Some of you know we got a new puppy last month. Yes, our wonderful Frenchie Leia who we rescued really needed a buddy (an emotional support dog, as it were), so Jackie thought this was an opportune time to get a pandemic puppy.
Yup, she had seen a few friends on her social media had recently added Yellow Labs to their families, and she has always wanted one herself. This inspired a quick search on Kijiji, and there was a single yellow female just listed. A young family who was just starting into Lab breeding, and had just picked up a pup from a litter their male had sired.
The planets had seemed to align, all things pointed to Jackie having this pup, my daughter said she would help with the training, so why not. She called, arranged to come out the next day (4 hour drive) and placed a small deposit.
That evening, when I got home, I got the news that she and Mary were driving out the next day to pick up our new puppy. “Our new puppy?”. Jackie is in charge of the animal acquisitions in our household, while I may play a devil’s advocate occasionally, or an angel’s advocate in making her aware of a dog (like Leia). So I made sure they had a vet appointment scheduled for on the way home, to make sure Rey was a healthy puppy before we got bonded (not sure that didn’t happen during her and Mary’s drive back, though)
We got very lucky, Rey was in great health and a lovely pup, everything you anticipate a yellow lab will be. From moments of Labrodorableness, to exasperation at potty training (No, the kitchen floor is NOT a pee area), it has been an eventful few weeks so far.
Rey and Leia (yes, full on Star Wars theme names) were about the same size to start with, so playing together wasn’t too much of a concern off the start. Rey has an unlimited energy level of a pup, and Leia has the energy resources of a far older dog than her suspected 5 years of age. So making sure Leia had opportunity for quiet time was important, and oddly enough she was able to escape for the first few weeks just by jumping up on the couch, as Rey’s hips hadn’t got to the point when she was able to climb/jump yet.
Leia must have been a good mommy in the puppy mill she was obviously a victim of, because she understood how to interact with Rey. Rey, on the other-hand, has to be reminded not to play too rough with Leia, and as she is growing so rapidly, she has to realize her size and strength advantage over Leia is increasing daily.
All the standard training is going well, kennel training was quick and only took a few nights for the whining to cease. Walking a puppy on leash is difficult at the best of times, but we moved to a control harness and it improved immediately. Walks with the two dogs have seen a change in Leia as well, she has gotten more vocal at “talking” to other dogs, people or even wildlife. More signs that the duo are good for each other.
Sure, a new puppy is a handful, and misadventures are going to happen. Like when puppy is giving kisses accidentally removes an heirloom diamond ear-ring, and we’ll be inspecting poop for the next few days (luckily, she’s raw fed and the poops are tiny). All worth it in the long run, Rey is going to be a good companion for Leia and Jackie for many years to come.