Friday, May 25, 2018

New beginnings

This past weekend we were out at the cabin visiting my parents.  It had been awhile since I had been out, September long weekend I think.   It was the first time I had been out there since they officially moved there.

They still have a lot of unpacking to do, but it's coming together.  It's funny, the simple addition of a plant seemed to transform it from a cabin to a home.  In this case, the infamous Christmas Fern made the trip.

The major development was an internet phone and WIFI.  Prior to moving out, there was no land line at the cabin and cell service in the valley was sketchy at best.  It gave me some comfort knowing that they have a dedicated way for us to contact them.

The WIFI was a dream come true for the boys.  To be able to be at the cabin and still keep in touch with their friends was awesome.  During the day, they are outside playing, doing yardwork etc, but in the evenings, Grandpa watches TV programs, usually documentaries or cooking programs which they aren't too interested in.  Plus my mum has an apple tv, so she can now watch Netflix on their TV now too.

It was a bit of a work weekend as we needed to get the pine tongue and groove ceiling up because 1) the permit was about to expire and 2) Dad can't do it on his own as it is a two person job.

Both Brad and Zach were able to help.  The funny thing was that every time they tried to work, some tool was missing.  First it was the Brad nailer which they knew was in some box that hadn't yet been unpacked.  The initial search turned up nothing, so Zach and Dad drove into Brandon to get another.  Then the next day they needed a jigsaw.  After a search they found that, but then they needed jigsaw blades and didn't know where those were.

In the meantime, I was helping mum go through some boxes.  I tend to be a bit ruthless in purging stuff.  I read somewhere that when trying to de-clutter, fast decisions are the way to go.  Also, you need to ask yourself, "Does this bring me joy?", if not, toss it.  Sounds super cheesy, but it's actually pretty effective.

We were able to come up with quite a few bags of things, boys clothes that they had outgrown, extra comforters (they were merging linens from two houses and couldn't possibly use them all) as well as some extra household crockery and toys.

Since we were about to head into Brandon to drop off the things at goodwill, we added a trip to Home Depot for jigsaw blades to the itinerary.

While at the cabin, we always take time to visit with our friends Dale and Courtney.  Honestly, they are as good as it gets and you couldn't ask for better neighbours.  Court and Dale have two dogs, Cesar and Tyson.  Cesar is a big German Shepard and Tyson is a American Bulldog cross.  When I think of bulldogs, I think of the British ones, those pudgy small dogs with drooly jowels.  Nope, Tyson is an American bulldog and he's HUGE.  His head (which is rock solid) comes up to my waist and his wagging tail feels like a whip if it hits you.  Also this past weekend they were dog sitting Marley, a golden lab, who is just the sweetest.

The boys went mental over the dogs.  Every time they saw them, they would run outside to play.  While we didn't talk about it per se, both Brad and I could see how much the boys enjoyed animals and knew we would get another at some point.

We had said that it would be quite some time before we even thought about another dog, if ever, but life happens and plans change.

On Monday night, Brad found an ad on Kijiji for some golden lab/retriever cross puppies.  They were adorable and we made an appointment to go out this coming Saturday to see them.  The puppies were too small to adopt yet, but you can make a down payment and reserve one.

In the meantime, Brad kept looking online just because. He found an ad for Labrador Retriever cross puppies.  The mother was a Labrador/golden retriever cross and the father was a Labrador husky cross.  The dogs were out in the country in St. Claude.

We decided to go check it out, but didn't tell the boys.  If we brought the boys we would guaranteed be bringing home a puppy and after what we went through with Stella, we wanted to be able to say no if we didn't feel it would be the right fit. So we told them we were going to Costco. It's a testament to how long I usually take at Costco that we were gone 3 hours and they boys didn't think anything of it.

When we arrived, the mother dog (a beautiful light chocolate color) came up to our car (walked, did not run) and didn't bark once!  She waited until I got out and then nuzzled against me.    The father dog didn't bark either, but was more reserved and sort of chilled out beside the house.  He had the most unusual colors.  He was a white dog, but looked as if someone had taken black and brown paintbrushes and painted little sploches all over.

We knocked on the door and were greeted by this super friendly lady.  She took us around back to meet the puppies.  The litter was 7 puppies;  5 with multicolor coats like their father and two solid black.  When we arrived, there were two puppies left, the coal black ones.

She let the puppies out of their pen and they happily bounded out.  They came towards us and cuddled up at our feet.  One was more bouncy than the other.  As I bent down to pet one, the other came up and was playing with my hair as it hung down.  The more rambunctious had a bit more brown coloring to its coat.

We watched them for awhile to see how they interacted with everything and really like the temperament of the quieter one.

Prior to arriving we talked about names.  I really wanted a soft name, one that had a peaceful sound to it.  I looked up "peaceful" names and came across "Shiloh".  It had that soft sound I was looking for and given that the Shilo army base is right by our cabin it seemed like a great name.

Once home, I sat the boys down for a family meeting.  Brad stayed out in the garage.  He then came in and the boys mouths dropped open.  It was so sweet.  Zach was beside himself.

 It has been a couple days and she has been doing so well.  She plays with both boys, cuddling up with them, coming to them when they call her and sleeping on their beds.

I want to do everything we can to help Shiloh become an amazing part of the family.  Part of that means socializing and socializing early.   So the same night we brought her home, two of my friends Jen and Jill came over to visit.  Then our neighbors Silvie and her sweet son Blaise came over as well.  I was always so scared with Blaise around Stella as she was so unpredictable.  This time it was COMPLETELY different.  Shiloh came up to him super gentle and played with him on the grass.

The next day we went over to our friends Sean and Erin's place and brought Shiloh.  She was sweet and calm there as well, playing in the grass before finding a spot under the table and laying down.  Kat and Gerrit came and brought their 1 year old daughter Avery.  Shiloh was calm and let Avery pet her without the slightest hesitation.  She didn't bark once the entire time we were there.

It's early days, but to say I am happy is an understatement.  She is just so laid back.  She hardly barks (I have heard two in 3 days), doesn't freak out at the doorbell, in fact, doesn't even flinch when she hears it.

I registered her in puppy classes and they start on Saturday. They say training can start as early as 9 weeks and that is what she is.  I want her to love being around other dogs and other people.  That would be a dream come true.  Welcome to the family baby girl.


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