My 21st birthday was coming up. My boyfriend at the time was doing a contract job for a lady who bred Samoyeds; he put two and two together and decided he would get me a puppy from her next litter as a birthday present. I got to visit the litter from the day after they were born in February. They looked like little rats, their eyes and ears were still closed and they had claws for paws.
Week two: The puppies began to open their eyes and ears so now they resemble Guinea pigs. They were all kept in a little dog kennel with a blanket and mum would come to feed them and play with them a few times a day. They liked to sleep a lot at this stage. I had picked out the puppy I thought I would like, but as they weren’t active yet I just made a note to see what her behaviour was like later.
Week three: The puppies’ fur was growing a lot by now and they had developed into cute looking animals starting to show a bit of personality. I had the opportunity to meet their grandma and dad as well, this meant I could see what my puppy might look like when she was fully grown, and see the temperament she was bred with.
Week four: The puppies were a lot bigger now, they could no longer fit comfortably in the little kennel so they were moved into mum’s big kennel with a run attached. This was in an outside paddock and they were let out daily to get some exercise with mum.
Week five: This is when the puppies personalities really showed. The same pup I had chosen earlier in week two was always coming up to the edge of the kennel for a pat and giving kisses. We got to take the pups out individually and play with them. I remember there was one very shy pup who would always sit away from the fence and she didn’t want to chase around the paddock, she was quite content to sit, be patted and roll over. Opal however was a bundle of energy from the word go; she would thunder after us in the paddock and roll over for pats and constantly give kisses of appreciation. I didn’t realise at the time but this was a big tell tale sign of what was to come.
Week six: This was more play time with the pups and final decision day on which pup I wanted. I chose the same one from week two, she was a joy to play with and I felt like we had made a special bond. She was easy to tell apart as she had brown spots on her belly, and a little hernia belly button (I think that’s what it’s called), which went away after a month.
Week eight: I got to take my baby home! She had her first vaccination and was registered with the NZ Kennel club – which means she is a registered pure bred Samoyed and they can track her bloodlines back really far. She has a few champions in her great grand parents which was exciting to know! She came with some puppy food that she had been fed in the last few weeks of solids, and her vet booklet.
The next challenge was to think of a name…