First, sorry for the following novel of a post. It has been a very exciting couple of days!
For the last few weeks I have been lurking here, as I've been looking for a golden to adopt within our area. A puppy from a breeder would have been great, but instead I wanted to adopt a puppy from a shelter or rescue. This past Tuesday, I saw a dog on Pet Finder (a Golden/Lab mix) and fell in love with her immediately. I emailed the rescue, and this past Saturday I drove just outside of Orlando, Florida (roughly 3 hours from where we are in Southern GA) to get her.
The rescue she was at does not have their own facility, so she spent the week at a Foster home. They also do not hold any of the dogs for people and only adopt out on weekends. The rescue had an adoption event outside a Petsmart, and a sign up sheet was posted. They suggested I get there early in order to get my name on the list, as the dogs were being adopted on a first come first serve basis. On Saturday, a friend and I got up at 4:30am and were out the door by 5:30. We arrived at the Petsmart at 8:30, and secured the #1 spot on their sign up list when they opened at 9am.
The actual event didn't begin until 1pm, so we had four hours to wait before I could meet her. We spent some time shopping, and afterward went to Chilis for lunch. While talking to our waitress, we found out that the couple directly across from us was #4 on the list.
At 12:30, we made our way back over to the Petsmart. By that time, there were about 15 people on the list. By the time the event started, the Rescue had to write in more numbers as the page was full (30+ signed up). Earlier that day when I had signed up, I had put my choice of puppy in parentheses next to my name. Many others had followed suit, and there were at least ten others who wrote interest in her. However, I was first on the list, and when the event started I had first choice of about fifteen puppies (6 of them were the Golden/Lab litter).
I immediately asked for "Jelly," and they asked me if I knew which one she was (it was pretty chaotic and they had a lot of volunteers working). I pointed her out immediately, they handed her to me, and asked me to take her to the grass to see if I still wanted her after playing/bonding with her. I knew instantly I wanted her, but I spent about 15-20 minutes with her in the grass to see if she
wanted me. She was a bit shy at first, but after a few minutes she gave me puppy kisses and curled up against me.
While I was waiting to get the adoption paperwork, many different people/couples came up to see her. Throughout the event, I quickly realized that she was the most wanted puppy of the bunch. One couple in particular asked if I planned on adopting her. I said yes, and instead of giving the other puppies a glance, they left without a word. I felt badly for everyone, especially one little girl who couldn't have been more than 10. By the time she arrived, she was number 25 on the list and all the puppies she had in mind were already claimed. She spent the first 30 minutes of the event crying while she watched her puppies of choice be chosen. However, while I was filling out my adoption paperwork, I saw her walk by with a puppy and a big smile on her face. I broke a lot of hearts when I picked mine, but I truly believe everyone walked away with the puppy they were meant to have.
Two full days have passed since we came home. Lily is doing wonderfully, and a lot of that is thanks to this forum. I've never had my own dog, and this forum has been invaluable. Between Tuesday-Saturday I have researched everything from puppy food to clicker training to crate training and so much more. Reading your past experiences with training your dogs has been such a great help, and I have visited every day since I knew I would be getting a golden.
Now to give some more details and progress on Lily -- She is 11 weeks old, and these past few days have been exhausting, but it has all been worth it. I don't work, so I am home all day and night with her, and have been sleeping in the living room with her (Lily in her crate, me curled up on my chaise). Unfortunately, we don't have room in our bedroom for a crate or else she'd sleep there with us, but I've slept in the room with her the first few nights in order to make her more comfortable. But, if you can believe it, she really hasn't cried. She will whine for about 20-30 seconds when first going into the crate, but she immediately calms down and goes to sleep.
I know a lot of her demeanor has to do with the fact that she is currently sick. They spayed her on Friday. I had no idea, and was expecting to be able to take her to the vet later to get it done around 6 months, but unfortunately they wouldn't adopt any of them out before they were fixed. Not only this, but on the drive home on Saturday I realized (after doing some searching here) that she came home with Kennel Cough. I took her to the vet first thing this morning, and she said that her current antibiotic for the spay should help knock out her cold. She has another appointment on the 15th to get her next round of vaccinations (at 12 weeks) (and then two others at 14 and 16 weeks).
Should everything go well these next few weeks, Lily will be starting puppy class on the 25th (in 3 weeks). I am hoping the KC will clear in a week in order to give her 2 weeks KC free before going to classes. The vet said 10 days free would be enough, but the sooner this clears up the better. If it is cutting it too close, I'll have to cancel her class and reschedule for one of the March classes. I am really hoping I won't have to do that, as I am hoping to get her socializing and training as soon as possible. I've been working with her at home when she feels up to it, but I am really looking forward to the class.
*scrolls up and sees the novel* I should probably wrap things up -- Tonight I am going to attempt sleeping in my own bed and setting alarms in order to let her out halfway through the night and again in the morning. I haven't been sleeping well in the living room and am pretty exhausted, so I really hope she does okay
Anyway, I'll leave you guys with some pictures I've taken these past 48 hours, and I'll update you guys soon on how she's doing. Thanks again for all the information, it has been a GREAT help!
While she is a GR/Lab mix, the vet believes she has a bit of collie in her line due to her markings (what do you think?) While shopping at Petsmart after the adoption: In the backseat of the car on the way home: Napping at Home: