Sunday, December 30, 2012

2012 - The Year of the Puppy

2012 was an eventful year for me. Rob and I celebrated our 20th wedding Anniversary. I traveled A LOT (unfortunately, not with my family and I hope to change that this year!), visiting many places like Austin and Chicago for the first time. I went back to my favorite place on earth - California, plus visited my sister and her family in the country a few times as well. My most recent visit to the country in October changed my life and made 2012 officially "The Year of the Puppy."

Anyone who knows me knows that I love dogs. I have a soft spot for Goldens and love my Makani with all my heart. This year, my family fostered only two dogs for Golden Rescue. The first, Sebastian, was our first failed foster (he snapped at Makani constantly) and Simona was a beautiful girl who just needed to learn some manners (specifically not to gnaw on hands). Makani was having a really hard time with the fostering experience, so we decided to take a break from it for a while. He needed his family back. But, fostering these dogs did put me in touch with an amazing dog trainer, Jeff Nelson of Mutts and Jeff, who taught my family so much about training dogs, and we would continue to implement his techniques later in the year when a new addition came along.

Meeting Cali for the first time! :)
Fast forward to August. I received an email one morning at work from my sister that made me laugh out loud. The subject line hinted at the fact that she may be a grandma again. Now, my sister has three beautiful granddaughters from her daughter (the youngest was just seven months old), and a precious 10-month-old grandson from her son. So, the thought of having another grandbaby so soon was really surprising. When I opened the email, I realized that she was referring to grandpuppies, not grandbabies! Seems that after months of trying (and failing), her Golden Retriever, Woody had finally figured out the whole mating thing with my nephew's black lab, Nola. She caught them in the act. And emailed me about it. And I was tickled. ;)

Cali and her daddy
If Nola was pregnant, my sister calculated that the puppies should arrive in early October. As the weeks went by, sure enough, Nola's belly got bigger and bigger. On the evening of October 2, she went into labor. I would have LOVED to have been there. I think that would have been an amazing experience! When my sister went to bed that night, Nola had given birth to four puppies. By morning, four more puppies had come into the world! Woody and Nola were parents to four black and four light-colored puppies - six girls and two boys. I couldn't wait to get up to Georgia to see them.

So, in mid-October, I drove up to visit and meet the puppies. Just like the time I went to look at Golden puppies for the very first time in 1994, I had NO intention of getting a new puppy. Makani was happy as an only dog. But, naturally, I fell in love. They were all cute (who wouldn't love a 2 1/2-week-old puppy?), but I was immediately drawn to the littlest of the Golden girls. She looked the most like her Daddy (who is a big sweetheart), so my sister called her "Woodwina." She just had the sweetest little face!

Cali meets her new family
My sister said she would love for me to take one of the puppies. They were not planning to sell them, but were just giving them away to family and friends and she wanted to know they were going to good homes. Though I would have loved to have taken her then, the puppy (who I named "Cali") was less than three weeks old - way too young to leave her mama. I told my sister that I'd have to discuss it with my family and it would really depend on how Makani took to the puppy. She told me that if it didn't work out, she had a lot of people who wanted the puppy, so I did have an "out."

After discussing the pros and cons, we decided we just may be ready for another dog. I have never owned more than one dog at a time, and I was really anxious to see how Makani would get along with the puppy. When we were fostering, he seemed to get along best with dogs who were female and non-threatening (like Sweet Pea). Cali was female and very small. Would Makani be threatened by a puppy? 

Cali & Makani
When Cali turned six weeks old, my brother-in-law drove her down from Georgia. The family fell in love with her. Even Makani, though a little timid at first, warmed up to her quickly. Let's face it, the early days of puppy parenthood are rough. Crying at night (most of which Alana had to endure), pee pee and poop on the carpet (which we still see from time-to-time, but less frequently), needle-sharp puppy teeth every time you go to pet her, missing items that are later found in less-than-perfect condition, and (in our case) TICKS. Thanks to a 20-minute phone call on the basics of puppy training with Jeff, Cali has done a really good job with her training and has learned quickly. Cali LOVES her big brother (who, no doubt, reminds her of her daddy). They play together all the time. Cali fits right in with our family and I can't wait to bring her back to Georgia for a reunion. :)
We crack each other up!

Cali will be 13 weeks old on the first day of 2013. Was this puppy meant for me or what? She is a wonderful addition to our family and sure to bring us smiles and love for years to come. 

Wishing you Love, Aloha, Laughter and Joy in the New Year ~ Nancy

No comments:

Post a Comment