Tag Archive | getting a puppy

Introducing Mr. Fitzwilliam

Guess what!  We got a puppy!!!

I am a little late making this post but it has been quite the week with little Fitzwilliam joining us!  That is Fitzwilliam as in Mr. Fizwilliam Darcy, Master of Pemberley (Pride and Prejudice).

His name is Fitz/Fritz (depending on who you ask…) since Andrew wanted to call him “Fitz” but I like “Fritz,” good news is that the names are so similar that he answers to both!

Today (Saturday) has been one week since we made the 7.5 hr drive to meet mister “Winston” (his previous name).  We traveled all the way from the Seattle area down to the Rogue River in Oregon to meet him! Thankfully we started out the night before and stayed in Salem, OR and then only had a 3 hr drive the next morning. Of course that 3 hr drive took longer since I was suffering from food poisoning. (For some reason Andrew never gets food poisoning!)  Gwen traveled great though! She slept on the floor behind the driver’s seat and only woke up and got annoying when it was time for Corga Potty Breaks.

We met Winston and his sister Daisy, the last two puppies from the breeder’s January litter.  Going down there I had wanted another girl puppy and Andrew had wanted a boy puppy (he was feeling out numbered in the house) but when we met the pups, we both fell in love with little Winston!  Daisy was a little firecracker.  She and Gwen were two peas in a pod!  Daisy is exactly like Gwen was at that age (and sort of still is!).  Little Daisy hopped up on the couch and popped her head up over the back when you’d walk by the couch, like a little jack-in-the-box. So adorable! And she had huge upright satellites (ears)!

We got to play with the puppies and meet the puppies’ parents and the other Corgis that the breeder had in her home.  It was a lot of fun! And then Gwen was introduced the the puppies.  At first she ignored them and checked out the place (fascinated by their waterer) then she started a game of chase where she and Daisy hit it off!  Of course Gwen would choose the more rambunctious puppy!  But we liked little cuddly Winston! 🙂  After a little while of watching the girls play, he decided to join in for a bit.  After we saw Gwen play nicely with him we knew for sure that he was the one for us!

I didn’t think I could survive having Gwen and her dopplegangger running me ragged!  Plus, Fitz is a little cuddle bug!

The car ride with an almost 5 month old corgi pup is so much easier than a long car ride with a 9-10 week old pup (Gwen’s age when we got her)!  He was quite nervous leaving his little sister and the place he knew as home, but he sat on our laps and finally fell asleep when we switched drivers and Andrew held him.  We eventually got home a little before midnight since Andrew had duty the next day and had to be at work at like 6am!

Fitz and his floptacular ear.

Week 1 with Puppy:

Only a couple of accidents in the house on the first day and then after that we figured out his I-need-to-go-outside-now signals and  with the help of Gwen, he has figured out that outside is the potty place and which door to go out.

Walking on a leash is a hoot!  He is learning but the first couple times he walked on a leash he would hop around and grab hold of it.  I don’t remember Gwen’s first leash experiences but I am sure they were not nearly as funny as his!  He is doing a lot better about it now since every time he goes outside he’s on a leash.

Mastering the 4 steps from the porch down to the yard has been a little slower.  Going up them, no problem! Going down them…well, some days he’ll brave them and others he needs help.  Just yesterday he went up and down them all by himself, so he is getting braver! 🙂

Gwen loves it when he plays chase up and down the hallway with her!  She is not very fond of the fact that little Fritz likes to steal her antlers.  She in turn has claimed his puppy Nylabones as her own.

He has already gone out to the barn with me and sits nicely with Gwen! I take the x-pen out and set it up half under the picnic table so he has shade but can lay in the sun if he chooses, while Gwen sits in her usual area near the picnic table.  I tied him once when I was just making a quick stop and not wanting to leave them in a hot car, and he did fine!  He tried to follow me but other than that he just curled up next to Gwen to wait.

Fitz doesn’t want you to be out of his sight at all.  He loves to snuggle, sit on your feet, and give kisses!  So much more than Gwen who is just like a cat…  His crate training is going well, and Friday was the first day I decided to leave both dogs at home so I could run some errands by myself.  Freeeedooooom!!!  (Not to worry, I came home and played with them both and was only gone for a total of 3 hours.)  It is nice having an older puppy though!  We couldn’t both leave the house for very long when we first got Gwen since she was not master of her wee little bladder quite yet.

Snoozing in his new harness.

Gwen:

Gwen has been quite jealous of little Fitzy.  I think she wanted us to take him back for a few days but I think she figured out that he is here to stay.  She has started to try and get him to play tug of war and is getting a little better about sharing toys.  The world has revolved around her for so long that she is not used to this “sharing” concept.  {Don’t worry, Gwen, I get it!  Only child here!  Sharing attention with others (e.g. husband) = horrible, horrible experience!}

Yesterday, after Andrew got home, I took Gwennie to the park by myself while he stayed and bonded with Fritz. It was so nice to just be out in the park with Gwennie.  We watched some people flying kites, she rolled in something dead, and we sat and watched some boats on the water.  After Gwen’s 45 min of solitude she was ready to be patient again since she started pestering Fitz to play with her when we got home.

Gwen’s favorite sans puppy activity is still to go play soccer in the backyard.  For now, we are playing soccer without him so she still has one chance of running around without worrying if he is going to steal the ball or us worrying about where he is going.  Pretty soon, though, he will be out there running around with her and stealing the soccer ball!

Two worn out corgis!

“Um, guys? The puppy is too close!”

Can you spot the 2 submarines in our fish tank?

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How much is that puppy in the window?

I remember when I was little, my mom would take me into the petstore in the mall so I could see the little puppies and kitties.  I remember they were cute but when I was little I never understood what it meant for them to be there.  I also don’t remember (to my knowledge) ever begging my mom for a new puppy or kitten…

Today, I went to a nearby feedstore to buy some grain for my horse.  When I pulled up to the store (not my usual store, by the way) I glanced at the sign and noticed the word “CORGI.”  This shop is a feed store, pet store, and farm supply store all rolled into one; and they are known to sell puppies and sometimes kittens.  They had a Corgi, Keeshund, Cockapoo, Eskimo, Goldendoodle, Papillon, and a Wheaton Terrier (according to their website).  After seeing the sign I should have put my car in reverse and left and gone to my normal feed store.  I knew it was going to be hard to go in and not go by the puppies, ESPECIALLY KNOWING that there was a corgi right there!!!

I sent a text to my friend Betsy, who is like my own personal dog guru.  Anything I need help with with dogs, I talk to her!  She’s a dog trainer, has shown dogs, was in 4-H.  My text read:  OMG as bad as it is to almost even consider this…farmland sign says they have corgis!  I have to go in to buy food…how to resist looking at puppies?! I don’t think I’m strong enough! This is like puppy mill animals isn’t it? I’m against those but I also feel totally bad for them!  HELP!!!! 

Of course I went in.  Of course I went by the puppies.  And I think you know where this is going… Of course I asked the lady if I could hold the Corgi puppy!

He is an 8 week old red/white male.  Born Nov 29th.

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He is so dang cute!  I spent a little time asking the lady questions about the dogs and cuddling this little puppy.  He was so scared and I think maybe a little cold because he was shaking!  I felt so bad for him!  After a few minutes he started to look around and nibble on my fingers.  I felt so bad when I had to hand him back because I couldn’t take him home with me and I needed to finish my errands for the day.  I told them I’d think about it…

It broke my heart to hand that puppy back to the lady and watch her put him back in his kennel!

This brings me to the whole point of this.  I am afraid to purchase a puppy from a shop like this one because I do not support puppy mills and I am afraid he may be a product of a puppy mill or possibly a random backyard breeder.  I asked them if they knew anything about the dog’s parents or the breeder and they said “we have pictures and his pedigree” and they told me that the dog is able to be AKC registered.  Puppies that come from the store have their first round of vaccinations, are microchipped and have a health guarantee that if something happens to them health wise in their first year and if I chose not to keep it then they would either refund completely or partially (depending on the circumstances).  Now this is reminiscent of the health guarantee that I got when we purchased Gwen from a very reputable breeder but not quite to the same standards.

Gwen’s breeder was a reputable lady who has shown dogs for many years and both the sire and dam (both parents) were champions.  Gwen has a pedigree, champion parents that have both been given clean bills of health for their eyes and hips.  As a puppy, Gwen was examined and had her little hips cleared.  I don’t remember the exact rating they were given but since she is not being used for breeding, I guess we didn’t deem that important enough to remember.  All that mattered was she was healthy and had no major health concerns.  We were also able to meet both parents on site and were able to see their personalities and temperaments.

What I don’t know with this little one is anything about his background!  I feel that if I am going to pay $865 for a puppy then I need to know something about it.  If I am going to take a gamble, then I might as well go adopt something else from a shelter or a rescue.  Pound puppies can give you their heart and soul for way less.  Before Gwen all we had ever had were dogs rescued from shelters.

My friend Betsy evaluated the puppy and said he looked pretty sound mentally and physically but then there is always that off chance that he would develop some sort of health or mental issue in the future.  This didn’t really help discourage my interest in this puppy…

Before Andrew left on his current deployment (again) he had started to talk about wanting another puppy or dog.  I want to find a dog that needs a rescue home or a rehoming situation.  I’d prefer to not have to house train another dog right now and I want something that Gwen can rough house play with now.  Almost every email I have gotten from Andrew has some mentioning of puppies or dogs…  I made the mistake of telling him about a Cardi that is looking for a home.  He was all over that one flies on a hog!  I am still contemplating a Cardi and a Pem together.  Could be cute…

But I digress!  I don’t know if I am ready to take on an itty-bitty puppy by myself.  I guess I am trying to convince myself to hold out for our next perfect dog and if it is meant to be then somehow that puppy will find its way into my life.  I am trying to tell myself to focus on working and training Gwen.  I am trying to convince myself to stick with my original thought of wanting another female and the specific coloring too (black-headed-tri).  Though I’m wavering on that one since there is a cute corgi-mix nearby that I’ve had my eye on!  I know if Andrew had been with me then I would not even be dealing with these self-arguments but rather trying to keep him from going back tomorrow morning bright and early to bring that little guy home!

I am at war with myself! 😦

Before I leave you with a couple parting questions, here are a couple of links I saw the other day and thought they were quite relevant now after this little event of the day.  Please click the link and check them out, they are well worth the read! 🙂

What is your take on this whole situation?  Given the information you now how, how would you proceed?  Walk away and not look back or run back and snap him up?

Do you think this dog is from a local/non-local breeder or a puppy mill breeder?  

Random Bits of Puppy-ship

My biggest fear with getting a puppy was not the biting or the training but the housebreaking.  It turned out that this pup has been pretty easy!  She has only had a few accidents in the house, most of which come from miscommunication between puppy-humans or human-human (didn’t tell the other when she was out last).  She tries her very best to communicate the need to go outside.

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Gwen’s antics from the past couple of weeks have been pretty crazy.  I went away for a week to go back home to visit family and attend a friend’s wedding.  In that time Andrew was left alone with Gwen.  Since he was only working for a couple hours each day it seemed perfect since that meant she did not have to stay in her crate for very long at all.  She was fine in her crate while Andrew was at work but she apparently missed me.  She chewed on the coffee table and the TV stand when Andrew was in the other room for just a minute.  She chewed on some books and papers when they were both in his office together.  She was pretty crazy was the general word I got from him.  We decided that Gwen missed me since I was gone because I am able to leave her alone for awhile in the living room while I’m in another room and not worry about her so long as I know she’s been out recently.

When I got home Gwen was like a different dog!  She was happy again, especially when both of her humans were home at the same time!  Andrew started his new schedule so he was gone for longer hours which threw off Gwen’s world apparently.  She’d sit and look at the door for awhile every now and then waiting for him to walk in the door.  Once she figured out the new routine she was golden, and will now get excited when she hears the key in the lock!

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We started puppy classes with Gwen at the beginning of August and those have been going very well.  Only two so far but she already knows so much!  Gwen learned “sit” the first day that we had her at home.  “Down” and “roll over” followed just a couple days after.  So she already had some of the commands under her little belt by the time we started with the trainer.  Andrew took her to her first session since I was in WA and they worked on what she already knew as well as getting some homework to work on at home.

Week 2 of puppy class was cool.  Gwen got to learn “on” and “off”, and not just getting off the couch.  She learned how to climb up things like a box and how to jump off of them.  She was afraid of the boxes at first but got over that since the “Treat man” had tasty treats on that box!  He then stacked another box so she had to go up 2 steps.  She ended up going up to table height and back down. Gwen LOVED it!  It was like creating a monster!  She also learned “heel” (2 forms) and we reviewed her last lesson.

Gwen loves climbing and going under, in, and through things!  We had planned on doing agility with her (assuming she liked it) and we can already tell she will love it!  Assuming that is, that she wants to listen to her humans’ direction.  She is a stubborn little toad some days!  I set up a box in the hallway the other day so she has to go through that to get out of the living room (when she is allowed out the gate.  We have half the room cordoned off from her so she cannot just tear through the house all willy nilly like some people think we should let her do as a young puppy….  In having to go through this box she gets to have fun and already wants to go into a dark tunnel.  Andrew really wants to get her a tunnel, like the real agility ones, so she can go through it.  We are on the  look out for one now.

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We took the pup down to Battery Park down by the waterfront as her first outing to the park once she had received all her shots to be able to go into public and be around strange dogs.  She absolutely LOVED it!!!  She met a Bassett Hound pup about the same age as her and a whole bunch of different types of people.  Some she wasn’t as found of as others…like the woman who came up to her and got right in her face and talked all loud and scary…I could have punched the lady, instead I just made sure Gwen didn’t fall off the gazebo wall that she had climbed up.

The Facebook post for that day was:

Took the puppy to the park down by the battery. She loved it! She met tons of people and another puppy, a basset hound. Gwen got so excited she expelled the contents of her stomach as soon as we left all the excitement. She then decided (later) to expel the rest of her stomach contents onto my arm in the car on the way home…gross. She is now asleep in her box…walked in on her own without any coaxing.

We, or should I say I,have had some pretty interesting days with this little dog.  She can be a hoot some days and a terror on others.  (Note:  I do not want kids!  A puppy is bad enough!!!)  I looked back on some other facebook posts and came across one that said, “Dog is very vocal today…please just shoot me.”  Another that said, “Just found out that my puppy got ahold of my laptop charger…bah humbug! This was my new one! How come she couldn’t’ve chewed on Andrew’s?! He has the one that needs replacing!! =/”  Destructo puppy!

Then there are the days when Gwen just doesn’t understand what’s going on… “Gwen doesn’t understand why I wouldn’t let her go play with the 2 big dogs that came out into “her” yard today! She wiggles her nub when she wants to go meet new people and dogs.”  That lady did NOT have her HUGE dogs under control so there was no way we were getting any closer even though we wanted to go inside and Gwen wanted to go play with them.

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When I returned from my trip I found that Gwen had grown!!!  She also loved attacking my fingers and toes since I had my nails painted and I am pretty sure that is the first time that she had seen painted nails before!  Strange that you can see the change in her in just a week of not seeing her!

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 Gwen’s eating habits are a mystery too.  Corgis are supposed to be known for eating til the cows come home yet this little thing eats like my grandparents’ Toy Poodle, Nemo.  She eats a little and takes it away from the bowl too.  We did not want to leave food out for her to graze on but she wouldn’t eat otherwise.  Maybe she will change her habits later on??

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Some Facebook posts about little Gwyndolyn:

  • Gwen likes putting her toys under neath the TV stand thing…her legs are too short to be able to scoop them out from under it…
  • “I do not like this Sam I am. I do not like this hand held fan.” — Andrew’s rhyme for Gwen’s take on being dried with the blow dryer.
  • Gwen alerted me that the vacuum moved to the hallway…I told her “thank you” and she quit barking.

Hello World!

New Project:

This is going to be all about the life and times of Gwyndolyn Rose, Corgi Princess.  This post started off as a sample since this is a new blog, but I felt that the title was very fitting for our very first post!

I wanted to start off with my motivation behind starting up this blog.  The idea came from two separate things.  First off was my dad saying that I should keep a journal (which I did start doing) or at least write down all the little stories that I have from our experiences in raising our first puppy.  The second half was from my friend who is pregnant and keeping a blog of sorts about her pregnancy.  I combined the two and this is what I got:  an online blog so I can share with family and friends about our little corgi puppy, Fairwyn Gwyndolyn Rose (name pending).

A little overview of Gwen:

Gwen is a red and white Pembroke Welsh Corgi.  She was born in Clover, SC at Fairwyn Corgis on 27 April 2012 to her doggie parents “Clay” & “Bella.”  A total of 10 puppies!

Andrew was able to see the puppies on his way up to Groton, CT pretty early on and was able to see the puppies when they were only a few days old!  He saw them again on his way back to South Carolina in May and picked out little Gwen then, earlier than normal, but the breeder, Connie, made an exception since she knew that neither of us would even be in the state when she usually let people choose and pick-up puppies.  The reason was because Andrew and I were getting married and going on our honeymoon!

The one with the stripe on her head is Gwen.

After all that, while we were en route from WA to SC, we made a slight detour and stopped in Clover.  That was the first time I got to see Gwen in person!  She was so adorable, as were all her brothers and sisters!  I was glad that Andrew had picked her out before hand because I never would’ve been able to pick!  All I knew before was I wanted a red female.  I’d told him that and my other criteria was that she had to be cute and sweet.  Well, all puppies are cute and sweet so that pretty much left it all up to his judgement.  Gwen had picked him.

First time Liz saw Gwen. Took her home a week later!

Fast forwarding a couple weeks to Saturday, June 29.  Humans get prepared for puppy.  Humans drive 3 hrs to get puppy.  Humans drive 4.5 hrs home with puppy, making 3.5 pit-stops.  Humans and puppy finally get home!  It was a long car ride!  Gwen was a little excited about her first REAL car ride, and she got motion sick (poor thing!).  She did not like the bumps in the road.  She rode the whole way sitting under the fan in the front seat and the last half hour under the fan on the floor.  It was one of THE HOTTEST days. (+108° weather).

Fast forward some more.  Cute creature shows her other side, a slightly wilder side.  We jokingly call her an Orange Tasmanian Devil because she acts like Taz!  She makes the sounds like a devil and when she gets excited she’ll tear around the living room just like in the cartoons!  And just like all puppies, she’s got the sharp, pointy teeth to boot!

Adventures outside and inside, galore!  Gwen has had encounters with different toys, sounds, sights, smells; met new dogs and humans; chewed some things when her humans weren’t looking; gone for car ride;, and played in the field by our apartment.  All of these things and much more have made up the first five weeks that we have had her.  There will undoubtably be more stories and thoughts about this little orange devil to follow.