[Note to readers: I got very, very behind on updating this blog. I missed some very important events that I am going back and documenting now — and setting the dates back as well. I’m actually writing this post at the end of March, 2017. ]
And then this happened!
Introducing Bright Explorer Tornado Beta, the son of International Champion and World Dog Show Champion Roughyeds Poseidon. His call name is Polo, and he’s a 16-month-old curly coated retriever, who joined our family yesterday.
Polo has been living with a field trainer, but he wasn’t maintaining his weight there. Unfortunately, his owner has intact females and lacks the facilities to keep everyone separated. So Polo has come to live with me (and remaining intact, so his very desirable genes won’t be lost).
He’s performance bred, so we’re going to try out lots of fun activities. I’ve been really grieving the loss of my curly boys, so I’m super excited to have him and ever-so-grateful to Kari Swarztrauber for giving us this wonderful opportunity.
Jay and I left bright and early yesterday morning to drive the 250 miles to southern Washington to pick up Polo. The drive down was gorgeous and stress-free, and then we had a TERRIFIC time meeting Kari, Polo, and Kari’s lovely curly ladies. (And we had THE most delicious lunch. Kari grew everything herself, and it was marvelous. Her garden is just fabulous.)
Mr. Polo was sweet but reserved. Once we got in the car to drive home, he was pretty certain he had been dognapped! Jay sat in the back seat with him, which was good. It gave him a chance to start to trust one of us. We carefully regimented a procedure for opening and closing doors, putting on his leash, etc., since we didn’t want to risk his bolting away. He was obviously stressed and scared, but still very kind and biddable.
We stopped several times, giving him a chance to potty and decompress a bit, but 250 miles is a long time in the car. He didn’t sleep… laid down only off and on, and only for a minute or two at a time. For the last 100 miles, he was DONE. He wanted out.
When we got home, we put Pflouff on leash, intending to introduce them out on the driveway. NOPE. Polo was done. He growled and made it clear that he couldn’t handle more of that tonight. So we didn’t push it. Poor Miss Pflouff had to spend the night upstairs.
We took Polo down to the basement (where our bedroom is). Jay set up a crate for him, thinking he might be more comfortable there. He hasn’t set foot in it, though. He got on the bed and settled in Jay’s spot. I scooted over to the dog bed, so he could be between us without being “forced” to snuggle. He was still up and down a lot throughout the night, but he didn’t get off the bed, and he eventually fell asleep.
This morning, he was MUCH better. He played eagerly with us, both with and without toys. We played tug, and we threw a ball. Oh, and of course, we introduced him to Pflouff. It took a little while, because it took her time to understand that she needed to be calm and gentle, but now they are living together free and relaxed.
We’re going to be pretty low key and relaxed for a while to give him a chance to destress and adjust. He has a lot of exploring to do, and we want him to bond with us. Right now, Jay is his preferred dognapper. But as I write this, Jay is doing the grocery shopping, and Polo is lying on the floor at my feet.
We love him dearly and are so grateful to have him here.