Time for a New Puppy – Tails from a Big Sister


Guest writer Sidehill Pet Sitter Becky

The calm before the new puppy storm…

Kea celebrated her third birthday on April 18. She still has plenty of energy for hiking and swimming but a solid “off-switch” in the house. Somehow, over the last three years, my baby dog has become mature and collected, an outstanding representative of the Golden Retriever breed and temperament. All of the training classes and socializing trips to Home Depot have finally paid off. I was struck particularly hard by this fact several weeks ago as I was walking with her on a trail in my neighborhood. I removed her leash so she could have some freedom to explore. We worked so hard on her off-leash manners, and there were  times I felt as if we were getting nowhere. Finally I am in a place to say we have succeeded in raising a puppy.


Somehow I have managed to train Kea to be a good canine citizen. She has been left loose in the house since she was 18 months old and spends most of her days on our bed. She doesn’t steal things from the counter and she doesn’t eat cat litter or drink out of the toilet. She will lay quietly on the sidewalk in Old Town near an outdoor patio while we are having dinner or drinks. She tolerates being primped on the grooming table, having her ears cleaned and her nails dremeled. She volunteers as a therapy dog at a nursing home and a middle school and is polite and respectful of people old and young. Life is good. Life is calm. Life is predictable and orderly.

This weekend, however, everything will change. After nearly a year of searching for the most perfect new puppy to join our ranks, we will be driving 16 hours to retrieve our new Golden Retriever puppy and do it all again. This time, he’ll have a big sister to show him the ropes, and most importantly, to teach him how to chase the cat.