Sunday, October 14, 2012

Meeting the puppy (10/09/12)

Sherry, Jacques, and I arrived in Oregon at the home of breeder Karen Baird on Tuesday evening, 10/09/12. She welcomed us in, helped carry our belongings to the guest room, and allowed me to immediately climb into the puppy pen to get some kisses. There were six puppies: four from our litter (10 weeks) and two from a second litter (8.5 weeks).

OMG Puppies!
I immediately recognized the puppy Karen had been calling "Po". It was easy thanks to his all-white body and dark head, not to mention he was by far the biggest!

I was wearing a zip-up sweatshirt and the zipper pull hung above the puppies' heads enticingly. The first thing Po did put his front paws on my lap, grip the zipper pull, and yank downwards so that the sweatshirt almost completely unzipped! He's quite the charmer.

I spent time petting him and playing with him that evening, and enjoyed cuddling with all the puppies, but the real assessment of whether he would be my puppy was yet to come.

Curious puppy.

On Wednesday we got to take all six puppies outside and watched them run around and play. Then we spent time with just Po (and Jacques). Sherry is much more knowledgeable about good conformation so she evaluated Po physically and found nothing wrong. We watched him run around and be a playful puppy.
Po and Jacques.

I took Po to the living room, because Karen said that it was an area of the home the puppies hadn't been in yet. At first I just set him down and watched him. He started wandering around the room and exploring, briefly stopping to look at me and wag his tail and accept a quick pet. I took it as a good sign that he was curious and bold, yet still stopping to give me friendly signals. I brought out a couple of toys which had rustling and crinkling material inside, and he was attracked to the noise and immediately started to play tug with me. +1.

I offered him a few treats and laughed at his attempts to locate the treats in my hand, only to drop them and have to find them on the floor. He clearly wasn't used to eating from people's hands yet, and this was a new food for him, but he was game to figure it out.

I set a serving tray on the floor upside down, so that the handles lifted it slightly off the ground and it functioned as a miniature wobble board. I used the treats to lure him back and forth across the tray, and he didn't even flinch when it moved underneath him. Hooray!!

Look at that adorable face.
As the day went on, it was clear that Po was starting to bond with me, as he would perk up and rush to the front of the pen before the puppies when I came near. The only thing I saw in him that was a negative was that he didn't like being picked up, held, or restrained, however that can be changed with counter-conditioning.

Sleepy after his long play session and assessment.
On Wednesday evening, Karen and I signed the contract and I paid his purchase price. "Po" became "Chimera"/"Cai". He was my puppy now.

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