Sage Monkey

Sage Monkey

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Road Trip: Bringing Home our New Puppy

Last year I had contacted Sharp Shooter's Kennel in New Richmond, Wisconsin and went through the screening process to procure another GSP puppy. Sage's father is a Sharp Shooters's NAVHDA Versatile Champion and her mother has some SS bloodlines. I've seen my fair share of SS dogs in the field and knew that if I ever added to my pack that I would hope it would be with a pup from their kennel. A litter had been born on October 8th and lucky for us a female from the litter would be ours and would be available to be picked-up Thanksgiving weekend. Wyatt and I decided it would be the perfect time for a road trip.

We set out on Black Friday with Sage in tow as she was just coming out of heat. We spent Friday in Glendive, MT and then on Saturday commandoed across North Dakota, and Minnesota arriving to the quaint town of New Richmond, Wisconsin (we've dubbed it the round-about capital of the midwest) on Saturday evening.

Jessica Lieffort from Sharp Shooters was kind enough to let us come over Saturday night and visit our pup. We spent a couple of hours getting our fill of puppy breath (like there is such a thing), watching spastic puppy play and chatting with the breeders Clyde and Marilyn Vetter and Jessica. They couldn't have been more kind and professional. It really was such a lovely experience and we were very appreciative of their time and company, it alone was worth the 2,200 mile journey.

We chose not to take our new puppy home that night upon the very wise suggestion of Jessica. Instead we headed back to the hotel and toasted our new spotted dog child with a wonderful bottle of wine (thank you Marilyn and Jess), we held Sage a little extra tight and got a darn good nights sleep. Jessica gave us the opportunity to swing by in the morning and intro Sage to the pup and then we would head out for the 1,100 mile trip home.

Sage sucking up as much sleepy love as she can. It's borderline rude.  

We showed up to Jessica's at 8am sharp on Sunday chock full of excitement. We came in and snuggled our pup and her last litter mate. Then we brought Sage in to meet our pup. It's a super common question about the proper way to introduce an older dog to a puppy. I've done it before and I have to say that no matter how crafty you get there is always some ill feeling on the older dogs part. Once they realize what is happening they are a little less then pleased to varying degrees. So here is how our intro went:

Sage came down to the whelping room which is immaculate by the way. With that said it is full of lots of other dog smells and of course an adorable and perfect pup. Sage did the normal unsure growling and hopping about. Nothing out of normal in my humble opinion. It's a big event with a relative amount of pressure and after 2 days in car and a modified schedule it's a lot for anyone or any dog to take in. With that said I could tell Sage needed to use the bathroom and maybe get some space. I asked Jessica if it was OK to let her into her backyard to do her business. Part of the yard had been fenced off with puppy fencing to keep the small hooligans in.

I let Sage out and could immediately tell she was being pissy and she began to run and sniff the perimeter of the fenced area. As soon as she hopped the fence I knew that I was in trouble. She knew exactly what was occurring and like a toddler in the middle of temper tantrum she planned to drag me into deep water before she would submit. I winced and began what felt like a thousand yard walk over to the fence in pursuit. Sage was legitimately pissed about all this puppy business and was opting the route of giving me the paw. I called her around and she defiantly ran a lap by me before taking up residence in the nearby woods and proceeded to take a shit. But unlike any other poop she's had in the past she locked eyes with me the entire time making it as uncomfortable as possible as if she was was trying to tell me how much she hated me. I mumbled under my breath God help me and as she patched out backwards (not breaking eye contact of course) and I watched in horror as she transformed from my sweet beloved Sage into her insanely sassy and mouthy mother Cleo. It was one of those moments so many of us experience looking in the mirror or hearing our own parents rhetoric escape our lips. What the fuck was happening.

She proceeded to take off with the type of attitude only seen in hormonally charged and angry teenage girls as they scream at you, I HATE YOU, YOU RUINED MY LIFE, before stomping down the hallway and slamming their bedroom door with Emmy winning dramatic flair. She tore around Jessica's backyard before I could half tackle and drag her back to the house. Well this is going well I thought and as we re-entered the Leiffort residence I asked Wyatt if he would be kind enough to take our spotted time bomb out to the car.

We said our goodbyes and collected our fur baby and headed out to begin the long journey home. We named our puppy Sharp Shooters Sweet Mission and we shall call her Figs.

The trip home was long but not nearly as bad as we had thought it might be. Both dogs were very well behaved and slept most of the journey. We made it to Miles City, MT our first night together as a family and took up temporary residence in a pet friendly Best Western. It was the first opportunity we got to see Fig's personality as well as the first real opportunity to see Sage and Figs interact.

Sage was clearly wounded about the new family addition but still made small efforts. She would take a toy and poke it into Fig's head trying to get her play while growling awkwardly the entire time. Clearly conflicted play but positive nonetheless. It took Cleo almost 6 days to get to that point when Luna was introduced into the pack so realistically I was thrilled. We had a great first night and since we were on the road she got to sleep on my face while Sage took residence beneath the covers.

Hotel Ice Breaking Shenanigans

Wyatt decided to be the paparazzi when I passed out. Not sure if you 
can see that pup hogging my pillow.

We've been home in Bozeman since Monday afternoon. I took sometime off of work to spend with the girls to help get them transitioned and get on a schedule. It's been a real hoot. Figs has so much moxy and plays with spirited gusto. She loves to retrieve any toy to hand and she has been such a quick learn. I have been incredibly impressed with her intelligence and she is extremely cooperative and sweet. We already LOVE having her around. Sage is doing much better with her and they spent hours chasing each other around the kitchen and living room today and bebopping though fields. Things are going to be great and I can't wait to intro her to birds. There is so much to look forward to over the next several months.

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