We decided to get the puppy, though it was our assumption that we'd have a couple of weeks to get ready for him. Alas, Bobby went into work on Thursday and told his friend that we were interested and got hooked up with his friend's brother Ernie, who had the litter. Ernie lives more than two hours from us in Virginia, and Friday, he was going to be in Annapolis, which is only about twenty minutes away. He asked if we would like him to bring Alex then, and facing a five-hour to and from Virginia, we agreed.
Which gave us one night of frantic shopping and puppy-proofing the apartment before Alex arrived!
Bobby got up early to meet Ernie at the truck stop off of I-95 to pick up Alex. The initial plans were that Alex would spend the day at work with me, since Bobby had important things to tend to at his job and couldn't take off. But when his supervisor heard about our new arrival, she gave him the day off.
Bobby got home a few minutes before I left for work with a little golden bundle in his arms. Needless, to say, I was late to work that morning, but Johnny the Boss understood: He is a dog-person too.
Bobby brought him by the office around 11 so that Johnny could meet Alex, and we had lunch in the conference room while Alex played on the floor.
Alex was one of a litter of six, and he was Ernie's daughter's favorite, and she insisted that he be the last to go, which is how we ended up with him. Do I even need to mention how precious he is? He alternates between being a little troublemaker and sleeping. He is sleeping at the moment, curled up next to Bobby on the couch.
He's doing remarkably well with everything. Potty-training is coming along great. He's had two little accidents on the carpet, and the first time that we left him alone, he messed in his crate, though I suspect this was more from anxiety than anything else. He'd never been left alone before. He certainly understands that he is supposed to potty outside. He's also learned what are his toys (and acceptable for chewing) and what is not. Sometimes, he mistakes hands and wrists for toys, but he is a puppy, so we correct him and give him something more appropriate and less painful to chew.
He's been doing fairly well at night. We put him in his crate in our bedroom, and if we leave him, he will cry. So we try to get him to fall asleep in our laps and then stick him in the crate without him knowing. It doesn't always work that perfectly. But again, he's spent two nights sleeping alone without mom and littermates, so some difficulty is to be expected. He wakes up crying sometimes too, and Bobby walks him and we try to coax him back to sleep and slip him back into the crate without him knowing. Again, an imperfect system, and Bobby spent part of the night with him on the couch the first night and he spent part of the night with Bobby in bed last night. Because of my allergies, I can't have an animal in bed regularly, but while he's a puppy and we're still working with him, I'll adapt. It's certainly preferable to spending the entire night awake while he cries.
Yesterday, we took him to meet his grandparents. Bobby let it slip to his parents that we were getting a puppy, though they did not know what kind; my parents had no idea. We went out for Chinese last night for Bobby's and my two-year wedding anniversary (today!), so we surprised them with Alex. Everyone adored him, and the proud grandparents fought over who got to hold him and took many, many pictures.
Alex is so clearly a retriever. He loves to carry around sticks and leaves when we're playing outside; he also loves to plunge through piles of leaves. But he's had a busy first two days in the House of Felagund, so today, he has mostly slept.
Alex at nine weeks, during the first two days that we had him.