With the fever raging we moved into the winter season. Rob talked about wanting his own Poodle to show and I dreamed of owning a travel trailer. Did I mention in my web MD search that another side effect of Show Fever is the need for more! More dogs, more gear, more of anything dog show related. It was obvious to our friends and family that Rob and Karen had gone past the point of no return :)
We were in the midst of remodeling our 1924 Storybook style house; our master suite was under renovations so we had moved into our guest room. At night I would hide under the blanket and slowly open my iPad; hoping to not wake my snoring hubby. There in my cocoon of blankets and soft light I would scour the Poodle Breeder web pages. Looking for the right puppy for Rob; being an architect he needed a pup that would engage his eye for detail. One night I found it.....a parti poodle, I hadn't seen one at any of the shows we had attended. Remember we only had gone to two shows at this point and visited an local AKC show venue. I excited saved the web site, gently closed my iPad, un-buried my head and with a joy filled heart drifted off to sleep; I had a surprise!
Within the next week I called the breeder; we chatted for an hour and she still had the pup available! The catch was she held back 2 pups trying to decide which one she wanted to keep; my heart sank. She reassured me that she would make a decision in a couple of days. I had wanted to surprise Rob, but the anticipation got the best of me.....yup, I told him! He looked at the photo and loved the puppy, but then thought the pup may not get tall enough for him. Rob's a really tall man and he envisioned walking down our neighborhood with a toy poodle! He's confident, but NOT that confident! So I had to call the breeder back and tell her the news; she was disappointed too since we had hit it off on the phone so well.
Just a few days later, we are snuggled into our warm bed; the cool winter air permeates our guest room (we needed to yet install a new furnace), Rob turns to me, "I really think that little fella is cute. Do you think he might still be available?" The woman of action that I am......I reach over to the night stand, whip out the iPad and immediately send off an email. I now get it.....breeders NEVER sleep! I get an email back almost instantly....."Yes! I am so happy you changed your mind!" Okay, maybe I'm weird but.....every time we get a new dog...... I have this heart racing, excitement.......like hearing "you're going to have a baby!" okay maybe not that exciting but really.......it's close!
Like knowing your pregnant, it's name time! Oh my gosh, we make lists of registered names, checking to be sure they aren't already used; then you have to have a call name! This exercise can take us anywhere from a few days to weeks. You'd think we were naming the next President! Well, maybe the next Westminster winner! Seriously, how does it sound in the TV emcee voice???? You don't want it so hard the announcer can't say it correctly.....this is stressful stuff! Laying awake at night; I am the most creative at night, names like flying cars down the interstate whiz by......I keep a note card on the bed stand for just these moments.
We now have it narrowed down to 4 registered names and 4 call names.......whew! As the day approaches to pick up the new arrival, there is much preparation to do. I think a puppy shower should be thrown for every new puppy. I mean, we throw showers for weddings, babies, retirements........gearing up for a new pup is costly :) I mean he can't get old used, hand down, pre-chewed toys....right! or that raggy old blanket that has seen it's better day, what about food bowls, collars, leashes and a name tag! See what I mean........PUPPY SHOWERS!
It's winter, we load up the car with a kennel (used.....Sienna's old one she outgrew; hope he doesn't notice!), TOMTOM gps and a new fleece blanket! Yes, I felt guilty over that old used, kennel. Full tank of gas and we are off, hoping for good weather; it's a 4+ hours drive to the rendezvous location. We pulled into the deserted country club parking lot; I mean who's golfing with 6" of snow on the ground! We arrive first; leaving the car running we wait ..... 15 minutes goes by, did we miss him? I begin to get anxious, maybe he hit a snow storm? Wait! I have his cell.......maybe I should call? Rob, ever calm reaches over and pat's my hand. I know what THAT means.......give him more time. Looking up Rob points to a red pick up pulling down the drive.....YES! he's here! The Stork Arrived! I need to remind myself, this isn't MY puppy but Robs!
The hand off..... Out of his crate comes this furry, spotted puppy! Such a face! The love begins all over again! Another family had shown up as well and were equally excited about their new arrival!
There is something thrilling about getting a new dog........even friends, family and even neighbors get caught up in this new arrival into your home. Hmm....maybe those shower invites weren't such a bad idea!