Raising service puppies means there will be emotional highs and there will be emotional lows. The excitement of getting a new puppy is tempered by saying goodbye to a good friend as she moves onto the next stage of her training.
And so it is this week: I'm excited to introduce you to Spruce Goose, yet saddened to let Monti go back to Service Dogs of Virginia. We'll simply celebrate the good news in this post, while I live in denial a bit longer regarding Monti's imminent turn-in.
So this is the new guy: Spruce Goose. He's 11-weeks old and quite saucy.
He looks an awful lot like Siena (who is now named Gracie and very happily adored by her new family) and we're very happy to have a baby dinosaur back in the house. [More on her in an upcoming post!]
It wasn't an optimal time to add a puppy to our household, but when Great Dane puppies are delivered to your front door, you don't refuse them!
He came to us last Wednesday evening, and by 8:30a Thursday morning, he was attending the Frederick New Media and Technology Conference with me. Actually, he was Co-Presenter (I gave a talk about Twitter)!
In a matter of 24 hours, Spruce Goose (who didn't even have a name at that point), learned how to wear a leash and collar, was fitted for his vest, and attended an all-day conference with me.
I was a presenter at the conference -- I couldn't simply skip the event, nor could I leave him in a strange house with four strange (to him) dogs all day. So I packed him up with plenty of "keep busy" toys and chews, and hoped for the best.
He did remarkably well, given his (lack of) previous experience. I was patient, allowed extra time to get him comfortable in his new surroundings, and was willing to take him out frequently to exercise and do his business.
We'll keep you updated on his progress. It'll be fun to watch his personality develop.