Welcoming Matilda: Coming home
I thought I was completely geared up for my new puppy. I'd bought all the food, the basket and the jumpers. It's just a pity the pet shop didn't sell patience and sleeping tablets...
We bought Matilda home a day later than planned. The snow stopped us getting her on the arranged date, and my son and I were beside ourself with disappointment that we had to wait another whole day.
We'd spent a week baby-proofing the house - I'd warned William that little bits of Lego were a choking hazard to a tiny puppy, and that action figures, school shoes and precious cuddly toys were nothing more than teething aids. If it's on the floor, it will be chewed, I warned him.
We went to the breeder's house on a bitterly cold Sunday morning to collect her. The roads were still frozen and snowy from the huge downfalls of the previous day. I had mixed feelings when we arrived - I was a bit emotional about taking her away from her mummy! Mad, I know, but I could feel myself welling up at the thought. The breeder must have picked up on this, or at least experienced it when the other pups were collected, as she told me she had put Rosie, the mummy dog, in the other room.
Matilda was running around the house, 'mouthing' everything, doing wees on the carpet, and trying very hard to 'bark' at everyone she encountered. She was full of confidence and bravado, but sounded like a little quacking duck. We said our goodbyes, wrapped her in blankets and took her out to our car.
I was a mess on the way home - so worried about transporting a tiny little scrap of dog in such awful weather and driving conditions, but she was fine, sitting on my lap, looking out of the window and giving me an occasional lick.
After an afternoon of exploring the house, getting to know all her toys, and weeing non-stop, she began to flag by early evening, and we settled her down in the puppy crate in our dining room. She was tucked in all snug with lots of fleecy blankets, newspaper to wee on, cuddly bears for company, and the radio on low.
And then it started. Four non-stop hours of duck noises.
I remember looking bleary eyed at the clock at 1am and saying to myself, what have I done.
And I took her from the puppy crate and into my bed, the very thing all my dog owning pals had told me NOT to do on her first night...
PS- as you can see, the puppy crate has many uses!
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