Friday, September 29, 2006

Tomorrow is the BIG DAY!!!

Well, tomorrow's the big day.

We travel to Goldvein, VA (225 miles away) where we'll meet and pick up our new, eight-week-old, black Lab, wiggly female addition to our lively pack . Her breeder is expecting us and will be waiting to greet us at noon.

Wow. I can hardly believe the day is here. Kenya (at least we think that's her name for now but we''ll have to see her first to decide) comes home with us tomorrow to stay. Her litter was born August 5th, so she'll be exactly 8 weeks old and ready for her new family.

It may sound silly, but I've got what seems like a thousand questions running through my head:
  • What's her temperment like?
  • Is she intelligent and trainable?
  • How strong are her field instincts?
  • Will she stay healthy (as all our other Labs have)?
  • Will she adjust well to us?
  • How will Baxter, Ridge, and Elsie respond to this new little bundle of joy? Will they welcome her? Will they be jealous? Will they be too rough or dominant?
  • What will training and working with the dogs be like now, especially these first few weeks when Kenya is too small to safely keep up with the bigger dogs?
  • Is she as gorgeous as she looks in her photos?
  • How expensive will she become (financial responsibility for each dog varies -- they have their own sets of medical and veterinary needs).
  • Am I (since I'm the one who is here most of the time working from home) going to be able to handle this?
  • Can I give Kenya what she needs?
  • Will we get any sleep the first few nights?
  • Are the house and yard puppy-proof enough (it's amazing how quickly we forget)?
  • Will we raise her well?
  • How will she respond to crate training and basic obedience drills?
  • For what kind of work is she best suited (hunting? therapy? companionship? breeding)?
  • Are we crazy to have FOUR dogs at one time (a first for us)?
  • Are we ready? Am I?
Yikes! You get the idea.

Even sillier yet, I have this excited-but-nervous-scared-but-expectant-hopeful-but-cautious knot growing in my stomach. How absurd! Kenya will be the seventh dog I've had the privilege to raise; there's nothing new or unknown here.

But I'm still nervous (in a good, positive way).

So think of us tomorrow while we're traveling (nearly 10-hours round trip) and over the next few days while we adjust to our new addition (and she to us).

You can bet I'll post boatloads of pictures, probably starting Sunday. Enjoy!

'Til next time,

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