Puppy love

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Nola loves digging in blankets. (Oct. 31)

Two weeks ago, this little one entered my life. It’s hard to imagine life without her.

We named her Nola after New Orleans, something we always agree on. The name seems to suit her well. She’s sweet, loyal and, as demonstrated by more than a few spills, extremely resilient.

She’s part maltese, part poodle — 100 percent love.

We have a lot in common. We both love peanut butter, Motown and falling asleep on the couch to the evening news.

Nola. (Nov. 2, by Joshua A. Bickel)

We searched Wyoming shelters for small dogs all summer. We fell in love with a dachshund, but someone else adopted her before we could. We found dogs in Colorado shelters, but they didn’t adopt out of state.

My mom’s trusted breeder in Illinois happened to have four puppies available when I visited home in September. When I held Nola, she got scared by a sound from another puppy and burrowed her head into my chest with a wimper. I was sold.

My mom drove her as far as South Dakota, and I drove more than 600 miles each way to pick her up. On the ride back, I let her sit in the passenger seat. She climbed into my lap and stayed there until I had to get gas in Rapid City. She felt safe with me. And I didn’t feel so alone driving in the dark.

She’s taught me a few things in the short time she’s been here.

- Patience is something I work on every day. The dog has taken it to new levels. Nola turns into super-hyper puppy for about an hour every morning, and I feel like I’m at mile No. 10 of a half marathon with Josh.

- Confidence is built on a series of experiences. We’re working on her confidence to squat and do her business outside despite barking pitbulls, strong winds and strangers passing by on the sidewalk.

- Sometimes, we need a little help — even when we know we’ll succeed. Nola can get off the couch, but often she will sit on the end and whine for someone to pick her up and put her on the floor.

06. November 2011 by Jackie B
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