Atticus puppy

I got my puppy Atticus by mere chance, and I will forever be thankful for having him. He is the greatest chance gift I have ever received. 

Someone left him tied to a fence next to my dad’s office last year. A few co-workers took the dog home during the week, but it didn’t work out. 

At about six months old, Atticus was full of so much energy, so keeping him would be a big responsibility for anyone. Finally, my dad decided to take Atticus home. 

I remember it like it was yesterday. I got a phone call that my parents had taken a dog home with plans to keep him for the weekend before looking for a permanent home. I had been wanting a dog since I was seven years old, so I knew if I wanted to advocate for the dog to stay, I had to get home. 

Coincidentally, it was also the day after I was notified by my apartment that if I moved out by the weekend, I would be able to get one-fourth of my money back. Louisiana had 11 COVID-19 cases at the time, and I knew that going home was my best option. 

I moved out of my apartment the next day and came home to find the cutest puppy I had ever seen. He was a black lab and border collie mix. He had a white chest and white paws covered with black polka dots and he loved to give kisses. He even had the textbook chocolate brown puppy dog eyes. 

If I had my pick I would have named him Clark Kent, but my dad had already named him Atticus from “To Kill a Mockingbird” by the time I got home. I decided to give him Clark as a middle name. 

Fast forward a few days and we’re getting an email from the university saying that all classes were moved online. Fast forward a few more days and the state was put on lockdown. There was nowhere for us to bring Atticus even if we had wanted to. 

Now saying having a dog is expensive is an understatement, but doing so during a pandemic is even tougher. At first, we were going to the vet that was connected to Petco. I had to prove I could take care of Atticus as my responsibility so I was paying. That meant that vet was the best option if I didn’t want to be broke. 

They ended up giving Atticus the wrong prescription one day and I was furious. I talked it over with my parents and they agreed to pay for his vet visits. We switched to a new vet and sure it was more expensive, but it was worth it. 

Aside from the basics like food, water, toys, a bed etc. that a dog needs, you’ll often run into problems. Atticus has really bad allergies. Every few months he’ll flare up with a rash caused by grass of all things. Each time that happens, we have to get his allergy medicine refilled for $172. 

He also hurt his ACL while jumping one day and was put on cage rest to avoid having to get surgery. Thankfully cage rest worked because otherwise, the surgery would have cost around $1,500. 

Atticus is also picky just like me. He doesn’t like every dog food or treat or even bone you give him. We buy the food he likes in bulk at Sam’s to save money. We also recently put him in obedience school which was another high bill. 

It’s not an easy feat to raise a dog, but I wouldn’t trade Atticus for the world. Atticus became our miracle coronavirus puppy and we became his forever home. He just turned two years old, and I plan to bring him with me when I move to Los Angeles next year. 

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