MassMutual News for a free dog just at the time that we were looking for same. After a week or so, the B. family had gotten only one bite on the ad. We went out to see "Sadie" and found her chained in the backyard. Clean, with plenty of food, fresh water, and shade available, but lonely and bored. She was so uncontrollably excited to have visitors, it was pathetic. Love at first sight for Amir, dog, and me. Lady #1 never called back; we powwowed at our house a couple of days, and then the switch was made.
We decided that "Sadie"didn't fit...too generic. We renamed her Taz, as in "Tasmanian Devil." With frequent walks, she was soon housebroken. For a few weeks, Taz and I were locked in a power struggle, but she lost her bid to be alpha dog and settled happily enough for being allowed to sleep under the covers with her head on the pillow.
Taz is the kind of dog that needs to find out for herself that there's no more ice cream left in the carton. For other pictures of her which actually show her head, click on the keyword "cockador" below.