Welcome Home

Yesterday, much like the last five months, was a whirlwind.  It started at 6:30 AM.  I woke up minutes before my alarm was set to go off, and I was ready to start the day.  I stayed with a friend on Tuesday who only lives 20 minutes from the airport, so waking up so early was really rather unnecessary.  What can I say?  I was excited!

I arrived at the airport a solid 40 minutes prior to her arrival.  I thought that the morning traffic would have been more chaotic, but I was pleasantly surprised that we were able to stop for a coffee and enjoy the drive rather than panic and stress over it.  It was really quite enjoyable.  I spent most of the time gushing over being a puppy raiser.  How it’s been eight (eeeek!) years since I’ve had a tiny puppy.  I mumbled through my apprehension and fears.  But mostly, I just shared my heart and why I was so thrilled to be apart of an organization like this one again.  It went by quickly, but I will always cherish these very first memories.

As I said before, we arrived 40 minutes early.  I didn’t quite know what to do with myself.  I sat in my car for 15 of those…and then the excitement took over and I couldn’t wait any longer.  I walked into Air Cargo and it hit me harder than it’s hit me any other day…today was the day I was picking up my puppy.  Looking back 24 hours later, and I’m overwhelmed with emotions and I’m actually tearing up.  Go figure, I save the waterworks for the blog post.  I was greeted by our welcome waggers.  Let me tell you, they are absolute saints.  We spent the next 20 minutes chatting and sharing experiences with each other.  They provided wonderful advice, and amazing support.  In fact, they came with a puppy survival package filled with treats, toys and even a blanket for my girl.  And (this is the part that really draws emotion in me) they even took over the responsibility of cleaning out and preparing her crate for the trip home so I could spend those first few moments just loving on her.  Again, they are saints…I could go on for days about what that support means to me.  I will cherish those memories forever.

We were in mid conversation when I realized it was time to meet Helaine.  I could here her tiny little bark echoing through the building.  This is where things get really fuzzy.  They brought her crate through the door and the only thing I wanted to do was let her out so I could snuggle her and kiss her sweet face.  However, I had to sign for her, and we had to get the ties cut off the crate so we could get her out.  It was this moment where my excitement and anxiousness really kicked in at it’s highest.  She was right in front of me, I just wanted her in my arms!

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This was the moment I could no longer contain myself. 

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Trying to convince her it’s really okay to come out now.

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And this is the moment I fell in love with her.

From the moment I laid eyes on her, I knew that she was absolutely the most perfect puppy in the entire world.  Am I biased?  You know it.  Everything about her was adorable!  Her puppy smell, her breath, her little feet and her sad eyes.  Hopefully those sad eyes go away soon!  I even love her green ear.  (side note:  CCI puppies are identified by a tattoo in their right ear.  They use a green ink when tattooing puppies, hence the term “green ear”)  She is so precious.  I was in love and in awe from the very first moment I saw her.  It is really rather surreal.

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One thing I recieved that I wasn’t expecting, is her puppy collar that she had been wearing in her first weeks of life.  She was the fifth born in the litter, and wore the hot pink one.  I will definitely cherish this little memento forever.  I think it’s the sweetest gift ever!

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Helaine’s puppy collar. 

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Getting ready to leave the airport!

After about 25 minutes of snuggling, walking around, hurrying and chatting, it was time to load up and head home.  Well, not home right away.  Instead we went back to my friends house to relax, nap and hang out as I had a goal of going to puppy class to show her off.  She settled in quickly, and we began playing with one of her many (many) new toys.

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This one is her favorite, and it just so happens to be the most obnoxious.

 

Two hours later, she was ready for some lunch.  It’s incredible what you learn about your puppy in the first few days together.  The two things I’ve learned about Helaine and her food are as follows;  1)  She’s not really interested in eating.  We’re gonna have to work on that.  She will eat a few kibbles, then go play, eat some more, and play some more.  I wait the specified 15 minutes, and then remove whatever she hasn’t eaten.  She didn’t even eat half of her dinner last night.  and 2) She’s really lazy.  See picture below:

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Yes, she’s laying down while eating her lunch.  She also does this while she drinks water.  Apparently doing both of those things is seriously strenuous business. She then proceeded to drink almost her entire bowl of water in one sitting…her belly was enormous!

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See that round belly? That’s full of water, and what goes in must come out.  Fortunately she has only had one single accident since she’s been with me…and that was completely my fault.  I was trying to get her some dinner but she had other ideas.  Lesson learned right away. 

We attended class last night, but she really was overstimulated and wasn’t in the mood for treats or food.  We spent most of the time just kind of observing and getting her used to the hussle and bussle of class.  She even got a nail trim!  It wasn’t necessarily a success, but it was a good first experience.  After class, we went home.  I introduced her to my niece, who of course loves her, and she had some dinner, some play time and a whole lot of sleep.  She did wake up a few times at night, but she quickly went back to sleep.  Good girl Helaine!

Overall it was a really wonderful experience.  I will cherish all of these first memories forever, and I’m looking forward to all the things we will go through together.  One of my favorite quotes of all time is by none other, than Winnie the Pooh and is completely applicable to puppy raising I think.  It is “As soon as I saw you I knew an adventure was going to happen”   An adventure indeed.  That Winnie the Pooh, what a smart guy he was.  Here’s to all our new adventures, and just for fun, here are a few more pictures, just because.

adfa Helaine practicing her “Sit”

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My sleepy girl, curled up in my lap.

Welcome home my love.  I’ve been waiting for you for a long time.    

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