As most of you know, I have been sharing Inez with another family since her arrival on June 27th. I had set a pre-determined pick up date post turn in, thinking I would need more time to grieve over turn in and move forward with puppy raising. Boy was I wrong! I was ready to bring Inez home within the first week and a half. But I held up my end of the bargain and did not bring her home full time until the end of September. It will be two weeks on Saturday since she arrived home and I couldn’t be happier. Life just feels so perfect with a Canine Companions puppy in my home. Life is a little bit sweeter. My home also has a lot more hair with a puppy in it, but I would take vacuuming over an empty home any day.
Everything Inez and I knew about each other, we learned in the training room. She had never been to my home, and we hadn’t spent more than a few hours together since the day she arrived. Everything I remembered about her was all dated knowledge – meaning she was no longer that eight week old puppy who had no bladder control. The day I picked her up, knowing I was bringing her home for good, was a day filled with anxiety and nerves. I was concerned that we wouldn’t connect, that she wouldn’t respect me, and that she was going to try to take advantage of everything. And, to be truthful, all my fears came true except for the connection part. Inez is a very good dog. She is easily motivated with food rewards, and is very sweet and loving. But she also came with no respect for me and spent the first few days thoroughly testing my will and patience. Let me tell you, I won. Our contract trainer has assured me that because of her age, this is all a part of the game. I was very lucky with Helaine, who never challenged me outside of the two weeks leading to her heat cycle. Inez is a hard working little dog, and now she seems to think I hung the moon. But just because I hung the moon doesn’t mean she’s going to agree with the way I hung it. So with every challenge she dishes my way, I’ll be prepared to correct the behavior and let her know that I am indeed the ring leader in this circus that is our life together.
She turned five months old a few days after she came home full time, which means that we were able to begin using her “big dog vest” as I like to call it. Helaine’s vest was handed down to Inez, so that meant I had to do one more thing to complete the cycle of turning her in – put away her travel bag. Yes, I’ll admit, I was hoping that if I never put it away I wouldn’t have to face the fact that my girl was gone. But when Inez turned five months I knew that I had to have a vest for her, and she would also need the bowl that was in it. So, I would have to pull it out eventually. So, with a few tears in my eyes and butterflies in my stomach, I reached into the depths of my trunk and grabbed Helaine’s bag. I had shoved it all the way to the back of my trunk just after handing over the leash. Partially because I didn’t want to see it, and partially because my best friend and I still had three and a half days of vacationing to do before we got home so it was just best to put it out of sight and out of mind. It still had strands of hair on it from Helaine, and that made me tear up even more. But, this was a part of a new chapter in my life and hers so I tightened the straps and fitted it for Inez’s (slightly) smaller build. And then we had a photo shoot.
I am thrilled that she’s home and that our adventures are starting. I hope to bring this blog back up to speed now that I have stories and photos to share! Please join me in welcoming Inez home!