We are still catching our breath after welcoming 9-week-old Paloma, a Golden Retriever, on October 25. But I can no longer hold off announcing our new addition to the family. She’s growing FAST. Proof was at a weigh-in during this week’s visit to the vet. She gained three pounds in one week! Her sudden heftiness was not my imagination.
“It’s normal,” the vet said. Puppies eat three times a day, sleep, and grow exponentially. By the time they reach a year old, they are at their adult size.
We also had forgotten the attention a puppy requires. The last puppy we had was Lola 11 years ago. But we’re in this together and I’m impressed at the great tag team we have become.
Paloma is our fourth Golden Retriever. She’s an endless bundle of energy and has brought us more joy than anxiety. And I’m amazed with her extraordinary calm, especially during the waking hours. Like when I walk down to the loo in darkness as the sun is barely starting to rise. I cringe as I tiptoe down the hall hoping that she doesn’t see me. But she knows I’m there, thanks to the creaky hardwood floors of our little old house. If she is still quiet, I go back to my room to read a bit until she makes some “noise.” Sometimes when I dare to peek at her, she’s staring at me eye to eye. But our sweet girl remains ever-so-chilled on her bed and is kind enough to let me off the hook giving me another hour to relax until our day of round-the-clock puppy care begins.
With space at a premium in our small cottage of a house, a bulky crate is not ideal. But our mud room (the size of a small kennel run) just off the kitchen, is Paloma’s space just as it was for Noble, Anouk, and Lola, before her. Natural light shines through the windows and she is within sight and hearing of goings on around the house.
How lucky we are so early on that she sleeps through the night and naps during the day even as we move about the kitchen. And we can reliably say that she is potty-trained. Thank you, Paloma, for being a quick study not to mention the early training you and your siblings got at the breeder!
Alas, we won’t forget the loss of our beautiful Lola last March and the palpable quiet throughout the house during spring, summer and early fall. Now, we hear the pitter-patter of happy paws, we spend lots of time playing on the lawn and in the back patio with Paloma and supervising her endless curiosity (like the screw sticking out of a wall that I had never noticed in the 35 years we have lived here). And expandable wire dog pens have become our favorite design feature around the yard and inside the house. Like spandex, the paneled fences stretch and bend whichever way we need.
We will never forget how Lola became quite the gourmand (with her eyes that is). She loved dinner time as she sat around the kitchen to watch the action and inhale the aromas.
Sometimes we think she is coaching Paloma.
Welcome to your new home, sweet little girl!