Since the first two had been such a smashing success, the owner asked for two more. This time he received another blue merle male, and a pure white female with blue eyes who was stone deaf. Again, the blue merle male was purchased immediately, the white female was purchased by one of the store employees, and in between all this going on, the red merle male was returned. So much time has passed I don't even recall the reason.
For some reason, after that initial purchaser, nobody wanted this red merle Australian Shepherd puppy. He was there day after day. I started training him. I called him Hasso, which is a term anyone unfamiliar with martial arts probably would not understand. Well, I couldn't just call him "Hey you," and "puppy" forever. It's hard to train a dog without something solid to call him.
Hasso, of course, is an extremely smart little dog. He picked up on things so quickly I ran out of practical things to teach him and started teaching him the silly frivolous stuff just to keep us occupied.
Hasso was my heart. I looked forward to work, and working with him, every day. I dreaded the day when I came in and he simply wasn't there anymore, but day after day went by and that didn't happen. One day I was standing at the puppy window when a customer was looking over the dogs and she saw Hasso and said, "Ew! That dog is UGLY!" I wanted to say to her, "Your mom's ugly," but instead I just glared for a minute and then went and got him out to show her what an ugly dog can do.
Because everyone was impressed by Hasso. Always. I still to this day can't figure out why it took him so long to find a home.
Eventually, a regular Sunday customer who had been coming in faithfully every Sunday for about a year looking for "the right one" bought Hasso, and I was very happy with that arrangement. I knew this wasn't a spontaneous decision for this guy. Really, when I say every Sunday for a year, I mean just that. Every Sunday without fail, this guy and his two daughters would come in, play with three or four dogs, ask questions about different breeds, and I wouldn't see them again for a week. They fell in love with Hasso as much as I did, and they still come in the store, so I can keep tabs on him. His name is now Hunter. I'm guessing his "camo color" led to that name. It sort of sounds like Hasso.
Hasso was my dog. For a little while. I really would have liked him to be my dog forever. But I know where he is, and I know how he is, and I know he is well loved, and I couldn't ask for more.
Hasso. My heart.