On Saturday, 30 January 2010 I picked up Heidi, my German Shepherd Dog puppy! I bought her from Yuliya & Chad of Kennels von Lotta in Atlanta. It was a day filled with driving (7 hours, one way), but it was entirely worth it - plus I had a driving buddy on the way home! She did very well in the car! Here I am with Heidi, posing for our first photo:
I got back to Orlando at about 5 AM. (Thanks to Jordan for chatting on the phone to keep me awake towards the end.) When I first walked into my apartment, Ashes was waiting for me, like usual, but this time he did a full-body double-take when he saw who was with me! It was very interesting watching them say hello for the first time. I hate my hair in this photo, but Ashes' and Heidi's expressions are priceless here in their first photo together:
Here's an adorable photo of Heidi playing in the lawn outside my apartment:
Sunday afternoon I took Heidi to the vet for her 72-hour check after bringing her home from the breeder. This visit was her first to see other puppies and dogs outside of her family. She was timid around others her size, but warmed up to them after a few moments. Around large dogs she was always ducking around my feet; she's so cute. No matter the size of the person, though, she is super friendly, always giving kisses to their hands when they reach to pet her. Here's a photo of Heidi with a little girl and her mom:
Her vet check went well. The vet said she was in perfect health with the exception of a minor yeast ear infection. I am treating it, and so far her little ear is doing great. It's good that I have to clean and medicate her ear twice a day because it gets her used to me messing with her ears. I'm also making sure to play with her paws a lot so she doesn't mind when I have to clip her toe nails. I think down the road vets will appreciate her being used to these sorts of things.
She weighed 7.8 pounds the Sunday, 31 January I brought her home. This past Saturday, 6 February she had jumped up to 12.8 pounds. She's growing quickly! I found a German Shepherd Dog puppy growth chart, and, according to the chart, she is expected to reach 16 pounds in two weeks.
Speaking of keeping her tidied up, Wednesday night I gave Heidi her first bath! First I set her in the tub on a towel so she wouldn't slip around (dogs hate that feeling). Then I trickled some water from the faucet. She like it and lapped some up. Then I turned the water on a little stronger; she was okay with this. Next I turned the water on to reach a luke-warm temperature and she decided that was her cue to figure out how to escape the confines of the tub. She didn't enjoy the bath terribly, but she permitted me to lather her up and rinser her off so long as I was half-hugging her during the process. She smelled so nice afterwards! Here's a picture of her partially wet and trying to hop out of the tub:
Yesterday marked Heidi's first day of high energy levels. She has gotten used to her new home and environment, and now she's comfortable to romp and play around. She tries to get Ashes to play with her but he mostly refuses her. Yesterday was the first day she sought out to play with other pups and dogs on their walks. Before I would have to coax her over to the others. She's doing so well in socializing with other canines!
She has also taken a great interest chewing whatever I allow her to chew. She found my slippers on Monday, but I've been saying "no" whenever she gets near them or any other shoes by the front door. She seems to be learning that shoes are off-limits (at least while I'm around). Instead of shoes I've been teaching her that it's okay for her to chew on her toys. Here she is chowing down on Mr. Hippo:
View Heidi's photos albums!
Album One (Day 1-3)
Album Two (Day 3-present)
View videos of Heidi here! That link will take you to the first on my YouTube "Heidi" playlist; from there you can view other videos of Heidi (on the right-hand-side).
Someone planning to buy a puppy from Kennels von Lotta made a comment on one of my videos of Heidi, and that led me to seeing some videos that Yuliya had on YouTube. Here is a video of Kennels von Lotta's "E Litter." Heidi is from the "J Litter," but I'm sure she romped, ate and nursed just like the pups in the video.
Heidi's registered name is Johanna Adelheid von Lotta. von Lotta is the Kennel name; that part always goes last. I chose Johanna for several reasons: Heidi is from von Lotta's "J Litter" (most breeders name their litters a letter of the alphabet), so I wanted a name that started with "J." "Johanna" is a German female name. The meaning of the name "Johanna" is "God is gracious."
Before I chose her registered name I had my heart set on the call name of "Heidi." I chose "Adelheid" because it is a variant of the name "Heidi," plus it is also a German female name. "Adelheid" means "noble and kind;" perfectly matching to the character of German Shepherd Dogs.
Heidi was only 9.5 weeks old when I picked her up over the weekend. She only weighed 7.8 pounds when we were at the vet; she's all fluff!
I've been learning a lot about properly caring for a dog, especially such a young one. I am crate training her to help with potty-training, manners and behavior. She has her good days and some bad days where she'll make a mess, but she's learning. Heidi and Ashes get along famously for a cat and puppy! Ashes gives off an "I'm only tolerating her" attitude, but I know he secretly is very happy to have a friend in the home while I'm away. Besides, she's a furry ball of love!
If you have any tips for owning a puppy/dog/German Shepherd Dog, feel free to leave a comment! = )