It occurred to me last night that I have been so obsessed over the last 7 months about whether or not I was even going to get a puppy that I forgot to think about what happens after you find out you are getting a puppy.
It’s ok. I have…10 days.
I can puppy-proof the house in 10 days.
I can teach the Boyfriend not to leave his socks and Builder Bar wrappers on the floor in 10 days (maybe?)
I have a wide selection of puppy containment units and will procure others in the next 10 days.
10 days is plenty of time to address the missing items in my dog supply inventory.
The question here is then… Is 10 days enough to prepare mentally?
Seriously. I haven’t had a puppy in 17 years. Sure, I have cared for and enjoyed the company of other people’s puppies many times since, but it’s not quite the same. Those puppies came and went. I might have had a lot invested in them (like in my parent’s dogs), but at the end of the day, they weren’t mine; I would have no sleepless nights over my responsibilities with those dogs. I have this overwhelming feeling of there being so much at stake here.
Adding to my slight (ha!) feeling of panic is, of course, The Dog. How will she take this? I did the obligatory test run- I took on a friend’s very much ‘in your face’ puppy for awhile last fall before taking the leap and committing to The List. The Dog passed with flying colors. She was quite tolerant and appropriate, though I could see it pained her and she wasn’t in love with the little scamp. I do think that she will get along more happily with her new sister, especially since Breeder says that puppy isn’t really drawn to other dogs that much (and the scamp was drawn to The Dog: especially her eyes, ears and tail). But overall the Dog is a very good hostess for doggie guests, and always did well with Banchor; it was a wonderful coexistence where they could just BE with each other and were bonded by their mutual love for Leader. Fingers crossed that I should be so lucky twice.
No, more of my worry is whether or not she will feel slighted at all. I’ve made it a point to make her the most spoiled dog in creation- whatever it took to make her feel confident and special, she has gotten it. Doing so has brought out an amazing personality and allowed us to see this expressive side of her and of course has drawn out the wonderful companion aspect. We’ve worked so hard on our relationship that I would hate to jeopardize it. I had wanted to give her a few more years of ‘only-ness’ but I couldn’t pass up this opportunity, (as it was the last breeding of a stellar pairing) so we are taking the chance that we can make this change in one piece. (For those of you who have known me over the years, you know I am historically a “one dog” person. Obviously people can make the transition and become successful with multiple dogs, but this is the one area I’ve not yet explored in dog sports. If anyone with multiple dogs has advice, bring it on.)
Make NO mistake though- I am over-the-top excited to bring puppy home (did I mention it is just 10 days away??). I have only a few reasons to panic but about a thousand reasons to do this. While The Dog is more than enough by herself (e.g. irreplaceable! Indispensible!), I need a small dog too. This last year without a mini was hard, and then demographics of the house just aren’t right without that population being represented. So I set out to find a compliment to my life, and found out about these cool little Border/Staffys. Which brings me to the puppy.
She sounds like a perfect fit. I love dogs that are characters, and she looks like exactly that. Half of the photos of her completely crack me up (and the other half are just adorable). From what I hear, she will be an excellent addition to the Project- she seems to be ready and willing to work and looks like she would take on any challenge. In more ways than not I am so ready to meet this little girl.
As for the not, well, I'm an optimist. A lot can happen in 10 days. And I just have to remind myself: the Dog continues to surprise me every day in her growth and progress. This may be no exception. Besides, I have this to look forward to, which definitely proves to be the paper bag to my hyperventilation:
(And if you need to see more...)
(And if you need to see more...)