Sky joins her new family


For months every time I’ve asked Bode what he wants to do for the day or the weekend, the answer has been:

Get a puppy!

The boy loves dogs.  Dogs and boys go together.

After some dog research, Aaron decided that an English Setter (specifically an Old Hemlock English Setter) would be the best dog for the family *and* for hunting.  I wasn’t necessarily ready for a new dog yet, but Aaron assured me it could take two years on the waiting list.  Shortly thereafter, there were two litters of pups and one was available for us.  This gave me nearly two months to ready myself for having a puppy again.  The catch is that we would have to travel to Rochester, NY to get the puppy.  (Yep!  That was a Rochester, MN to Rochester, NY trip.)  Given Aaron’s lack of vacation time, that meant it would be a weekend trip and he would need me to come with to drive through the night.  This sounded exhausting, but I reluctantly agreed.  Until it was time to pick up the puppy, Aaron and Bode frequented the puppy update pictures on facebook, trying to decide which ones were their favorites.  The puppy-to-be had even already been named Old Hemlock Blue Sky (just Sky for short).

And we were off…

Last Thursday after work, Aaron, Bode and I got in the car (Courtney was already at grandma’s) and started the drive to New York.  We crossed a lot of state lines and a lot of toll booths, but we didn’t make a lot of stops.  By Friday morning, we were in New York.  We planned to go see the puppies on Friday night and make our selection on Saturday morning.  Until then, we had the day (who needs real sleep?)  to explore Niagara Falls.  It was Bode’s 8th birthday after all.  None of us had been there before and we had a fun (but wet) time checking it out.

Fast forward to meeting the puppies…

Wow!  Bode got literally bowled over by a large group of nearly 8-week old English Setter puppies as he came into the basement where they were.  They each had a different colored collar to help identify them, but they all looked so much alike.  How were we to make a selection?  We had fourth choice out of the litter (but must be a female) and really any of the puppies seemed like a good choice.  We played with the puppies and took them in smaller groups outside.  It was tough to pick our favorites, but we got an idea, knowing that two more of the puppies would be unavailable by the time we got to choose.  Bode did not want to say goodbye to the puppies that night.  We went out for dinner and back to the hotel, talking about puppy selections, and made it an early night.

Saturday Morning – Puppy Day!

Still not quite sure which puppy we would select, we went to the home where the puppies were.  One family was still trying to select their puppy and had several of their choices outside.  The number one puppy on our list had already been chosen.  As we waited for the other family, we played with the puppies that were around.  One of those puppies stood out in wanting to play with Bode and me.  We ended up taking her and another outside.  It was a group effort to make our decision.  It was hard, but we did it.  And it was a little sad to be leaving the other puppies behind, even though they were all going to other good families that day.

Shortly after making our selection, we loaded up with the puppy, now called Sky, next to Bode in the back seat and we drove off.  We made several stops for Sky on the way home and she was an amazing traveler.  I really had expected the worst.  By 1 am, we were home.  Whew!  Totally beat and glad to be home.  Of course, Sky had slept most of the way and was ready to play!

It’s been a few days now and the barking is less and she’s getting used to the crate more and we’re getting more sleep.  I think I’ll survive this.  And much like Aaron predicted, the puppy had won me over before we even made it home.