January 20, 2012 by Shannon
Rama came to me during a time of strife in my life. My husband and I were separated and headed for divorce, I was suddenly alone with three kids and even though we had small dogs, it just wasn’t right without a big dog. I’d had Rottweilers years earlier, fostered some medium to large dogs, but was ready for something different. I’d been scouting Corso breeders for some time, and had been out to the breeder’s place a few times. Apparently she had a five month old brindle female show-quality pup who’d had a deposit put down on her but the gentleman never showed to pick her up. I’d seen her about a month earlier when I’d come to look at a different pup, but my how she’d grown in just those few weeks!
When we pulled up (all three kids in tow), she was running about happily, all 60 pounds of her. She took an immediate liking to my seven year old son, who was quick to toss a stick for her. That was pretty much it. To this day he is still her favorite person. I was very impressed with how gentle she was; she never once tried to jump up. It was pretty much instant love. She came home with us that day. I already had a name picked out:
Rama is the seventh avatar of the god Vishnu in Hinduism. He is revered for compassion, courage and devotion. Rama it was.
From the first night Rama was a very easy pup. In fact she was a breeze. The first night I put her crate in my bedroom. No crying, just snoring. Loud snoring. It reminded me of my husband. I couldn’t sleep when he’d been lying next to me snoring and she was louder than he was, so that crate immediately went elsewhere! She whined to go out from the get-go. Even when she had a bout of diarrhea that first week, she woke me several times during the night to be let out. I could absolutely full-on mouth kiss breeders who take care to work with their pups from the beginning; who raise clean dogs. It is absolutely, unequivocally the best thing ever, next to a great temperament and a well-bred dog of course.
Having gotten used to Chinese Cresteds (who are incredibly difficult to completely housebreak), this harkened back to my Rottie days. They, too, had been so easy. Even the rescues that I’d taken in as adults–dogs who’d been yard dogs–potty trained easier than these little nakeds. Not until I got into Cresteds did I come face-to-face with a full-on pottying issue that would just about bring me to the brink of deciding not to even have dogs anymore. It took me about five years of dealing with Cresteds pottying anywhere and everywhere they pleased to decide that the breed just was not for me. Having Rama brought back so much confidence that had been waning for the last few years. Dogs had always been a part of my life. To have such a hard time with a breed and not be able to get on top of something as basic as housebreaking just about did me in.
Rama was a wonderful house dog. In no time at all she was sleeping with the crate door open, which I hadn’t been able to do with a dog in a long time. Being a single woman I really wanted her to be free-roaming in the house but I never expected I could do so with her that early. She never messed with anything. She chewed on her own things, and as she grew she would occasionally put her mouth on something not meant for her, and with a quick verbal reprimand and the proper chew toy plopped in front of her, she learned very quickly. Her trainability was so refreshing. Not to mention the sound of that big bark. Oh how I’d missed a big bark. Music to my ears. And being able to rest your arm at your side and reach a big head? Priceless.