Orange Puppy had gone to her new home in Wyoming. The smell of puppy breath, the sounds of barking in the early morning and the bright little faces watching our every move were just memories. But just when everything was resuming its normal pace we received a visitor: Traes, the rose puppy.
Traes was the first puppy to leave us and she had been with her family the longest. Longest away from our influence, longest living in her new home as an only dog. How would she be in a new setting? She had been the quietest puppy. The one who liked to be held the best and was frequently carried by my mom when she wouldn’t walk on her leash.
The puppy formerly known as Rose Puppy, was loud and her own puppy. She had grown a lot and was tall and leggy. Her face was very bright and she acted as if she’d never left. We were keeping her for a week while her family attended a wedding. Traes was attending a basic obedience class so she was learning “sit” and “stay” and “down”. We worked with her on these commands and she was quick to learn. Traes was a bit of a barker. She barked to make her wishes know, like all good puppies. We gave her the “quiet” command and in a few days she barked much less.
Traes loved to go outside with our other dogs. She especially loved to run with Peyton, her white bro. Peyton devoted the first two days of the puppy’s stay teaching her to chase him. She was smarter than either Danny or Honour had been about the game. Peyton doesn’t chase other dogs, they chase him. He likes it that way. Being a Bedlington, he is very fast and will run just fast enough in front of his pursuer to keep them in the game but not allow his tail to be touched. He really seems to love the puppies. Traes would run a few feet with him then sit and wait for him to come back around. No matter how hard he’d try, Peyton couldn’t get her to chase him. Finally, after a lot of work on his part, she understood the rules of the game and chased him all over the yard. His tassels flying and a big smile on his face, Peyton was king. Every morning when Traes got up she’d run into the room next door to see if her white bro was there. Unlike Orange Puppy who grabbed his face hair and pulled him all over the house, Traes would happily follow Peyton through the house. Her time away from us had made her a better house dog than the ones living here.
The dogs that stay here with us, are wilder and less like the loving house dogs they become upon living with a family. All the dogs here learn to take turns and share. They wait for their turn to go outside, to be upstairs inside with us. The dogs left with us are louder and since we admittedly are less insistent on obedience, they know nothing about obeying. They know how to be show dogs and how to be groomed and how to turn around in the bathtub. While I believe our dogs have a great life, the ones like Traes who find their own family live better. They fulfil all aspects of the man-dog-contract. They become full-fledged household members and full-time companions. Ours are destined for a different life.
Traes came back to visit a different puppy than when she left. Calmer, well loved and with a future already secured. In the week’s time she was here she polished her new obedience skills and became a little thinner and a little wilder. We hoped when her family came back they wouldn’t mind too much. Traes’ favorite activity was jumping off the rock wall. She would launch herself upward and slightly outward and hang in the air for at least a few seconds. She just loved it! She chased birds and watched the squirrels and learned to wait for her turn to be our simulated only dog. Traes no longer had puppy breath, but she was loving and still liked to cuddle with us.
It was gratifying to see what a solid puppy she had become. Her family had chosen her and she had not let them down. We are proud of this little puppy and grateful her new family is so kind and full of love. Every puppy should have what Traes does. It was bittersweet to realize that she was no longer the Rose Puppy. She has her own big-girl personality and place in someone else’s world. She is Traes. This is what breeding dogs is all about.