After our first visit to the breeder, we started to get excited (and a bit nervous) about a puppy finally arriving. This whole assistance dog thing has been in the planning stage for so long that it was slightly scary to think we were finally putting our plans in action!
During the week, the breeder contacted me, saying that she was worried that we had ruled out the female puppies too quickly – and she wondered if I was really 100% on board with choosing a boy. I really just wanted the best puppy for Lil Z, but I had been a bit surprised that our trainer had ruled out all the girls so quickly, after QB expressed his preference for a boy.
To be honest, at that point, QB and I already had soft spots for the light blue puppy that had responded so well to Lil Z during our visit. But because this exercise isn’t about what we wanted (but what was best for Lil Z), we agreed to see all the puppies when we visited again the following week.
The drive to the breeder was slightly tense. Both QB and I were a bit worried that neither of the two puppies we had singled out last time would show any interest in Lil Z this visit, which would mean we’d have to start the selection all over again. And although the breeder had been incredibly patient and understanding – letting us go through a selection process first, before she assigned any of the puppies to their new owners – she couldn’t hold off forever. The other puppy buyers were desperate to find out which puppy she’d chosen for them.
It was amazing how much the puppies had changed in a week. Their curly coats had started to come in and they were much more boisterous and less scared than on our previous visit.
Again, I sat with Lil Z and waited to see which puppies would pay attention to her. Unlike last time, they all came to investigate. However, the two boys who didn’t pay any attention last time were too rough with Lil Z – putting their paws up on her back and jumping around – and it was obvious she didn’t like it at all.
Others were better behaved. Lil Z enjoyed having her fingers licked and petting their soft fur. However, many of them lost interest and wandered off to play with Vegemite or with each other. A few others hung around, or kept going back to Lil Z. Like on our previous visit, we slowly narrowed the field to two puppies. The light blue boy was still showing interest and the yellow girl was as well.
Although a late entrant, the yellow girl was lovely. She obviously enjoyed being cuddled and was calm but very affectionate with Lil Z. It was a difficult choice. But after a chat with the breeder, we decided that she was probably not as intelligent as the light blue boy. She was more of a cuddler than a doer. If we were choosing a pet, we would have gone for the yellow girl. But choosing a future assistance dog, we went for the light blue boy.
Decision made. At last.