The Birth of a Happie Dog

Welcome back to the Bark Blog, where in the first story we discussed the purpose behind the blog, and dove into the early childhood of myself, Derek Beisel. In this blog we will jump into the early life of Shooter and the story behind the eyes and fur, that many owners don’t really explain to the public. We all see dogs, each and every day, pet them, throw ball with them, but never really hear the full story of them. That is what I am going to do with Shooter, I’d like to make him into a character, a human persona where we can emotionally connect to his story and life. 

Let’s hop into the time travel machine and go back to Friday December 4th 2015. I just ended my shift at AT&T and it was a beautiful sunny Friday night in Myrtle Beach. With me being brand new to the city, I wanted to grab something to eat at a new restaurant. So I got into my car and drove on 17 north until I found something that looked appealing. About 15 minutes into the drive, I see Bourbon Street Bar and Grille which was recommended by various locals to go for good food and cheap drinks. So going northbound on highway 17 I decided to make a U-turn at the light which was about a quarter mile away from the bar. I made the turn and blinkered into the right lane, slowing down to turn into the parking lot of Bourbon Street, all I hear is “SKREEEEETCHHHHHHHH” and a driver was speeding behind me, rear ended me and spun me around 180 degrees. I came a few feet from hitting the light post with my Nissan Sentra. I get out of the car, confused as to what just happened, this lady comes out screaming at me in her old beatup car, with a Pizza Hut uniform on. She was on route to deliver some pizza and ended up hitting me, she must have been running out of time because the tire marks clearly showed her speeding and not allowing me time to turn. My car was damaged on the back right taillight and my adrenaline was pumping. I spoke with the officer, telling him this same exact story, pleading my case and I remember him going “ are you ok, because this was not your fault.” In the midst of all of this discussion, another Pizza Hut delivery driver comes and picks up the pizza to continue the delivery. Man during such a horrible time I just remember laughing at that because it was hilarious that I got hit by a Pizza Hut delivery driver, and then continued the delivery. Grade A service by them, grade F driving skills. My buddy Chris shows up after I spoke with the cop, and me and him just discussed what happened, all the way back to my apartment. Both of us couldn’t believe that Pizza Hut just hit me and that the other delivery driver showed up. What a time to be in a brand new city. 

Ironically, I was hit right in front of a lawyers office, so I didn’t even hesitate on Monday morning to go into the office for help on the accident. After I spoke with the lawyer they got me hooked up with the right doctors, physical therapist, and proper protocol for a situation like this. Mind you, I am 25 years old, in a brand new city after only living here 4 months, no family, a few friends and no car. I ended up breaking my hand in the accident after hitting it on the steering wheel, tearing ligaments in my lower back and neck from the whiplash, and my car was totaled. It was a mess. Christmas was a few weeks away, and I was depressed, upset, injured and away from my family. I started going to physical therapy a few times a week, which was a pain in the ass because working retail sales the schedule always fluctuates. Luckily my manager understood and worked with me.  About a week went by and I was down, and was walking into a one bedroom, one bath apartment alone. It wasn’t my lowest point in life, but it definitely was up there. Little did I know that this car accident, my depression, my injuries, my loneliness was all going to come to an end, and that accident may have been one of the best things that ever happened in my life! 

My friend at the time, Seth, was a young guy, lived on his own, and had a long distance relationship. He as telling me that he was rescuing a dog as a Christmas present to himself, and told me about it. Honestly, I always wanted a dog living with me, but I never knew when was the perfect time. This seemed like a perfect time. I hopped on craigslist, looked at a few ads, and saw black and white lab puppies. I messaged the lady and asked her if there are any males. They had 3 male puppies at 6 weeks young. Monday December 21st, my buddy Chris and I drove to Florence,South Carolina which is about 1.5 hours away from Myrtle, to pick up a puppy. To be completely honest, I had zero clue what I was doing, I bought a dog crate, food, toys, dishes, leash, collar, etc for a startup dog kit per say. I had my hand in a cast, no really idea as to how to train a puppy, but I figured what the hell, I wanted a puppy and I felt like it would help with my situation mentally. And let me tell you what, that night in the Walmart parking lot, when I held my future dog, the owner said “this one loves to cuddle” and without even blinking an eye, that was mine.

Driving 1.5 hours back to myrtle beach, with a 6 week old puppy in my hand, shivering with confusion, we talked about different names for him. Yup that’s right, I had a puppy in my lap, and I didn’t have a name. I got back to my apartment at about midnight on December 22nd 2015 and I stayed up all night with the little guy. I kept squeaking toys at him, trying to get him to play, but nothing. He was so lethargic, confused and wasn’t eating or drinking. I thought this dog was broken. My mom was up at about 430 am to go to work so I called her crying, because I didn’t know what was going on with him. I always remembered them telling me don’t get a dog off of craigslist because you don’t know what you are getting. Motherly instincts work for the most part, but this time I was praying she was wrong. With maybe an hour of sleep on the floor, I went first thing in the morning to the vet at 7am. After the vet saw him, tested him, gave him shots and whatever vets do to puppies, I received the greatest news…. He was 100% healthy. My little guy was sitting there with his ears bigger then his head, his legs longer then his body, and just had this look in his eyes that was so gentle and was ready to become my best friend. The vet asked me what his name was, as I was asking probably dumb simple questions of pretty much what to do with a puppy, I decided on a limb to call him Diego. Diego was his name for about 5 minutes as I signed the paper work, paid for the service and walked out the door. As soon as we got to the car, I looked at him and said “you aren’t Diego”. 

I actually went until Thursday without a name for him. I was name flopping from “Titan” to “Tiger” to “McNair” to “Eddie” I just couldn’t get something that stuck. My buddy Seth who told me to get a dog, was standing outside with me at work, and goes “ you should name him shooter, like Shooter McGavin” and tossed up the double guns. For those that don’t know Shooter McGavin, Christopher McDonald played him as a golf character from the movie Happy Gilmore with Adam Sandler. McGavin was portrayed as a douche golfer, uptight, Mr. Rules guy, and was the “bad guy” to Happy Gilmore. Although Shooter my dog is none of this, the name Shooter comes from the movie Happy Gilmore and that is how the origin of Shooter came about.

Friday was Christmas Day, and I had it planned all week that I was going to take Shooter to the beach and let him play. Well let me tell you, this dog had one hell of a time, running in the sand, digging, and touching the ocean water. This was really the first moment as a father that I had tears of joy. Watching my new member to my family, a 6 pound little puppy of fury, run around and be free, I knew that my life was on the rise with rescuing this guy. This was my first holiday away from family, first holiday on my own in a new state, and my first holiday with my son, and I embraced ever single second with him. I played with that dog from sun up on the beach to taking him for a walk to playing in the dog park at my complex. We eventually took a nice afternoon nap together. Christmas 2015 was one that I will always remember because it was the start of a new chapter in my life: Being a Dog Dad.