Today was not originally scheduled as a puppy day, but Kim called last night and asked me to accompany her to the prison to pick up a puppy. Kayla has been at the prison for a few days now as Kim has felt just awful and needed some time to recover. The puppy we would be picking up today is a little black Lab named Ashley. She is about 10 weeks old and is absolutely precious.
Kim arrived to pick me up in the morning and I was running late. I'm not really sure where my morning went, but I was still blow drying my hair when Kim knocked on the door. And, that was even after she'd waited in her car for me.
Otis wasn't too fussed about his food this morning. In an effort to keep his heart healthy, I had added cinnamon and cold pressed flax seed oil to his food. He was not impressed. I had added cinnamon to everyone else's food as a little would be beneficial for them too and everyone, including the ever picky Hermione Sophia, ate their breakfasts no problem.
Otis eventually ate some of his food, but I opted to put the rest aside for later since he didn't seem particularly interested and we really needed to get on the road. Eating one kibble at a time out of a bowl filled with 1 cup of food takes a very long time. I think he was trying to pick out the kibbles that didn't have flax seed oil on them. I was finally ready to go, after racing about the house like a maniac looking for my cell phone.
Our first stop was "Timmy's" for coffee. It was just one of those mornings so I forewent my usual medium and went straight for a large. The border crossing guy was a bit grumpy. He asked where we lived, why we were entering the States Etc. As soon as Kim said we were going to the prison to pick up a "Leader Dog puppy for training" his attitude grew dark. He kind of snarled at us about how long we'd be in the States and if Nala had her Rabies shots. They are certainly entitled to ask if the dog's shots are up to date, but it was more his manner than anything. Not to mention, he turned sour as soon as the prison was mentioned.
I waited in the car while Kim went to get Ashley. When she trades puppies, she doesn't go inside the prison because of all of the protocols, but rather switches puppies with the guy in charge of the prison puppy program. (He's prison staff). She wasn't long in returning and plopping a wriggling ball of fuzzy puppy fur at my feet.
I was smitten.
Ashely still has puppy breath. Ashley still has puppy fur. And, Ashley still has puppy teeth. However, we were both impressed by her self control when someone said "ouch" or "no" when she chomped on you. Her mastery of "leave it" when she had someone's fleece sleeve in her mouth was equally as impressive.
It was a quick stop at Walmart where Kim and I pee danced while the cleaner cleaned the bathrooms. We must have arrived right when they started because it took forever. Well, at least it felt like forever; probably because of that giant coffee I had in the car. We then grabbed a few things and it was back on the road. Nala was a bit off in the store. She was a bit distracted and wasn't at all interested in following Kim. She also did not want to hold her sit stay. I guess we all have off days. That said, even on her off days I feel incredibly safe with Nala. Kim stopped for dog food and then kindly drove me over to the shipping place to see if a parcel had arrived for me-it wasn't there. It was a good opportunity for Ashley to be squished though. Kim was carrying her as she was so sleepy and someone asked to pet her.
We crossed the border back into Canada without any problems. As we turned off of the bridge separating Canada and the United States, Kim asked me if I wanted to go for coffee. Of course I did. I asked her if she minded if we picked up Mr. K. She said she didn't and I spent a few minutes on the phone convincing Mr. K that he wanted to brave the minus 25 degrees C to have lunch and see a future Leader Dog in training. He finally conceded.
When we reached my house, I switched seats as Mr. K is very tall and fits better in the front seat. Kim had to wait for another member of my family as Mr. K was just finishing up some school work when we arrived. He soon joined us though and got the joy of fussing with Miss Ashley until we got to the restaurant.
Both dogs were great in the restaurant: Nala because she knows she has to be and Ashley because she needed a puppy nap. We ate lunch and the girls snoozed. Kim got Ashley a few ice cubes for her poor puppy gums. At first Ashley was not sure she wanted to "settle," but after Kim told her "under" and she ducked under the table, the puppy was fast asleep.
Mr. K's dining experience was less than fantastic. First, they brought him the wrong food and then when his meal was returned to him it was cold. Blech. Mine was good and I definitely couldn't complain about the steaming hot coffee they kept dumping into my cup. It was an enjoyable lunch, all of us chatting and the dogs passed out. Sometimes when I'm sitting still in public I forget Nala's even there; she's so quiet and well behaved. My only reminder is usually hearing someone passing by commenting on the dogs. Most of which are about the cute puppy if we are out with Kim. I'm okay with that. She gets to fend people off from petting the dogs since they always go for her puppy first. :) She's a good sport and does a good job of explaining why you shouldn't pet them.
With our coffee cups long empty and Mr. K having eaten his late and cold lunch, it was time to head home. In my hurry to rush out the door this morning I had forgotten to give Otis his last pain killer/anti-inflammatory pill which I promptly gave him when I got home.
It was a really nice, low key day. We still got out and did a bit of work, but it wasn't too crazy. Nala did a good job, even though she was a bit off in Walmart and Ashley won everyone over with her puppy cuteness. There's something to be said for spending a few quality hours with a wee, cute puppy.
Oh, and those human things too. ;)