Zinnia Comes Home

Lenore opened the door with Zinnia in her arms.  I was in the house first, so Lenore handed her to me.

Zinnia looked so different than when we went to visit her at Lenore, her breeders, three weeks ago.  So much bigger, soft and soulful.   Lenore told us she just fed her then played with her to tire her out for the trip home.

And she did, first in Jon’s arms then in mine.

The closer we got to home the more snow there was.  At one point Zinnia squirmed in Jon’s arms.  “Pull over at that rest stop,” he said, “I think she has to go.”  On a leash for the first time, she walked leaving bigger footprints in the new snow than I would have imagined.

Then she peed. “Good dog good Zinnia,” Jon sang to her.

Back in the car, she chewed on a toy for a few minutes then fell asleep again.

At home, she romped through the snow as if it were the most natural thing in the world although she had only seen snow for the first time that day.  She followed Jon around the back yard and when she sat, he gave her a treat and praised her.  “Good sit,” he said, reinforcing her behavior.

At feeding time, I gave the animals hay and after a while, Jon came out of the house carrying Zinnia.  He bought her over to Lulu.  They sniffed each other then Lulu went back to her hay and Jon took Zinnia back to the house where she fell asleep in her crate.

Little by little we’ll introduce her to the farm and all the animals.

In the house, she ate and slept in her crate getting used to Bud and Fate just by seeing and smelling them.  As I write this Zinnia is sitting on Jon’s lap while Bud rests on the ottoman at his feet.  Fate is watching it all from the floor next to me.

Zinnia is bound to cry in her crate tonight, but we’re ready for that, I think. I can’t remember the last time I had to listen to a puppy cry in the night.

So far Zinnia seems at ease where ever she is.  She’s as comfortable in her crate as in our arms as she is on a leash in the snow.  And she’s doing all these things for the first time.

I know it will get crazy at some point, but so far it’s been a gentle day and I couldn’t have imagined a better puppy.

14 thoughts on “Zinnia Comes Home

  1. What a wonderful welcome home for Zinnia. Your descriptions and photos are so warm and beautiful. There is nothing like a new puppy. I have one too. His name is Oliver and he is a six month old Labradoodle. Six months is quite different from a new puppy. As usual I will be watching you and Jon and using you as guideposts. You are both so wonderful with your animals.
    Mentors I might say. I am thrilled for you both. I know how difficult Red’s loss was to all of you (even the animals) . I lost two dogs (old age) in seven months and it took a while to fill the hole.I have nothing but wonderful memories of them. Ollie is a blessing. He is getting along with my eleven year old Sheltie. It is noisy and active here. Give Zinnia a hug for me.

  2. The pictures spark joy and I thank you for sharing them. A dog lover myself, I don’t have the time right now to give a dog what she needs, so I’ll live vicariously through you and Jon. Been looking forward to these posts all day. I love following the journey! Thank you!!

  3. When we brought our now almost 2 year old German shepherd siblings (sister & brother) home from the breeder at 16 weeks, we had a slightly different experience. While the trip from our home to the breeders is a little over 1 1/2 hours one way, our 2 babies managed to throw up a total of 5 times between them. It took the female almost a year to get over being car sick.
    Zinnia is adorable.

    1. Oh that’s awful Marcia! That happened when I brought my dog Frieda home from the SPCA years ago. She never got used to the car. But she was older.




  5. What a beautiful picture of Jon and Zinnia. I am not familiar with the practice if keeping dogs in crates in the house. Maybe you can enlighten me.? Enjoy your new puppy, she sounds so clever!

    1. Sure Suzette. Dogs are den animals and in the wild spend most of their day sleeping. A crate becomes a safe place for a dog or puppy to go. We feed Zinnia in her crate which has water in it and toys. But mostly she sleeps there. Whenever we aren’t watching her, Zinnia is in the crate for now. It’s also used for housebreaking. Most dogs and puppies don’t want to urinate or defecate in their own crate. Zinnia already goes willingly into her crate (we always put a couple of small treats for her to find) she’ll eat in it then after about 10 minutes we take her out to do her business, which, so far, she’s always done.
      Fate and Bud love their crates, they go in them when they don’t want to be bothered.

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