That face.

Becoming a new puppy parent has had its share of challenges over the past couple of weeks, though some habits shared by the hubby and I are probably best broken, such as eating dinner on the coffee table while binge watching HGTV.  I was told puppy-raising is a lot of work, and it definitely has been, especially the hourly outdoor potty breaks and my need to put on layers of clothing so I don’t freeze in the process.

And sleep?  What’s that?

But just like with each of my three children, the frustrations are quickly forgotten when you look at that sweet innocent face.  It’s been a long time since I’ve had to endure the rigors of newborn babies, and thankfully this time around isn’t nearly as physically demanding.  Plus the hubby has been such a help, taking two weeks off of work to help us all acclimate, and providing some much-needed discipline for what otherwise might become a very spoiled dog.

Although from the looks of this photo, I wonder who actually does most of the spoiling.

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The Homecoming

Yesterday we brought Keira home.  As we entered the barn, we were immediately met by two exuberant puppies, with their shy sister choosing to take us in from afar. Being the dog-owner newbie that I am, I was quite surprised at the variance in personalities these three sisters possessed.  Within minutes we knew which puppy would be the perfect match for our family.  My dog-owner friends were right, she really did choose us.

Here is my hubby with our breeder, Judy Fabrizius.  She is a ball-busting ball of energy and without a doubt will be our go-to in case we need any help with Keira.  And of course, she comes highly recommended.

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I have a feeling Keira has been a little spoiled by the vast acreage available to her as a farm pup, but she will be offered lots of love and attention in her new home.  What a gorgeous puppy she is, and of course so full of personality.

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The 8 Week Visit

Last Saturday the hubby was able to swing by the farm to visit Keira and her siblings.  They’ve definitely grown and become much more sociable since our last visit four weeks ago.  Personalities have emerged, with two choosing to wag their tails from afar (while yawning, might I add), as the remaining three begged for attention.  One puppy in particular was quite vocal for acknowledgement.

Aside from the lightest colored puppy which we know is female, hubby couldn’t tell the genders apart.   Though a fox red in color is recognized technically as a darker yellow lab, we can see the variance in color since mama dog is half yellow, half fox red, while papa dog is full fox red.  We had our hearts set on a darker colored dog, which is why we have been anxiously awaiting the arrival of this litter of puppies, however, the hubby indicated that the lightest was also the most calm out of the five.  On Saturday we will have a good hour to hang out with the three females to see which is the best fit for us, or as my dog-owning friends have indicated, which of the three will choose us.

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We made great progress in puppy-proofing the main floor and installed gates to keep the two remaining floors puppy-free for the time being.  It was a task I didn’t look forward to doing because we have somehow managed to amass a ridiculous amount of stuff in the five years we’ve lived here.  But I have to give ourselves some credit, the place looks great and we are definitely ready for Keira’s homecoming!

T-minus 10 days.

Ah, it’s finally March!  We can now start the official countdown to Keira’s homecoming.  This countdown, which quite honestly feels like the days leading up to each of my children’s scheduled c-sections (minus the gestational diabetes, pre-eclampsia, and leg cramps), will be accompanied by a whole lot of furniture moving and organizing.  My dog owner friends appear to have clutter free homes and I can totally understand why.

We are not yet dog owners.  We are drowning in clutter.  (And wow, was I hot mess when I was pregnant!)

Here is Keira and her siblings when they were little 9-day old nuggets.  (Photo courtesy of Fabrizius Farm).

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Almost 7 weeks old.

During the basketball banquet for the Teenager last night (where she was recognized as Most Improved Player for the second year in a row, yay!), we received recent puppy photos from Fabrizius Farm.  As the the little fur balls approach 7 weeks in age, they’ve grown significantly HUGE since the last time we saw them.

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Tomorrow we plan to purchase gates in order to establish some “puppy free” zones, amid much protest from the kids, especially the Youngest who is on an unsuccessful campaign to reserve the extra twin bed in her room for the dog.   However, since they have no idea what it’s like to have a little human or animal in the house, both of which would try to ingest every little thing left on the floor, be it a Lego piece, ear buds, or bobby pins, we decided it’s best to be safe than sorry while simultaneously preserving our sanity.

I’ve successfully blocked out the challenging and not-so-fun parts of the Toddler Years with each child, but if I think hard enough I seem to remember the ongoing diligence when the Teenager was 3 and the Boy was brand new, and then when the Boy was 22 months old and the Youngest was brand new.  I was elated when I bought the last box of Pampers at Costco.  And Preschool was met with a celebratory Pumpkin Spiced latté from Starbucks, which I sipped for a total of 30 minutes on a park bench before my quiet time was up.

But admittedly, the sweet squishiness is what I miss the most.  Seemingly overnight the Youngest cringes when I try to give her a hug.  Hence, the need for a puppy.  Or at least that’s my overarching reason for what will likely be some trying months ahead of us.  I know my husband is much more realistic about this new endeavor since he grew up with dogs.  But I will continue to live in this puppy fantasy land full of slobbery kisses and unconditional love until the first chewed up shoe or first pee accident on the living room rug that will require Herculean strength to remove.

(Note to self: Consider removing that rug this weekend.)

Sixteen more days!

In the very beginning…

On January 6, I had a sudden urge to visit Fabrizius Farm to “say hello” to the expecting parents.  We’d been on the wait list for a previous litter which unfortunately did not work out, so we were offered the first pick of an upcoming litter, with an anticipated arrival around the beginning of January.

The usual anticlimactic post-holiday lull was setting in.  Winter session had just begun for me while the kids were still on their winter break.  There was no rushing to and fro, no deadlines looming overhead.

Yes, I was a little bored.

Unbeknownst to me, Keira and her siblings were born that day.  Judy was kind enough to arrange for us to visit the following day, though we were not able to hold the newborn puppies just yet.  Mama dog (Hannah) was especially protective, but she didn’t mind the picture taking and admiration from a distance as long as Judy was nearby.

So here is Keira and her siblings, just 1 day old.  She will be 6 weeks old in a couple of days, and maybe Judy will send us an update of their latest adventures while exploring the farm.

March 11!  Hurry up!

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Not so tiny.

Late Sunday afternoon we made our way out to Fabrizius Farm to visit Keira and her siblings.  The Teenager stayed home with Lola Lou while Antman and Izzy accompanied us.  I was surprised at how much the puppies had grown in just a few short weeks, though I have to remember she is still very tiny compared to her expected size as a full grown lab.

Needless to say, we are all smitten.  Judy Fabrizius cautioned us to commit to our puppy in 5 weeks when we return for the big homecoming, for they will start to develop individual personalities.  I have a feeling we already made our choice.