Puppy love: bachelor instructor adopts puppy siblings

Tim Straubel, a professor of German, hugs his dog Maggie while Owen eats grass. ÒOwen, why are you doing that? WhatÕs with the grass today?Ó Straubel asked his dog.

Zirconia Alleyne

Dog-lovers Brent and Holly Oglesbee were on a mission to find a companion for their friend and bachelor Tim Straubel.

The couple had adopted four dogs from the Bowling Green Humane Society and wanted Straubel, a WKU German instructor, to get one too.

 “She was the one who pestered Tim for years to consider getting a dog from the local shelter,” said Brent, the head of the WKU art department.

Straubel, who was 38 at the time, enjoyed volunteering at the shelter but was worried he didn’t have enough time for a dog of his own.

“I didn’t want (a dog) to be in a kennel that long,” he said.

Holly, an office associate for Modern Languages, said she knew that he needed a four-legged friend when he bought a house in 2006 and was living alone.

So she made a point to send him pictures of dogs that he could adopt.

“I think he really wanted a dog,” she said. “He just hadn’t found the right ones.”

On the search for the perfect pooch, Straubel noticed a puppy mixed with Beagle, Basset Hound, Shar Pei and Lab. He later named her Magnolia —  Maggie for short.

After meeting with Maggie’s foster mother through the Humane Society in August 2008, he realized that Maggie was a package deal.

She had a brother, which he named Owen, and they were inseparable.

So he adopted both.

Holly said she wondered if he had bitten off more than he could chew.

“I don’t know if he was ready for two little puppies,” she said. “But he got online and researched them and began to train them.”

Like any new parent, Straubel took on the challenge eager and excited.

He created a Facebook page with pictures of Maggie and Owen in Green Bay Packers gear and their Halloween costumes.

One year, Maggie was a prisoner and Owen was a police officer. However, in reality, those roles are switched.

Maggie is the lady of the house with a clever and bossy personality.

“You can see her thinking out a problem,” he said. “It’s like the wheels are turning in her eyes.”

She quickly learned how to unhook the dog seat belts during car rides.

Owen, on the other hand, loves the fun of the moment, often falling for Maggie’s set-ups.

Straubel said Owen concentrates on what’s in front of him at the moment, especially if it’s treat time.

Along with training, Maggie and Owen know their daily schedule. Treat time is at      9 p.m.

“I have a cornucopia of dog treats on the top of my fridge,” he said. “Owen will come look at me like, ‘I’m starving, Father, I’m wasting away to nothing.’”

One slippery accident after Thanksgiving nearly brought Straubel to tears.

During a rainy nighttime potty break, he slipped and lost Maggie’s leash, and she bolted.

“I thought, ‘What if she gets lost in the woods or gets stuck with the leash around her neck?’” he said.

He called a neighbor to help with the search while Owen whimpered alongside him.

After an hour of rummaging and shouting, the search party succeeded.

The doorbell rang once they were back inside. It was a policeman with Maggie’s leash in hand.

“Luckily, like a child, she went to a police officer’s house,” Straubel said.

Reunited, he reflected on how he’d grown just as attached to Maggie and Owen as they were to one another.

“I don’t know what I would do without my dogs,” he said.

Holly said she knows Maggie and Owen are her colleague’s family.

Straubel said if he found a woman who didn’t like dogs, he wouldn’t give up Maggie and Owen, because they’ve always been there for him.

“They’re such a big part of his life,” she said. “I can’t see him without them.”