Yesterday, mom and I picked up the puppy, who is, for now, going by the name of "Pete." I don't know if mom is going to want to change it, but he knows it and responds, even though I've already corrupted it to "Petey," like the "Little Rascals'" dog.
An interesting side note - too many coincidences! Petey - Lil' Rascals - Rascal. Pete's sire's call name is "Tuffy" - same name and spelling as the sire of my first deaf dog, Sugar Baby. "Tuffy" bears a startling resemblance to my other cowdog, Nugget (Ch. Drywood's Silver Nugget). My deaf pit bull, Piglet, is often remarked to look quite a bit like Petey of Lil' Rascals fame, being predominantly white with a brown and black patch on her left eye. Not to mention that this dog just seemed to appear when we needed one, and that we appeared to the breeder just as she was seeking the right home. The significance of such a convergence of coincidences is not lost on me...
When we went to pick him up yesterday afternoon, the breeder quite pleasantly surprised me with an excellent puppy kit, including a packet of information about the breed, about a dog's need for leadership and a wonderful article on proper correction written by - of all people - one of my favorite horse trainers, John Lyons. Also included is a copy of the contract, pedigree information, a sheet with feeding instructions and other care tips, pictures of the sire and dam, and several of her favorite catalogs. WOW! Add to that a bag with some toys, a couple cans of her preferred canned food, and to top it all off - an anti-anxiety pillow that beats like a heart. If only all puppies were given such a fine send-off!
Mom was worried that he would be very upset being taken away from the only home he's ever known, but he showed little anxiety and really - he did better than my mom, who was fighting back tears. You gotta know my mom. She used to cry at McDonald's commercials. Gratefully, she understood why that was a bad idea - the puppy wasn't all that upset, and we didn't want to give him any clues that there was something to be upset about.
Mom decided she wanted to stop at the nursing home to say hi to dad. Hmmm. I thought it might be too much for Pete, but thought I'd give it a try. After a little potty walk where he gave a bit of a woof at the Halloween decorations (fluttering ghosts were apparently not on his list of things to which he had been socialized), but he investigated and got over it. But it was inside the home that I found out what a fantastic little guy Pete really is.
He met several residents, including my dad, cheerfully and kindly. I sat on his leash (a la Margot Woods), and after just a little while, he tucked himself under my chair, put his head on his paws and fell asleep! He did give a bit of a woof when he saw a resident being pushed in a wheelchair, but a few minutes later was greeting that resident happily, and met several others.
After dropping mom off at home, where Pete got to meet his predecessor briefly, I brought him to my house about 1/2 hour away. The little guy sat or lied down like a perfect little gentleman.
Welcome (almost) home, little one!