Posted by: allstaragility | February 5, 2012

Go with your gut.

The last month has been a whirlwind, for sure!  On top of the move (did I mention I am still living out of boxes) and starting new classes, I welcomed a new addition to my family yesterday.  Didn’t see that one coming?  Well, neither did I until a few weeks ago!

Just so there isn’t any mis-information out there about why I decided to get a puppy at this time,  I will share the story.   I was wanting another puppy sometime this year.  In fact, I have been bugging Ann Zarr for some time about when she was going to breed Bizi.   She is a beautiful dog- nice size, well put-together, very powerful with a battery that never runs out.  I was excited about the prospect of having one of her babies- especially if I got to help Ann find the right male.

We were in St. Louis for the New Year’s USDAA trial and Lorraine showed me some photos of Kristin Sittner’s litter in Utah.   I had previously chatted back and forth with Kristin, inquiring for a student who was considering a border collie.  I knew it was a wonderful litter and told her I would be interested if she ever repeated the breeding.     To be honest, I hadn’t kept up with Kristin’s updates on facebook (mainly because I didn’t want to be tempted), so when I saw the photo of the split-faced baby at 5 weeks, my heart just melted.

The same time I was falling in love with the little girl Kristin had, Ann confessed that she really wasn’t wanting to breed Bizi until she saw how well she  finished maturing; a perfectly reasonable decision that I fully respect.   Already having the nigglings of puppy fever, and knowing that many of the people on Kristin’s puppy list were wanting males (Tag had 6 females!),  I suspected that this might be an opportunity I couldn’t resist.

Oh, it wasn’t an easy decision.   With getting settled into a new community, starting the building project, taking on more classes, already having 4 dogs (one of them being a failing, geriatric 14-year-old),  preparing for the WAO with Solei and needing to keep focus on preparing for our trip in May, I waffled back and forth like you wouldn’t believe!   Also, I have always advocated being able to see and put your hands on a puppy before you decide it is yours.  There is nothing that equals the feeling you get when one puppy sings to your heart.  Kristin was wonderful at sending photos and videos.  It became pretty obvious that this particular baby was singing loud enough for me to hear her from Utah!

So, crazy or not, Kristin arrived with the puppy yesterday!  She is everything I had hoped for and much more.  Kristen is easily one of the best at raising puppies.   I am sure it was a full-time job!  This litter of babies had more stimulating toys and went to more places than any other I know!   Her dedication to preparing babies for the rest of their lives is unmatched and I have never seen such a bold, confident, unflappable puppy.  It is a little sad that she has already seen and conquered all of the usual puppy toys I have!  I am going to have to get creative to find something new…

So that is little C-ya’s story.  I won’t write any more here as I am dedicating a full section to her on my blog.  I did only OK with documenting Solei’s puppyhood so it is my goal to do so much better with C-ya.  Plus, I have had so many people ask about how I raised Solei, I want to be able to share the process with those of you who might like to follow along!

Just to be clear, this isn’t going to be a step-by-step instruction manual to raising a future agility partner as there is no such thing!  Any person who believes that every single puppy will learn at the same rate and with the same techniques is delusional.   I will only be providing insight as to our journey- the route I take with this one puppy.  It certainly will not be the same as Solei’s, but I can sure hope the results will be as good, if not better!











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