here comes the sun
May you be happy.
May you be healthy.
May you know peace.
~ - ~ - ~
On December 21st my mother, brother and I drove to Rhode Island and came back with a golden retriever puppy. Her name is Allie, and she is a warm, wriggling bundle of love & mischief. This journal has been quiet for some time, but it is perhaps no surprise that when I break silence the first thing I want to talk about is puppies. Of course puppies!
I had been looking about for golden retriever breeders since mid-summer, with the idea of finding one ready to come home in mid-to-late fall. Finding an available puppy that is the kind you want, when you want it, is all about timing and patience. Lots of patience. In late October I happened to check the website for Friday Golden Retrievers and found out that their female Tyra had given birth to a litter of four females and four males, just two days prior. After some excited conferencing we made contact with the owner, Deb, and put our name down for one of the girls.
When the pups were ten days old we drove out to visit them, and meet Deb and the mama, Tyra. The babies were so tiny! Deb put pictures up on the website each week to show them growing bigger, so they did look noticeably farther along at 10 days than when they were just born, but still, so tiny! And for the most part their eyes were closed; they slept in a big puppy pile and if you disturbed one she would start sniffing and snuffling and scrabbling with her little feet, trying to find out where the rest of the puppy pile had got to. cute!
All of the pictures I took that afternoon are in this set at Flickr, if you would like to see. We just loved holding the pups and meeting the mother, watching them nurse and snuffle about. But at ten days old it's hard to tell one pup from the other, they all exist in a tiny world of sleep-eat-cuddle. ^_^
In the above picture you can see them lined up to nurse. ^_^ It was hilarious to watch all eight of them nursing together, because the first ones just latched onto the nearest teat, so the late comers would wriggle over and under and on top of the others to find an open spot. *g*
The puppies were ready to leave their mom and come home to their new families as soon as they turned 8 weeks. When our turn came we had two puppy girls to choose from, and my heart was drawn right away to our Allie. But they were both adorable! We spent about two hours playing with the pups and talking to Deb. In the picture below Allie is in the foreground.
It was a 2 hr drive to the breeders, so on the way home Fritz held a mostly-sleeping Allie in a little box on his lap. Fortunately for us she did not get carsick! By the time we got home it was 7:30 or 8pm. When a new pup comes to live in your house, it's easiest to cordon off one or two rooms for the pup to be in, with the rest of the house off limits. Then after she's potty trained and knows basic rules, she can get to know the rest of the house more and more. Well when Allie got home, she ran around checking the place out, and then settled down to sleep.
Since then she's been a real handful, let me tell you. She is a joy and a pleasure, but - as every puppy is - a lot of work. We have to watch her at all times because she wants to bite and chew on everything in site. As of today she's been home a bit over 4 weeks, and is almost all-the-way potty trained (the accidents being because we weren't paying attention). And whenever she's awake, she wants to be entertained and if no toy catches her fancy, goes looking for fun (i.e. trouble!) Sheesh, it's exhausting. Right now she's twelve weeks old - these weeks are similar to 2 and 3 yr old kids in terms of development. Last night my mom and I went to orientation for puppy kindergarten, which was very informative and a lot of fun. ^_^ There are a bunch of other pictures you can see in this Flickr set, which I may add to later.
I hope you all are doing well. ^_^ having brought up two previous golden retriever puppies you think we'd be old hands at it, but I think the brain puts a little blur over the hairy details as the years go by. I look at Hannah and praise her for being such an good girl - responsible, mature, intelligent and respectful. When usually I'm busy telling everyone how she acts just like a puppy and is crazy bouncy and playful! ;D lol. For all the trouble and chaos, puppies are worth it. I am so happy we have Allie in our lives. ^_^