This post – and others following – is being written almost a month and a half after we got Buddy. I was in the throes of raising him and only managed to create quick Facebook posts for a while.
We were expecting to get Buddy the weekend after Thanksgiving. We had the grandkids here the week of Thanksgiving to help Tracey get work done on her VTS application, which is a huge amount of work. The plan was to drop the grandkids off, then pick up our puppy. I joked with Andy that I was going to go from watching the grandkids (including dealing with Landon’s remote schooling) to getting a new puppy – what was I thinking?
Surprise! We got a call from the breeder that they were going to start letting the puppies go home the weekend before. So we packed the kids up and drove to NJ on Saturday. Then drove back. I had just picked the Landon and Leiana up the day before. Lots of riding in the car for those kids. Lots of “how much longer.” But, really, they were troopers. Having them with us changed how I had envisioned bringing him home. Instead of being able to sit in the back with Buddy and snuggle with him, we had to put a crate in the back of the car because the car seats took up that space. So the poor guy had to ride by himself. There were plenty of stops, however. One of the last ones, he didn’t pee, but he kept looking up at me. I came back and said to Andy, “I think he just needs some snuggling.” So we took a chance and let him ride in the front with us for a bit. That soothed him fairly quickly and we put him back in the safety of the crate.
I joked that first week that I had 3 puppies. And it was a really hard week. The saving grace is that the breeders had him potty trained during the night. He woke up early, but I could deal with that rather than multiple trips outside during the wee hours of the morning. And early morning time (he still wakes up earlier than I used to) has become “our time.” Extra bonus: I’ve seen a lot of sunrises.
Leiana and Landon – ages 3 and 6 – needed to be taught about puppies and their razor-sharp teeth. And that when they squealed and ran away it excited him instead of calming him down. I felt like I said the same things on repeat ad nauseum, including the command to “jump up on the couch where he can’t reach you!” That week is one of the few times I scruffed Buddy. Leiana put her face in his face and he lunged towards her. I quickly grabbed his scruff and pulled him back. I was on hyper-alert any time he and the kids were together.
There is always an upside to things. And the upside to this hard first week was that the kids got to meet Buddy and Buddy got to meet the kids. And he adored them. And they may have had some mixed feelings. They liked him, but they wanted to be able to play with him without him turning into a shark boy. It will happen, in time.
When Tracey and I met the following weekend to exchange the kids, I brought Buddy with me, so she got to meet him. And she said he was a calm puppy. I liked hearing that. Especially after my week.
Here are some pictures (and videos) of Buddy from that first week.