Thursday, November 5, 2009

The Zoe Chronicles

I think I have written, and re-written this post 100 times already. I thought it would be easy to post Zoe's "Welcome Home" message, but the right words kept eluding me. I had originally wanted to just give the dates and other factual details, but that just does not do the little furry terror justice. Data is important though, so I will finally post the basics and then move onto the juicy bits...

On July 28th, 2009 Zoe and her brother and sisters were born. She is one of nine puppies, all girls except for on lone boy (there was a second boy, but due to complications at birth he did not make it). I counted the days until our pickup date, the 26th of September, and waited very impatiently for the breeder to upload pictures to their website ( and email news on the pups.

Dunwood Labs is in Oxford, Pa. so I imposed upon my family and stopped in for a little visit. Mom had broken her ankle while trying to check on the drainage system in the yard during one of the late summer's torrential downpours and I wanted to check on her. Bringing Zoe home to them after the pickup was not really a good option (I could just see her tripping mom up and breaking her other ankle), so my sister kindly took us in. Barb is uniquely patient and forgave the puddles that Zoe created in her adorable brick house in Atglen (a lovely little town in Amish Country that is ringed with farms and rolling countryside. Sigh.).

Zoe loved chasing Barb's other two dogs; the Cairn Terrier was just her size (much to the chagrin of the terrier who probably got the worst of those sharp baby-teeth). Zoe immediately fell in love with my niece Mia and I was worried I might be going back to Virginia puppy-less, but I pried the puppy (and it felt like myself, as I love spending time with Barb; She has always been the coolest big sister) away and we headed back to Richmond to introduce Oscar to his new "dog-ter".

Zoe almost managed to climb through the car's dog gate on the way home, but a stop at the Maryland House Rest Area for a little walk and a new stuffed animal (to tear up) from the gift shop and we were just fine. Every time we slowed down for traffic she popped her head up and looked around. Considering my license plate is "Bad Labs", the folks behind us got quite a chuckle.

We got home and Zoe immediately decided that Morty was her own personal living squeaky toy, and Claris was the biggest chew toy ever created. I do not think I saw Morty for the first two weeks; I put food out in the morning and it just disappeared when I got back in the afternoon to clean up. Claris seemed very excited until Zoe began gnawing on her... but as Zoe has grown and begun to play more and bite less, Claris is starting to enjoy her new little sister. Morty has even started allowing Zoe to get a sniff or two in before he swats her and makes a run for higher ground.

The comment that Oscar made about Zoe's arrival really sums it up best though. He said "I wish it took her a little more adjustment time to get settled in". Zoe walked into this house, looked around and claimed it and everything in it as hers. She might as well have just shouted "MINE". Sounds strangely familiar...