The First Night

I found an ad on saying that a litter of 7 beagle puppies were for sale. I've always wanted a beagle, ever since I watched The Wonder Years on Nick At Nite. The Arnold family had a beagle named Buster. Then after watching Animal Planet on TV and seeing beagle after beagle, I had to get one. I knew nothing about a beagles behavior. All I knew was that they look so cute when they are puppies and that they are outgoing and adventurous. 

In late February, my girlfriend and I met with the breeder when the puppies were 6 weeks old. The Dam & Sire had 8 beagle puppies. 3 Males and 5 Females. I wanted a female, just because I've had good experiences with female dogs all my life. The one male dog that my family and I used to have was a poodle named "Cookie". He was mean. He always pee'd in the house, growled and tried to bite me when he was eating. In some reading I did, it says that there is almost no difference between a male and female beagle. One of the females had already been chosen, so I had 4 female beagle puppies to choose from. We walked into the kitchen and there in the corner were the puppies. The breeder stepped into the area where the puppies were and all of a sudden, I saw 8 tiny beagle puppies run up to his feet. All their tails were black with the white tip. So imagine all these little white-tipped tails wagging really fast. It was awesome! We went into the living room and the 4 females were brought out and put into a shallow box on the living room floor. Trust me, NOTHING is harder than trying to choose from 4 beagle pups. All of them were really, really cute. One stood out though. She was a little bigger than the other ones and when I would pick her up, she would climb up to my face and lick it like crazy! She was the one. She gave me the most attention. You just know when you find the right puppy to take home. I told the breeder I wanted that one. He said, "We call that one Negra." For those of you that don't speak Spanish, negra is Spanish for the color black. She had a lot of black color in her tri-color coat. She was the blackest beagle pup, I guess you could say. I did try out the other 3 puppies. They all had their chance to impress me. Like I said, they were all really cute, but Negra gave me the most attention, without sniffing everything in the living room. I went home that night really excited. Even though I had to wait 4 more weeks to pick my puppy up from the breeder, I had to try not to think about it too much, or time would go by too slow. 

My girlfriend and I picked Daisy up from the breeder on the night of March 12, 2003. I remember it had been raining that whole week. The breeder called me in the afternoon of the 12th and said, "The puppies are ready to go!" It kind of caught me off guard because when I first met up with the breeder in late February, he told me that he was going to let the puppies go at 10 weeks. The puppies had their first shots at the 8 week mark. After that, the vet informed the breeder that they all have their teeth and they can be given homes now. So when he called me, it was only the 8 week mark and I hadn't really done much preparation for a new puppy in the house. You know, buy food, buy a collar, get a crate, a NAME for the puppy... that kind of preparation. 

Around 8 o'clock that night I showed up to the breeder's house. I walked in the front door and the breeder's son was standing right in front of me holding a beagle puppy out to give to me. I looked down, saw the puppy and asked, "Is this her?" The breeder's son said, "Yeah.", and handed her to me. She had gotten a little bigger since the first time I saw her. She was still pretty small though. We hung out for a bit and had a chance to play with her. I talked to the breeder and asked him a million questions about caring for her. The breeder was really cool and had an answer for all of my questions. He knew his stuff. 

As we were outside leaving, the breeder noticed this huge dog crate that I had inside the bed of my pick-up truck. He asked if we were going to keep her in there. I said, "Yeah, just until I can get to the store to buy her a smaller one." Well, I think the breeder thought I was going to put her in the crate while I drove home because he said, "Wait, I have something you can use." So he goes into his garage and pulls out a small cardboard animal carrier. He said I could put her in there for the ride home. I looked at him and said, "No, I was going to have her ride inside with me and my girlfriend would hold her." He said, "Oh, okay!" I think he thought I was going to put her in the bed of my truck, inside that huge crate. It was pretty funny. I don't think I'll ever forget that. 

We pulled away from the breeder's house with my new puppy in my girlfriends arms. About 3 minutes into the drive home, the puppy began to wimper. Okay, nothing makes you feel worse when you know you are the one that took her away from her mom, dad, brothers and sisters. I tried not to think of it that way, but it lingers in the back of your mind. She kept crying as we got on the freeway. The puppy was getting antsy and didn't want to be in my girlfriends lap anymore. I noticed the puppy was trying to come to me while I was driving. I told my girlfriend to let her go. The puppy crawled into my lap, made herself comfortable, and fell asleep. It was too cute. She slept in my lap for the full 45 minute drive home. 

The whole ride home my girlfriend and I tried to think of names for her. Can you believe I still didn't have a name for my new puppy? My girlfriend had thought of calling her Daisy after the first night we met with the breeder and saw her. I liked the name but wanted to keep my options open for a while, just in case another name came into mind. 

We arrived home around 10pm. The first thing we did was let the puppy down on the grass, so she'd know the yard and where to relieve herself. We had read in my Idiot's Guide To Beagles that house training starts on the first day you bring your new puppy home. After letting her roam around the yard for a bit, it was late and time to go to sleep. On the way home, we stopped at my girlfriends house to pick up a smaller crate for the puppy to sleep in for the first month or so. So I put the puppy in the crate and set the crate next to my bed so she could see & smell me close by. She was so tired from all the excitement, that she fell asleep right away. Lucky for me, she didn't wake up until about 6 or 6:30am. First thing I did when she woke up was carry her outside to relieve herself. I got to sleep the whole night! Everyone I talked to told me that the puppy might cry all night long, since it was the first night away from her parents and siblings. I lucked out though. I wish I could say the same for the next week or so. Talk about lack of sleep... I'll tell you all about it in my The First Week entry. copyright All Rights Reserved