I had a request for more puppy pictures, and I am here to deliver.
Tom grew up with a line of Golden Retrievers, each with some derivative of the name Ben. (Bently, Bennigan, Benvolio, etc.) When we first started thinking about a puppy, we looked at a litter of labs and almost put our money down on a Chocolate one. The girls wanted to name him "Chip." In the end though, we just couldn't do it. It didn't feel right. The parents weren't the best looking dogs I'd ever seen and their living conditions weren't ideal. Then, on a whim, I decided to look up Golden Retriever breeders in our state and happened upon a male that was available just before Christmas. Bingo.
I wouldn't say it was the easiest (or cheapest) decision to make, until we saw his picture. Cue, "awww". We were sunk. We kept him a secret from the kids, and then right before Christmas we made the 3 hour drive to get him, telling the girls "Daddy wants to look at some equipment for the farm." They were clueless until Dad came out of the house carrying our new puppy and I said "surprise!"
Tom had him named before we picked him up. His registered name is "Benton Gold", in the tradition of Bens (he's the 7th) and in honor of our hometown. Mostly we just call him Ben. Our next one will be "Benry the VIII." :)
If there is a next one. I grumble a little about how much work a puppy is and about him chewing on everyone's socks and my cowhide rug. Good thing puppies are adorable. It makes it easy to fall in love. Hopefully the puppy stage is short-lived and I will forget all about the work.
We were hoping for a companion for Mia, our older dog who has very nervous and anxious behaviors. So far she isn't terribly impressed, and so far Ben spends more time inside away from her. Even so, having another dog around seems to make her relax. Normally she refuses to ride in the car, but yesterday as I loaded Ben in his kennel to visit the vet for shots, Mia jumped in right beside him without hesitation. I'll be anxious to see how else her behavior changes once Ben starts to spend more time outside with her. I'm hoping she will be less nervous around new people and will learn to use a pet door into the garage.
Tom was ADAMANT about getting a boy puppy—you know—to help even the score. After we picked him up he took the girls to the store to shop for supplies. Everything they picked out, from his colar to his toys, was blue. :)
We are trying to "crate train" him. The goal is to get him into a schedule where we sleeps and naps in his crate (even eats in his crate) and goes outside immediately after to relieve himself. So far it is working really well. He hasn't been perfect, but I've been pleasantly surprised (knock on wood) how few messes we've had to clean up. The thing is, he is a very social dog and he prefers just to nap at our feet wherever we happen to be. He sleeps well in his crate at night as long as we put his crate right beside our bed.
That is a very thorough introduction–now wish me luck!