A Day in the Life of a 9-week old Golden…

You know that saying, it’s a dog’s life? Well, our pup is living it.

It’s one week today that Carter has been at home with us. His first few days, he cautiously walked around the house. Sniff here and there. Play gently with his toys. Chewed not a shoe….

Well that lasted about 2 days! Now he walks around like he’s lived here his whole life!  He is one happy little dude.

I made a quick video of what Carter does all day long,  minus the ‘doing his business’ stuff because no one needs to see that. Take a look at a day in the life of a 9-week old Golden.

As you can see, he plays, eats (his FAV part of the day), and then he crashes wherever he may find himself. By late afternoon, his naps become MY favourite part of the day.

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The First Few Days! At Home with Carter

Our puppy adventures officially begin! Carter came home on International Happy Day, last Friday. Who knew that day even existed, but it was indeed appropriate. If I can brag a little, my puppy is pretty cute.  Introducing Carter…

Carter aka Mr. Yellow
Carter aka Mr. Yellow.

Yes, our puppy was known as Mr. Yellow when he was born, and our favourite from the first visit.

Carter’s been home with us for a few days now, and so far, so good and so far, so tiring! Puppies are work. Duh. I knew that. Well sort of.

Puppies are a lot like babies, only unlike babies, they move. And they explore. As soon as you lose sight of him, puppy gets into ‘trouble’. Carter’s been pretty great at doing his ‘business’ outside, and the few accidents he’s had, it’s because we were not quick enough to get him out. Live and learn for all of us.

My boys are totally in love and have been super helpful. Hoping this is a trend that sticks! The boys took charge and took care of Carter this past weekend, and that included introducing him to TV watching. (It didn’t last long, but made for a cute photo.)

Just chilling.
Just chilling…for 30 seconds or so.

We also had visitors, some bearing gifts, all weekend long. It was déjà-vu all over again, with all the well-wishes, gifts and visits, just like we experienced when our boys were born.

What we know thus far about Carter is:

  • He’s a champion eater! He’s a little ‘hoover’ and eats in record time. He is also always looking for more, and comes running into the kitchen when he hears the fridge opening.
  • He’s a great sleeper (unlike my boys as babies!). We are lucky this puppy is sleeping through the night. Like growing babies, puppies need lots of sleep. Right now Carter is napping at my feet as I try and get this post written!
  • He loves to snuggle and loves company. He always naps near us or in the same room where one of us is in.

Many photos have been taken over the past few days. See below for, ahem, a few photos. (Honest, I did hold back!)

Shhh, I'm not done writing!
Shhh, I’m not done writing!
IMG_0280
Ahhh it’s a dog’s life!
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I know, I’m adorable.

 

Yup, our puppy adventures have finally begun! Now that my boys are back to school after March Break, wish ME luck! That question I keep asking, HOW HARD CAN THIS PUPPY THING BE? I’m not complaining. Yet. He’s still napping!

 

One more sleep!

One more sleep! Tomorrow we pick up our pup. Am I ready? I don’t think so. But ready or not, the countdown calendar says tomorrow’s the day we bring home a puppy named Carter.

1 Day Left 'Till Puppy'
1 Day Left ‘Till Puppy’
Let's go Blue Jays!
Let’s go Blue Jays!

We were recently on vacation in Florida (and yes the weather was PERFECT every single day), and being the baseball-crazed family that we are, we went to the  Blue Jays spring training game last Friday in Dunedin, Florida.

As I chatted with perfect strangers sitting near by, the topic of our Carter came up.  And we chatted about the baseball meaning of his name of course. In no time, my iPhone was out and I was showing people Carter’s photo. Who did I become, and where did this pride come from, I thought?

Before I knew it, my phone was passed around, up and down the rows.  I also showed them Carter’s Blue Jays’ tag and collar.  Between cheering for the Jays, sipping cold beer, and not complaining about the heat, there were a lot of “aw so cute” and “aw so sweet” comments uttered.  The Jays beat the Orioles by the way. And my my younger son snagged Marcus Stroman’s autograph, so it was a fun afternoon for all.

Cold and tasty Landshark beer!
Cold and tasty Landshark beer!
My little ‘Stroman’, looking up to Marcus Stroman.

While in Florida we went out for St. Paddy’s day, and the bar we were at had many funny sayings on the walls.  This one caught my eye and I had to snap a photo of it.

Hum, what does this really mean?
Hum, what does this really mean?

“Sometimes you’re the dog. Sometimes you’re the hydrant.”

I know this is a saying you can apply to life, but it made me chuckle. I think over the next few weeks, with our 8-week old puppy, we will have to be patient and accept that sometimes (or many times) we will be Carter’s hydrant!

So am I ready? Nope. I still have shoes left out and about my house!

Really, how hard can this puppy thing be!?

 

 

 

It’s the Final Countdown! Getting Ready to bring Carter home

We are one week away! What? Already? Time to get ready to bring puppy Carter home.

But before we do, there’s some shopping to do. Our breeder Catharine emailed a ‘bringing home puppy’ shopping list.  As you’ll see, what was listed and what we ended up with doesn’t match up exactly. It’s a little hard not to go overboard. Just a little.

We went shopping as a family, and coming to an agreement on some items wasn’t easy.  The hardest decision for us was agreeing on a leash and collar.  But I think it paid off to shop around! Take a read, what do you think?

Catharine’s Puppy Shopping List vs Our Family’s Puppy Purchases

  1. Crate – one that you can adjust the size as the puppy grows.

What we did:

One BIG crate!
One BIG crate!

I emailed my dog friends asking if they had a crate they no longer used or wanted. Success! A friend personally delivered a wire-adjustable-BIG-crate! My younger son fits in the crate very comfortably.  I know because he’s gone in a few times, on his own, not because I put him in there!

My big issue with the big crate? Where do I put it in my house? I had to do what I avoided for a long time; tidy-up and purge the ‘dumping-room’ we all have in our homes. On-top of the crate is his big (and stylish) comfy bed-pillow.

2. An adjustable harnesses for rides in vehicles.

What we did:  We did not make this purchase yet. I’m certain, my boys will be holding Carter on the way home.

3. Stainless steel dishes (for food and water)

What we did: We bought 2 ceramic dishes from HomeSense.  They have a great pet section, and well priced too. That’s where we found his stylish big bed-pillow too.

4. Grooming supplies – a comb (brushes do not get right down to the skin), nail clippers (scissor style), scissors, dog shampoo.

What we did: We purchased all of the above.

5. Collar & Leash – a 4 foot (leather) leash was recommended and a nylon flat or rolled leather buckle collar (rolled leather will not break the fur). Sounds like a simple enough purchase, but take a look at this selection of collars and leashes at Pet Smart.  Overwhelming. And not one collar or leash we could agree on.

We did finally agree on a collar and a most appropriate dog tag for Carter, don’t you think?

Perfect collar and dog tag for Carter.
Perfect collar and dog tag for Carter.
  1. Toys! Fleecy toys, squeaky toys, stuffed toys. Again, you would think easy to choose a toy or two.  Nope. The selection is again vast and it’s easy to get carried away. Here are some fancy-schmancy toys that we did not purchase. We didn’t think these were appropriate for a Golden, but were very clever!

What we bought:  We ended up with a stuffed chicken, chewy bone, bouncy balls, tug-of-war rope, and a chewy toy that you can add treats or peanut butter to, and according to friends, keeps your pup busy and happy.

  1. Bitter Apple spray – Used as a deterrent, it can be sprayed on plants, shoes, anything you don’t want puppy to chew. It’s kinder to spray and let the pup discover “ooh that tastes rotten”, than to constantly nag them. And a spray bottle full of vinegar….to spray where little accidents happen.

What we bought: Yes to both sprays!

7.  We were advised to not buy treats as they will upset puppies little tummies. Instead use little pieces of brick cheese or save little bits of meat from your supper for rewards. But look at what’s out there for dogs? We found these fancy treats at one pet store.

What we did: We didn’t buy any puppy treats. I think we’ll try the cheese. But may have to buy some healthy treats if we need to help with training!

In the end, this is what our purchases look like.  The additional items we bought includes: a blanket (a baby blanket on clearance from HomeSense), a food mat, a cute basket to hold all his toys, a big comfy bed-pillow, poop bags and a blue bandana, because he’s going to be one cool and well dressed Golden!

One week to go!  This is really happening. How hard can this puppy thing  be!? Maybe I should start reading my ‘how to train your puppy’ book. This  may be the most important purchase we made!

Blog, blog, blog…. and videos

The other night at my social media class, groups (that were formed the week before) had two hours to shoot, edit and present a short 2-minute video. Each group had to come up with a concept or story, write a script and a rationale for the video, and explain how we would engage a ‘community’ and promote the video via social media.  Talk about pressure.  But all 12 groups did it, and we did it well for a bunch of amateurs!

You might be thinking, what does this have to do with puppies!? At this very moment, nothing really.  But hang on.

One of the videos made by some of my fav classmates, was hilarious and spoke to the angst, yes angst, we bloggers face:

  • what to write about week after week,
  • find the time to write, and
  • (gulp) how many were posts due by Sunday?

Take a look at their clever and cheeky video…

Great video don’t you think? Simple and funny.

Visual storytelling via social media, that is the internet, is pretty easy these days. Anyone with an iPhone can shoot a video and post it very easily. No need for fancy video cameras. See video above.

More and more companies and organizations are using video (and YouTube) to build and engage communities online.

Which leads me to this video. This is where you’ll get your puppy and dog fix! This video was made by a British company to promote the power of advertising.  Take a look…

So there you  have it.  I managed to get a blog post written, used videos to make it more compelling (I hope), and incorporated hilarious and resourceful dogs.

Carter aka Mr. Yellow.
Carter aka Mr. Yellow.

With only two more weeks until we pick up Carter, I can guarantee there will be a few videos made and posted about his first days at home.  Until then, you can look at his cute little face.

Short-lived victory though. I’m back to where I first-started…. I know what I’m going to write about next, but I need to find the time! Help!

It’s Friday, I’m in Love…

The countdown is on! It won’t be long before we bring little Mr. Carter home.

At times, it felt like this frigid February would never end. The Blue Jays have begun their spring training and so there is hope!  Hope of warmer temperatures and with March (finally) around the corner, it won’t be long before a puppy moves into our house.

If you think we’re not counting down the days, you are oh… so… wrong.  Just check out the highly sophistcated countdown calendar that was carefully and lovingly made:

Countdown calendar
Oh it’s on… the countdown that is.

Yup we are THAT close!

Now back to the “it’s Friday I’m in love” just like The Cure song…

We received the following updated photos from our breeder Catharine. Get ready to fall in love.  Here are the pups at almost 5 weeks old.

Ya I know. You want one too. It’s Friday, and you’re in love!

What’s in a Name? Why baseball of course!

When it comes to puppy love and finding a name for your pup, it’s not about love at all. It’s a battle to get your favourite name to come out on top! Just like trying to decide on a breed, choosing a name for our pup via consensus was filled with many passionate debates. Four people with a veto over one another’s names didn’t help the process. But that’s ok.  Naming your dog is one big and important decision.


Harry Styles

My little niece, who is afraid of anything furry that moves, offered her favourite name. She said she will like our dog if we named him Harry, as in Harry Styles from the boy-band One Direction. Well, Harry is cute I must admit. And so is the name. However, my boys didn’t wait a nanosecond to shoot that name out of the water.

The one thing my family agreed on was that the dog’s name had to be baseball-related. Both my boys play competitive baseball, and we spend much of our summer at baseball diamonds and travelling to many tournaments.

At the breeder’s 3 week-old pups visit, we chatted with other families about names. One couple had a name locked up, and chose a hockey-themed name. Their boy puppy will be called Bauer. Great name.

Another family we met was in the same boat as us; close to finalizing a name. This family looked to their favourite movie characters for inspiration. They threw out names like Bilbo, Frodo and other characters; then tried more standard names like Max and Cooper and finally landed on Reilly. But I’m told, they are not sure if it will stick.

One name that was often suggested to us was ‘Homer,’ which would be awesome if it didn’t remind me of Homer Simpson. Doh!  (No I’m not including a photo of Homer Simpson.)

Just like trying to find the perfect baby name, with meaning or a great story behind it, there are many websites to get you started. A quick google search, and ka-pow, you’ll find a whole lot of help: Names for Boy DogsMost Popular Dog Names 2014

The list of names we went through included: Jackie and Robinson after the first black person to play in the major leagues; Robbie for Toronto Blue Jays’ Hall of Famer Roberto Alomar, and Joey for Canadian-born Joey Votto of the Cincinnati Reds.

Embed from Getty Images
Jackie Robinson
Embed from Getty Images
Roberto Alomar
Embed from Getty Images
Joey Votto

In the end we decided on Carter as the name for our puppy. Carter, as in the Toronto Blue Jays’ Joe Carter, who hit THE  home run in dramatic fashion during game six of 1993 World Series. It was the bottom of the 9th, runners on first and second, Toronto was losing 6-5, and on a 2-2 pitch, Carter sent the ball over the left-field wall. With that home run, the Jays won their second consecutive World Series.

Maybe our very own Carter will bring good luck to my boys this summer. There’s nothing like hitting a home run, and nothing better than watching your kid hit one out. This summer I’ll have someone helping me cheer on my boys from the stands.  Can’t wait.

For all my 20-something classmates, here’s Carter’s home run in case you missed it the first time.

Puppy Open-House! A meet and greet with 3-week old Pups

Almost every morning when my younger son leaves for school, he will say to me, if Catharine (our breeder) emails and sends more photos, text me right away. He’s not supposed to have access to his phone during school hours, but he sometimes manages to sneak a text and ask if I received any new puppy pics.

We eagerly awaited for the pups to turn 3 weeks old!  Because that’s when we could finally go back to Braefield to meet and hold the pups for the first time.

WARNING … CUTE PUPPY PHOTOS AHEAD

When we arrived, another family and two couples were already in the doggie-bedroom. All it took was one look around, and I knew everyone was in love with the pups. The pups were beyond adorable. They were barely awake and hardly did anything, but they were so darn sweet and cuddly.

Mr. Yellow and Miss Purple. (Photo courtesy of Braefield.)
Mr. Yellow and Miss Purple. (Photo courtesy of Braefield.)
3-week old pup. (Photo courtesy of Braefield Goldens.)
3-week old pup. (Photo courtesy of Braefield Goldens.)

We were encouraged to grab and hold a puppy, and to share and pass them around.

A few sweet family moments…

At first, my older son was nervous to hold a pup as it was quite squirmy and he quickly handed the pup to me. He eventually got comfortable and held a pup the whole time we were there. He fell in love with Mr. Black.

Mr. Black chewing on my son's finger.
Mr. Black chewing on my son’s finger.

I took hold of a pup and immediately began to rock back and forth. The instinctive “rocking-mom stance” came back to me. It was like holding a newborn.

My husband’s pup started to whimper and mama Flora came marching over to find out why her pup was upset. That was pretty amazing. Flora began to vigorously clean (lick) the pup and the pup settled. Mom knows best!

Mama Flora taking care of her pup.
Mama Flora taking care of her pup.

My youngest took to the pups like he’s done this every single day of his life. He fell in love with Mr. Yellow and at one point had two pups in his lap. Adorable!

M loving the 2 puppies on his lap. But we're only taking one. Photo courtesy of Braefield.
M loving TWO puppies. But we’re only taking one. Photo courtesy of Braefield.

It was great to meet and chat with the other families that will also take a pup home. I already planted the seed for a puppy play-date over the summer with one family, who doesn’t live very far from us, and a  young couple, who does live far from us but said they’d come too!

Our visit was full of aww-moments, but we quickly realized we had a lot to do before our pup comes home.  Catharine asked if we had vets picked out. We don’t, so I need to get that figured out.  Then her husband Grant asked if we had names yet. Ahhh, the great name-debate!  Stay tuned for that story.

We reluctantly left after our two-hour visit with a to-do list, and already thinking about our next visit in 3 weeks time.

The pups will be completely different by then. They’ll be bigger and more active.  My younger son made a count-down calendar. And his daily reminder to me for an immediate text should new puppy photos land in my in-box, continues.