Chickie comes home

Since the day Chief came home, I started training immediately. I was so anxious to do “all the things”. Every month he aged I felt excited to be closer to working towards our goals. The puppy days flew by and suddenly we were competing in sports, hiking big trails, and running miles together. I am so proud of the dog he has become and cherish the companionship he shows me everyday.

Chickie’s first day home, she loved the snow!

I enjoyed raising him so much that I started to think about adding another high energy dog to our family. Our breeder had a litter and I forced myself to ignore the pictures she was posting of all of the adorable puppies. When the puppies turned six weeks old, she posted updated photos of all of them on facebook. My husband texted me “So…are we getting one of these puppies?” and that was all of the instigation I needed to inquire about the litter. I texted with the breeder who told me the puppies were great personalities but likely lower drive than Chief.  I replied “drive can be built” and we set a plan to meet the puppy she thought would be the best fit for us.

I was set on the fact that if we met the puppy and she wasn’t the right fit for us, we would leave and wait for the right puppy to come along. When we arrived, the little red girl “Solo” was brought in to meet us. As soon as her paws touched the ground, she sprinted around the room as fast as she could, jumping over obstacles in her way and quickly crawling under and around furniture like a pro. I immediately knew she was the right match for Chief. Solo came home with us, slept silently in her crate the entire car ride, and was officially part of our family.

It took us almost three days to name her. We spent some time with family and friends that weekend, and everyone had their own idea of what would suit her. Top contenders were Scottie, Tango, and Tess but every name had a reason to not use it. Monday morning I woke up extra early to spend time with her before work. All weekend, I had been carrying around Oma’s Pride freeze dried chicken chunks to reward her for going potty outside and giving me her attention to build good habits from the start. I would call our nameless puppy by saying “Chickie Chickie Chickie!” to let her know she was going to get a chicken treat if she came to me. That Monday morning I called her using that phrase, and as she ran to me I realized that was her favorite word, and a great name for her! When my husband woke up and I told him my idea it was then decided, her name was Chickie.

Chief and Vinny were skeptical at first (as they should have been) but accepted her very quickly. Chief was fairly neutral to her until one day she realized she was fun to spar with. Vinny is very defensive of his house and space, but loves playing outside. He has great dog play manners, and taught her some great social skills during their wild play sessions. It is so sweet to watch their bonds form and feel like we made the right choice bringing her into all of our lives.

Chickie will be given as much time as she needs to learn, grow, and just be a puppy. Currently, she joins us on short neighborhood walks (or rides in her stroller, I have no shame), goes where we go to get used to our lifestyle, and is in a puppy class where she is learning to be neutral around other dogs as well as some basic skills. Hopefully she will grow up to enjoy dog sports and running. I do not expect her to be Chief #2. She is going to be given her own life, and I hope she loves it and lives it to her fullest.

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