Saturday, October 22, 2005

GOOD Anniversary Date: My Bundle of JOY!

Rowena's first snowstorm and her first service vest! This is one HAPPY puppy!

The hardest part for me while crate training Rowena was when she would whine or cry. However, I never gave in and she would stop before she could disrupt the whole apartment building. I also did the umbilical cord thing with the leash because she would not go to the bathroom while she was on the umbilical setup.

Here she is with my husband when we went to look at her at the breeder's. She is 8-weeks old here and we had not named her yet. I gave my husband the choice of either "Rowena" or "Paisley" for names. We both agreed on the name and agreed that it was the perfect name for this little pup.

Nothing is more cute than a fuzzy little puppy with floppy ears. When my Mom helped me purchase Rowena, I don't know if she realized all of the plans I had for the little bundle of energy and curiousity. I don't know if the term "Service Dog" was taken seriously or not. Either way, in the first few weeks of November, I was soon taking home a puppy that would change my life.
Rowena's introduction to her new home didn't go smoothly. After spending the evening shopping for last minute puppy supplies (because my mom didn't want to jinx the puppy purchase by getting things the day before we actually got the pup), we finally brought little 9 pound Rowena up to my apartment. Rowena spotted a couple of my 8 cats as we walked through the door, and when I put her down to pull out her new food dishes, leash still attached, she ran into the living room in search of a cat to play with. Before I even noticed, Rowena came yelping back into the kitchen to me and accidently back into her new metal dishes that clanged together, further terrifying her. I gathered the puppy in my arms, looked her over and straightened her dishes. I filled the bowls and coaxed Rowena, now unsure of these 2 loud metal bowls towards the food in the bowl. I remember when we had picked her up from the breeder's house, I had a little purple harness that was too big, and a leash hooked onto the back of it. I let her walk to the car and it was like she'd never been out before. The grass, the sky, the gravel in the driveway... and I pick her up into my lap after I get into the car. She watched curiously, as all this stuff goes on. It is like those pretty brown eyes were taking in everything. I held her in my lap and let her look out the window for the half hour drive back to Bangor. She was in my arms! She was mine! I can't believe that after wanting a Border Collie for so long, I actually have one! I can't believe that after 7 years of research, I was finally ready to do what I needed to do to get and train this tiny young service dog in training.
Potty training was my biggest anxiey. I didn't want to do the kennelling method to housebreaking the pup. No, I was determined not to do that. After a week of trying my approach, I broke down and dgragged our old dog kennel from out back inside. I new this approach would work, because I had tried putting wood chips in the kennel pan and she would only go once in the litter. Then she would go elsewhere. It's like she couldn't bear stand in a soiled tray of woodchips. She wouldn't go potty in that kennel. I could do this! With in a week, she was trained. She wasn't bombproof yet but was trained.
I will be adding on to this post later.

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