Saturday, April 23, 2011

Let The Puppy Fun Begin!

What chews on everything, pees on your floor, and steals your heart in less than 10 seconds? A puppy, of course! And we have one! Meet Leah, a 4-month-old Australian Kelpie. She's black and tan, marked very similar to a Doberman. And at the moment, thank goodness, she is sleeping soundly on the living room floor. Ahh, a few minutes of peace. You see, she's a busy girl, what with snooping, and chewing, and making friends with Red and Cheyenne, and chewing, and investigating, and chewing, and playing and chewing...and chewing. And we've only had her 24 hours!

Our older Kelpie, Red, is a really good dog. He's a great stock dog who goes to work every day with Robin and is invaluable when it comes to working cattle. He's obedient, calm, great with people and other animals (except groundhogs and raccoons; these he kills), and he doesn't really have any bad habits unless you count peeing on my flowers. We quickly saw that it would be a shame not to pass on such good traits to a new generation, and so we began searching for a female. Little did we know it would take over two years to find one.

Kelpies are not very plentiful in the U.S. Breeders usually have long waiting lists, and for the most part, seem to breed responsibly. That means they don't have an over-abundance of available puppies. We were fortunate to get Leah when plans for her litter abruptly changed. The whole deal transpired within a week, and here she is!

We picked her up on Good Friday from a very gracious couple in Strasburg, who were caring for the litter during its transition to new homes. Even though the weather was cold and rainy, we were given a very warm welcome to the farm, and some fascinating demos of what a herding dog can do.

When we got home, Leah did well with her new surroundings. She ate her supper, knocked over a lamp, and took over Red's bed. She was unhappy in the crate at bedtime, and after a couple of ups and downs to take care of business, she cried, yipped, howled, and whined for about half an hour before settling quietly for the night.

Red and Cheyenne (our Sheltie) are completely befuddled. You could say Red is crushed! We often say he is going to start talking any time, and yesterday could have easily been the day. We had no trouble understanding his message: "What have you done? Don't you love me anymore?" Cheyenne, our little sweetie, is being a little testy with Leah, but they are making up. I think they will be friends soon, as long as Leah doesn't try to hog the food. Red is still pouting.

Sometimes it seems that life just keeps grinding away, without any changes in positive directions. And then one day, it does change. Something big, something good happens. And you know you are blessed. And that's the essence of the sweet life. And so, let the puppy fun begin!