Best laid plans and Teddy’s big adventure

Teddy posing in his temporary Florida home

The plan last fall was simple.  We would get a puppy when we returned from our annual Spring Break trip to Anna Maria Island (AMI) with Evan, Tammy, Maddie and Robbie.  The trip was set, the breeder selected and all was right with the world.  Then in January, the breeder sent word that the litter was here and we would need to pick up our puppy in early March.  Ten days BEFORE the AMI trip!

We had a choice of giving up our pick and not getting a puppy this spring or taking an 8 week old pup on a road trip. With encouragement from family and friends, we started planning the trip.

The new plan was to take 3 days to make the 16 hour drive to AMI.  We outfitted the Jeep Cherokee with a soft crate that would allow us to place and reach the puppy from the front seats.  Reservations were made at dog friendly hotels and we started work on our house training plans.  The only unknown was how Teddy would react.

We made a few short test “trips” around town with Teddy in his road home.  Those tests went well and gave us hope that it might work.  So when the day came, we could not have asked for a better road tripper.  Teddy was perfect on the 3 day trip down and the 3 days coming home.  He was “accident free” in the car and the hotels.  There were only 2 minor accidents in the condo (our fault).  We couldn’t have ask for more from a dog of any age.

Teddy takes AMI

Our dog friends had said that the trip would be a great opportunity to socialize Teddy and would provide a great bonding experience for the family.  And it was.

It’s hard work being a star

We had Teddy on many short walks near the condo, which is located on a very busy street.  Most walks were on side streets with less traffic, but lots of pedestrians and dog walkers.  On one trip a women stopped her SUV in the middle of the street, rolled down her window and asked if she could take a picture of Teddy.  We said sure, assuming she would pull to the curb.  Instead, she jumped out of the SUV, and crossed the street for pictures.  Meanwhile traffic had to move around the parked vehicle.  No one seemed to mind.

Other cars merely slowed when they saw Teddy.  Every walk we were stopped multiple times with people wanting to meet and pet him.  After a couple of days, many people knew his name and would call out to us as we walked down the street.

Maddie working her puppy magic
Sometimes you just have to hang

Unfortunately, there aren’t any real action pictures of Teddy to post.  They are all pictures of post walk or play resting.  He does that very well.

Can’t a pup have a quiet chew?

Teddy got lots of love and lap time.

Some laps are bigger than others

Home again, home again

Sorry Teddy, no dogs allow on AMI beaches

After a week of being in one place, we again put Teddy in his road home and headed north.  Other than fights with the GPS, it was a smooth trip.  Teddy slept like the tired puppy he was.  Weather had been perfect all week and it wasn’t till the final day that we hit rain.  Luckily for all of us, the rain stopped just in time for our last gas and pit stop.

On the second day, light traffic and Teddy’s perfect behavior allowed us to drive a couple of extra hours, and that made for a short final day.  As we approached the farm, Paula told Teddy “We’re home!” and he got really excited.  As soon as the car was stopped and Teddy released, he made a beeline for his favorite pee spot, then ran around  the yard in pure joy.  We weren’t sure those first 10 days would have been enough to stay in a young puppy’s mind, but he clearly felt right at home.

Teddy chewing on some good ole home meadow grass

Do it again?

We are confident we made the right decision to take Teddy at such a young age.  He met all sizes and types of people and dogs.  He was a natural as a traveler and those long naps in the car certainly worked for us.  We should also get some credit for the planning and care we took to make sure it would be a safe and comfortable trip.  Would we do it again?  Well we are planning the next AMI trip with Teddy now.

A final note.  The tradition continues

There is a chair that has been in Paula’s live since an early age.  It is made of hickory and once had been used by Army Officers in their club at Camp Atterbury.  The chair has been a favorite resting and sleeping place for all the dogs in Paula’s life.  Since our return home Teddy has continued the tradition.

Teddy Meets Violet and Other Important People

A special first visit took place on Saturday.  Teddy got to meet the members of his extended family.  Violet is a hundred pound Shiloh Shepherd who lives with Evan, Tammy , Maddie, and Robbie in Indianapolis.  Even though it was chilly out,  Teddy was up for the adventure.

Kids, dogs and puppies.

Not much more fun than to watch kids play with a puppy.  Unless it is to watch a puppy play with a dog 10 times his size.  After lots of hugs and play,   Teddy got to chase Violet.  The two had, in fact, three separate play times.

In round one, Teddy chased Violet around.  At one point, Teddy clamped onto Violet’s  tail.  Without a noise Violet just trotted off with Teddy flying behind her.  Violet finally flipped her tail and Teddy dropped off with a mouth full of fur.  Violet is one of the sweetest dogs you will ever meet and clearly patient too.

Between rounds, Maddie and Robbie played, loved and hugged Teddy.

Round 2 of Violet and Teddy saw more of Teddy doing the chasing and not doing much catching.

In between runs and romps came lots of love and more play.

In round 3, the kids had worn Teddy down, just a little and as the video shows, Violet was able to have some fun too.

A long fun day

We made sure Teddy got plenty of rest periods, including a nap at lunch.  There was lots more play and hugs.

As the day ended and the visitors left, Teddy was asleep before their car was at the bottom of the drive.

What a wonderful day for Teddy and all involved.

Vet Update

Teddy had his first vet visit last week and a second follow-up visit today.  Between visits, he has gained 2 pounds.  The vet staff think he is going to be a BIG dog.  That is fine with us.  We look forward to watching him grow.


Spring & Teddy come to the farm

After a very mild winter, spring has come early.  Although we haven’t needed the snowplows (yet), blooms have appeared.  The daffodils above were blooming at the end of February.  Always exciting to see life returning.

And speaking of life returning, our quite country life just got very exciting.  Teddy, a 7 week old Lab, has arrived at the farm.  Teddy was born just north of the Ohio river in southern Indiana.

Paula and Barry made the two hour drive to pick Teddy up on a sunny early March day. Teddy was ready for an adventure, but he hadn’t had many trips outside of the kennel and none away from his litter mates.  As we drove away, Teddy let us know that this was all new and he wasn’t too sure about it.

Paula finally got Teddy to take a little nap, but not until we had driven for half an hour or more.  After his nap, he woke feeling much better about the whole event and before he knew it, we pulled into the driveway and up the hill.

Teddy took to the grass – his first time on that surface – and enjoyed all the space.  He was ready for a pee break too.  This outside stuff is OK.

We spent some time in the yard before heading indoors to have some lunch.  In true Lab form, Teddy was ready to eat!

A little post lunch nap and back outside to explore.  Teddy really likes the outdoors.

He is going to love these long walks in the prairie grass.

He is going to be a trooper

Time for another nap – this one in a special place

An exciting first day and the first of many to come.  Stay tuned.