it's a fuzzy fuzzy world…

posts from the heartland, about dogs, cats, fire departments, and gaming

Nick, Debbie and Pete

Belated introductions… Petey and Nick

Wow… has it really been 10 months since my last post here? Oops. A lot has happened in that time… I got involved with my local volunteer fire department back in May, which has taken up a lot of my time. Trevor (foster dog from previous post) was with me ’til September, when he moved to another foster home after I broke my leg. He’s now been adopted and has his very own forever family, and I’m out of the fostering game for a little while, because (bringing us neatly to the reason for this post) I added a new puppy to the pack in August, and his dad is also living with me for awhile.

Petey at MuseCon

Petey thought the comfy dog bed provided by the MuseCon hotel was an excellent place for a puppy nap.

I hadn’t really planned on getting a puppy “right now,” but when one of my favorite Toller males was bred and I had a shot at the “most Nick-like” puppy in the litter, I really couldn’t resist. I drove up north of Toronto to spend some time with the litter and promptly fell in love. I never name puppies ’til I meet them, but I’d been thinking about possible names before I went to Canada… and while I was there… and on the way home. I kept trying out possibilities and finally it all came together.

See, the naming of dogs is an interesting game. Frequently, the breeder wants their kennel name in the registered name. And sometimes there’s a theme. In this case, both applied, so I knew I needed a name that related in some way to Newfoundland (where the breeder, Kristina’s, grandmother was from) and I needed to include “Florence Grove” (the kennel name). I don’t have a kennel name, since I don’t breed, but I’ve used “SwampWater” in all my boys’ names, so I was hoping to continue that trend. Of course, AKC only allows 30 letters, and I was using up most of them with Florence Grove and SwampWater. Hmmm… and I still needed to tie all this to Newfoundland.

So I did my homework on Newfoundland, looking for things that could tie into a swampy name, and that were short, since I was almost out of letters. Somewhere along the way, I encountered pirates and started looking at pirate names, then my friend Amy pointed out that pirates hang out in coves, and everything fell together. The registered name became “Florence Grove SwampWater Cove” (there’d’ve been an “‘s” after “Grove” if I hadn’t been out of space) and the working idea for a call name was something related to famous Newfoundland pirate turned folk hero, Peter Easton. “Easton” was my original choice, but after I hung out with him for awhile, it was clear that Easton was entirely too serious for this puppy, so he became “Pete” or, more often, “Petey.”

Nick at MuseCon

Papa Nick really preferred my bed over the dog bed.

Along the way, we decided that papa Nick was going to come visit the States for awhile in search of his AKC championship (he has his Canadian championship, and a five-point major in the AKC from before he moved to Canada), so when I headed home, I had little fluffball Pete and his dad. We spent exactly three days at home before loading up in the car again and heading off to MuseCon, a small sci-fi convention in Chicago, focused on music and art and other forms of creativity. What better place to do some puppy socialization, right? A dog-friendly hotel, and a convention full of people who I knew and knew were puppy-safe. So we piled me, Petey in his crate, my friend Jen, her daughter Maddie (in a car seat) and Nick (sharing the back seat with Maddie) all in my Beetle and we headed off to Chicago. It was quite possibly the best puppy adventure ever. Petey had a grand time, being passed from person to person, dancing on marble floors with little girls, and utterly charming the burly off-duty Chicago cop who was working security for the hotel when we went out for our 2 a.m. potty break. The dogs even got convention badges of their very own, which they wore any time we were out-and-about in the hotel.

Nick & tiny puppy Petey

Petey was so little when he first came home...

After a couple of weeks at home, Petey was settling in and learning house manners and general puppy stuff, and Nick was being the calm voice of doggy reason (and, I might add, an excellent role model). We’d made our first trip to meet my vet, visited the office (where he sprawled on the cool tile floor in the Mac Lab and accepted adulation from everybody who came in to visit) and then life took an unexpected turn… I went to a fire department training day, had a bit of an altercation with a firehose, and found myself with a broken ankle. Four days later, I was scheduled for surgery and all the dogs (my permanent three, visiting Nick, and foster Trevor) where whisked off to board with a friend who raises German Shorthaired Pointers. For most of the next six weeks, the dogs were in boarding and I was non-weight-bearing. I’m extremely thankful for the fact that Christy was able to take the dogs (there was no way I could deal with stairs and bouncy dogs on just one foot) and that she kept Petey well socialized. As much as I hated missing those weeks of his puppyhood, he came home a well adjusted, happy, snuggly boy, apparently none the worse for wear after his unexpected trip to camp. 🙂

And now, because this has gotten long and is threatening to turn into a novel-length post, I’ll stop. We’ll continue the saga in a later post!

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