March 16th, 2013.
A day that shall live on in infamy.
That is the day Mark & I got our first puppy.
Yesterday, when Mark got home from a late night at work, I headed off to the pet store. You know how I knew I’d been too long out of the pet arena? I thought a sturdy crate for a medium-to-large sized dog would run between $50 and $75 bucks.
Try $94.98… on sale.
But, I got one and it has a puppy divider in it, so that will be handy to ‘grow’ with her. Also, grain-free, high quality puppy food – which was about as expensive as I guessed it might be – and a few other necessities. By the time I got home, my dear husband was 100% sure he was not going to be able to sleep so we agreed to pick up his mother and head out to see the puppies we had a lead on straight away instead of later in the afternoon/early evening as planned.
Naturally, the weather decided not to cooperate. What was supposed to be a wet, gray day turned into a nasty, sleety, snowy mess! Whilst driving to pick up Linda, the wintery-mix turned icy and the chances of driving 90 minutes out into the boonies of south-central PA dwindled.
We almost, almost decided not to go. Magically, the skies cleared up (mostly) and my hero of a husband agreed to drive. I don’t think I’ve been so happy since our wedding!
Off to meet the puppies! Neither rain, nor snow, nor black of night could stop us. Fortunately, we got lucky and the break in the weather held long enough for us to get far enough south where it was only raining.
Amy’s property sits off one of the many creeks in the area, and her house at the top of a hill seems like a really great place to sit out the apocalypse. Tee-hee. But her dogs were all well behaved and beautiful – including the pups. They had been enjoying their inside-outside free access all morning and were quite happily wet and muddy.
Choosing ‘the right’ puppy from a litter. I’ve read articles and books about the whole ordeal and I was pretty confident I knew what a) we were getting into and b) how to make sure we found ‘the right’ one. Still, when presented with eight happy, fluffy, wriggling bundles of muddy joy – how do you choose?
The polite, handsome male that Linda christened “Shep”? The beautiful red girl who squeaked happily when you stroked her head? The gorgeous blond male who was pretty obviously outgoing and ‘alpha’ (nah, he was already chosen by another family)? The red female with tan face markings? The shy black and white male? The prancing white-faced merle female? The big, gregarious white-less merle male who just can’t get enough affection? The equally big blond boy with amazing feathering?
We knew we wanted a female. Our neighbor’s adult husky responds best to females, which contributed to the decision, but after a bunch of discussion – we were pretty sure a girl was our best bet. We also love the merle look. My dream dog is still a blue merle rough collie (someday!). So despite all other factors, the female merle was pretty much guaranteed to be ours.
Though I tell you what, I would go back today and get the male merle if we could. He was so sweet and so beautiful!
Anyway, we chose the puppy, signed the contract, and climbed in the car to head home. Linda was so adorable with all the dogs. She needs one of her own, one of these days.
Now, a caveat. I never get carsick. Yet on the way to Amy’s house, going up and down and around all these winding, hilly back roads coupled with my seat in the back and trying to read the Mapquest directions – it all left me nauseaus and seconds from hurking.
So when we headed out, with Mark in the back with the puppy, I knew how she might feel. Her first real car ride was going to be both long and rough. Calm and confident as could be, the pup really handled it all very well at first – but poor Mark got an up close and personal experience of a nervous puppy belly when she crawled up into the back window and then pooed all across it.
Yeah. So, guess who gets to go out and Nature’s Miracle the eff out of the car? *thumbs to chest* This girl!
In fact, better get on that. *sigh* This is going to be a helluva adventure.