Thursday, March 28, 2013

11 weeks, 2 days, 19.9 pounds

I love getting to know Kolby; each day is new. For as confident and eager he is to explore his world and his willingness to learn, Kolby is just as mellow and loving. He always gives 100% of his personality; whether that is curiosity, bravery, naughty, confidence, mellow, or loving.

Kolby had his vet check and puppy shots this morning. Since he is not fully vaccinated it is advised to carry in and out the pup through the Vet office. I think this will be my last carry through, however, because this boy is now a whopping 19.9 pounds.

When I carry Kolby, he is just lays across my arms and looks into my eyes and gives me closed kisses and nose nudges. I love it. I will miss this part of his loving. There is something cool about holding him, versus cuddling on the floor with him. It lasts all too short.

Unlike his first weight check a few weeks ago that caused some whimpers from him, he was good to go today. He pranced on and off the scale. Today was his first time on the vet table, and again - probably his last, and he was so mellow. He didn't try to fly off the table, or walk about. He just sat, with his back against me, and nestled into my arms.

His favorite thing. To sit.

So - we just waited for the Vet Tech and Vet to take their turns in the room. His mellowness and cooperation was perfect. Really, when you think of an eleven week old puppy you think appropriate mischief. Kolby held an adult, well trained mentality. So cool. Love showing him off when he is showing his best.

He received a great report from the Vet and cooing about his cuteness and handsomeness. He is one good looking boy!! Because I had nothing to do with that - I don't feel like I am bragging. Ha!
(L to R: Koda, Kashi, Karlyn, Kolby, Kanue, Kira)

One of the great things about raising Kolby is my connection with the Breeder Caretaker and Puppy Raisers of three of his littermates through Facebook. We have a private page where we can post pictures, questions, and comments and stay in touch through Turn In. When I came home from the Vet there had been some posts about his siblings also going to the Vet today. Nice we are all following the CCI Timeline to the date. It's fun to chat about all-things regarding the K-litter; I'm so thankful to have landed in this litter.

Kolby is one big boy! So proud of his behavior this morning.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Kolby got schooled

Tonight our dear friends who literally live a five minute walking distance from our CCI class and who I've been shamelessly plugging at getting them to Puppy Raise, came to our Puppy Class. They had seen Haddie in a 4H Class when she was much older, but they had never been to a Kindergarten class.

Wouldn't ya' know but this was the class when Mr. Kolby shared all of his Alpha Skills and eventually got totally schooled by our Trainer. She was more Alpha than Kolby, she won. Always does, always will.

It started with Kolby barking continuously upon entering. She didn't mind that behavior, and it was my first question during circle time. It created a great learning opportunity for the rest of the class as we put each pup on their own tie-out and taught the Speak command. Kolby received an A+, of course.

Then we moved onto working the Quiet Command. Kolby was good at that too, perhaps a B. We have some tips that will help him learn that Speaking is only acceptable when he is given the Command. Otherwise, he needs to remain Quiet. He is one vocal pup, but I am confident that we will get this under control and with the help of our teaching, and his growing, he will learn and succeed.

From there we "worked the room" and my girl and I shared Kolby. He was doing everything we asked, so in that regard he was awesome. He loves to work! But he was also getting a little rambunctious and needed some reeling in, so I pulled out his Gentle Leader.

He's worn it off and on at home and on walks. It is not his favorite, but he will "tolerate it" so long as I keep him busy and moving. But tonight he decided that he was. not. going. to. let. me. put. it. on. him. Thankfully, I didn't give up as I worked him submitting to getting that Gentle Leader on his cute little muzzle.

Our Trainer, however, watched the fiasco and came over and assisted handled it. I learn so much from her hands on teaching. I bit my lip a few times to keep from smiling and laughing, because Mr. Kolby was too cute even though he was being so naughty. How can you not smile at his CUTE FACE!!!

Our Trainer won. After some love for him submitting and calming down, she took it off. And started over. This time it only took Kolby one try at rejecting until he figured out "Oh, right - you mean what you say." He calmed down much quicker.

Then it was my turn. He barely struggled, but I was able to control him and remind him that the same theory goes for me as it does with our Trainer. Once the Gentle Leader was on, I gave him love and he sat in front of me, shoulders drooped as he pressed his nose against my leg in a very mournful, apologetic response for his naughtiness. I wish we had a camera. It truly was very loving and the most sorrowful response.

Kolby was calm the rest of the night in class. We will continue to work on transferring his Alpha-status to the two-legged peeps in this house. I KNOW he will get this. I KNOW he is not a bad puppy. He just needs appropriate direction and leadership. We have great support at Puppy Class and outside with immediate feedback when asked via emails/phone calls ... I have no doubt Kolby is up to some great work! He is so confident and Smart!!

Love you, Kolby!! I promise that the moments you are schooled will only make you better. Promise.  

Thanks, J & S, for coming to class tonight! You got to see some great variety in training, and it looked like you were having fun working with Nemo!!

Vehicles, Grates, and Moving Doors

The target learning for Kolby today was moving vehicles. I have noticed on our walks up and down our street that he is a little skitterish about movement from cars. What better way to introduce him to their commonality than to stand by a busy road in town.

I chose the newly opened shopping center because, except for one store that does not seem too popular just yet, there are few distractions. This will change when the strip mall becomes fully occupied, but for now it is just what we need five minutes from my house.

We walked the sidewalk strip mall, weaving in and out of the bicycle racks and doing Unders at benches before trekking across the large parking lot, and down another sidewalk to sit not far from the "highway".
And there we sat for ten minutes watching cars of all kinds, and a variety of large semi's pass in front of us. We were not so close where drivers could see us, but we could certainly see and hear them. It was the perfect distance for Kolby's first start at something that he has been leery of.
just starting to stand to jump at the lens
There are many good features about Kolby's character, but I will have to say that his auto Sit is amazing, and while he does not have Stay even close to perfection, he will Stay because he wants to. He is a Sitter!! Works great for me! He sat and watched the vehicles, and then he would look at my eyes (being rewarded each time) for a solid 10 minutes.

He only moved when I got out my cell phone to snap a photo. Go figure that would be the distraction.

Once he seemed bored of watching cars go by - we reversed our steps and went back to walking, Unders, and weaving. I commanded his Hurry at a grate that was at the base of the trees on the sidewalk. There was enough open dirt at the base of the tree for Kolby's current size and for him to choose the dirt or the grate ... and he chose the grate! WooHoo - that makes the third different (appropriate) surface he has done his business upon.

Freshly bathroom breaked, we moved onto learning about the moving doors of the tiny, new grocery store. He was not phased. I am not even sure he saw them, he was that disinterested. Okay.

He walked into the store, but I carried him to the back to the Produce and Meat Section. He smelled and observed from my arms, but he kept checking in with my eyes. How do I know? Because his eyeball was about 5 inches from mine and his nose was pressed against my lips. Ha! He is so adorable. No licking occurred, so he was all good.

Returning back to the front of the store, I had him Sit in a Heel and watch the doors again. Still disinterested, but he maintained his sit while the Register Lady chatted with me about CCI. Kolby was impressing her that he was so calm and well-behaved for 11 weeks. Yep, that's what this is all about. Positive behavior from day one.

Scoring an A+ for our hour outing, and Kolby is now zonked-out on his bed on top of three chew toys and a stuffed Raccoon toy.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Growing Up Kolby

I noticed that Kolby was getting restless in his kennel yesterday for no apparent reason other than he is Growing!
Kolby arrived in a nice sized, new (how did we get so lucky) kennel from CCI. But the size was just too big for his 13 pound body. Rather than blocking off a portion as suggested by CCI, we put the kennel on a shelf in the garage and replaced it with a very small kennel that we use for travel with our 20 pound Beagle. It works perfectly for those first few weeks of Puppy Raising!
The cozy den eventually was upgraded back to the CCI kennel last night when five minutes after putting Kolby to bed he was barking. He hasn't showed this behavior since day four of being at our house. I knew he was not comfy.
Rather than going through the night of barks, whimpers, and making every two legged and four legged miserable in our household, I got Kolby out of his baby kennel and started over. I made his big boy bed out of the same blankets, towels, stuffed bunny named Kanga, and a chew toy; all of which he has been sleeping with since day one in our house.
I took him back outside for a bathroom break to "start over" and he proudly walked right into his kennel when we returned. He was beaming, and I was so hoping he would not have an accident during the night ~ because it is much larger digs than where he had been staying, and I obviously didn't have a chance to feed him a meal or two inside before sleeping in it! But Kolby was immediately happy and quiet all night long.
This morning, when I opened up his kennel to wake him up, I found a dry kennel!! WoooHooo!!! His "never had an accident in his kennel" streak continues!! So excited. Someday soon I will need to videotape Kolby's waking-up. He reminds me of a teenage boy. He stares at me, closes his eyes, rolls over, stares at me, closes his eyes, moans, rolls, stretches, yawns, stares at me, moans, rolls over ... you get the picture?
He then will slowly walk out of his kennel just enough to fall and slide his body across the linoleum laundry room floor where I call him "Saaaaaafe!" as if he were trying to reach Home Plate. And then he will just stay there. Not moving. Pondering if he should get up and continue his day. Kolby is such a comedian. Every morning this is how he starts his day.

Growing Up Kolby - what a tough life!!

(Photos courtesy of my teen girl. Nice job, Honey!!!)

Thursday, March 21, 2013


It was so nice to have my mom came with me to Kolby's Kindergarten class last night. It was fun to show her the classroom of pups and have her listen to all the wisdom and knowledge that our Trainer has towards Puppy Raising. I think "impressive" sums up the view of Kindergarten class to all visitors.
We spent the first thirty-five minutes in a circle doing Cradles with our noisy pups (they all whimpered) in a series of Question and Answers. It was perfect and I learned a lot of valuable information.
The remainder of the class we spent working the room through the course of objects and distractions, and then we worked on Heal and the Bed command. Kolby is one to try anything the first time and to eagerly keep repeating the adventure. He is one confident puppy. It is so much fun, and a lot of mental stimulation for me to keep up with his go-get-em attitude.
When class was over, Kolby was ready to lay down and enjoy the hour drive home. I continue to look at him and imagine him as an older puppy, and what that will feel like to have a big, black dog by my side who is so smart, willing, and gentle all in one four legged friend.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Random Kolby News

Kolby is slowing starting to wake-up. He has grown in height and now weighs 16.7 pounds. His paperwork from CCI recorded 13 pounds on March 7th, so he has gained 3.7 pounds in twelve days. If you were to see this little one eat, you would be surprised he reached an increase at all.

This little guy is not a fan of his breakfast. It is killing me to watch how slowly he eats in the fifteen minute time limit. He finishes about 3/4 of his food by minute thirteen and then voluntarily gives up the rest before I pick it up. Lunch isn't much better, but dinner he enjoys.
Evening is by far his wake up time zone. He loves to run and go CrAzY starting at 8p until bedtime at 10p. That isn't many hours considering the opportunities he has from 6am until bedtime to get in some-crazy. But it makes Puppy Raising a breeze. I am beginning to wonder if he is just going to turn out mellow, and he won't have many frenzy streaks. Time will tell. I am soaking it in while I have it.

He had a field trip to my brother's families house on Sunday. They have two indoor cats, so it was great exposure for Kolby. Because of his Potty Training Continuing Ed, I opted not to have him explore their house, but the cats certainly paid attention to him while he was in his kennel, although he did not pay much attention to them. It was more interesting to see the cats explore the exterior of the kennel and figure out what shadow was stretching, breathing, and sometimes sighing on the inside. The three did great!

We have had visitors rotating through our house to meet Kolby. He has behaved respectively - playful with his toys, and quick to respond to Don't if he felt the need to lick or mouth a finger or two. He was curious of my father-in-laws vocal Duck Calls, but Kolby wasn't fooled for long, and eventually he snuggled up close to my father-in-law's lap to get in a snooze. Very sweet.

Yesterday was all about continuing his comfort level on the leash. We walked up and down our street on two separate occasions. Once was with his gentle leader, and the other was just with the flat collar. He was successful at both. Luckily our street is a cul de sac, so I opted to walk down the middle to avoid distractions of landscaping bark, grass, and bushes that edge the sidewalks. My focus was with Kolby walking well on both collar and gentle leader. We will increase distractions once he has more exposure to in a Heal or Side position.

Today's first official outing was to the grocery store, the public sidewalk, and the Vet. I carried him through the grocery store very slowly, paying attention to his curiosity and breathing pattern while he was wrapped in my arms and close enough to my face. I talked to him through the produce section, the meats and seafoods, the pet aisle, and the bakery. The high level of aromas were obvious, and he did great. He whimpered a little in the bakery, but when a store clerk came to pet him, he didn't lick and just laid his head on my arm for petting.

Kolby is vocal by nature. I will need to ask our Trainer on how to channel that characteristic for positive. I can predict this would be an area of concern if I don't know how to train it appropriately. For those that followed Haddie's blog write-ups, you will remember that that sweet girl was a Silent Dog. Kolby's vocalization is all new territory for me - yay for a high level challenge!

From the grocery story Kolby walked up and down the strip mall sidewalk. We happened upon a store that was getting a remodel on the inside, so there were lots of construction noise for Kolby to observe. He sat, stood and listened, he is such a head-tilter!! The best part was that he kept checking in with my eyes to be sure all was okay. His eye contact is amazing. Love that!

We continued our walk to the end of the sidewalk where the Day Care Center was located. I had plans to go around the building to the backside where they have a fenced, yet visible, play ground. But we didn't make it that far. Kolby was getting tired. So I let him sit and we just listened and he smelled the air and watched the busy traffic go by.

And then all of a sudden ~ a group of preschool girls in the Day Care Center were at the window banging on it for our attention. We turned around and Kolby went right up to the window to sniff their hand through the glass. Poor puppy; I wish the kids could have come outside. I kept an eye on the teacher in the background, to see if she approved of the distraction. She didn't seem to mind, so we stayed a little bit. I called Kolby's name from the distraction and commanded him to sit, and he did. Of course I had to impress all who were watching Kolby's amazing behavior before we left.

Next we swung into the Vet which was on the way back to our car. I set up his appointment for his next round of vaccines and got his weight checked. I held him in this building too, and he was very interested in giving me kisses on my face (which he rarely does) and whimpering. Perhaps a sign he was not too sure about the smells in the office. We will continue to work on that by doing more weight checks (a quick and free reason to go inside). Eventually he will be a tail wagging puppy to venture into the vet building.

I think the best part for me on today's outing was watching Kolby walk on his leash up and down the sidewalk. He was on his flat collar and walked perfectly with a swag in his leash, and a prance in his step to keep up with me. He never pulled, and stayed right by my leg. Loved every minute. He is just so adorable. I love watching him watch me.

One full week and we are on the right foot in the building of a great team.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

A Ballad for Haddie

My girl finished an assignment in her English class today. It was required that student's write a Ballad about an adventure in their life. The format was to be 12 stanzas and rhyming in an A-B-A-B format. Regardless of what the teacher may say, I love the final product that my girl wrote about Haddie because it is all truth (yes, even the part about the folk song). What a great Ballad of a wonderful memory. Nice work, Honey.


The day I got Haddie it was sunny
I jumped in the car excited
Expecting my puppy to be so funny
When I finally held her I was delighted
Everyday was a new task
Going to new places and learning new things
Haddie would pick up everything I taught her so fast
Especially when playing fetch and bring
It felt like it had just begun
The last month was so hard
couldn't believe we were almost done
Filling out the final report card
The day of that final class
They shared what I should be expecting
I knew it was going to be our last
And I needed to start disconnecting
The drive to Cali was so long
I was beginning to doubt
As my dad started to sing his famous folk song
Would I ever get out?
The jelly belly place looked so sweet
We stopped for the final outing
To take a tour of the colorful treats
Haddie enjoyed her Jelly Bean scouting
Thinking of our day ahead
I wanted my pup to be spoiled
I let Haddie jump on the bed
I knew her training would not be foiled
Haddie looked best dressed
couldn't help but smile
As she wore her matriculation vest
I realized it had all been worthwhile
In the dog park I captured through my lens
As she ran lightning speed
Haddie making new college friends
12 dogs make quite the stampede
At the turn in ceremony
I was among the crowd
Listening to the graduates share their testimony
I could tell we were very proud
 It was the hardest thing I had to do
Through all my tears
Saying goodbye made me feel so blue
But I knew I had to wish Haddie good cheers
I trained Haddie for Canine Companions for Independence
I knew with my training she could succeed
One day a person could use her dependence
For her future holds an amazing life to lead

Friday, March 15, 2013

Photo Friday

I am super excited!! My hubby had a moment to breath and got out his dome diffuser for his "fancy camera" and I have been having a blast taking photos of Kolby. You know how hard it is to take photos of a black dog? You know how many shadows come alive resulting in zero image of the dog's expressions? Without a dome diffuser, it is nearly impossible.

I will warn you, I might have gotten a tad bit trigger happy and took a million pictures today. I felt like I had to catch up before he out-grew this adorable baby stage.

ENJOY Kolby at 9 weeks, 2 days.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

No Fear Kolby

We had our first puppy class with Kolby this evening. Two Directors from CCI home office are in town and came to visit all the classes. It was a great evening for Kolby to show-off all of his goodness and impress his bosses!

We sat in our circle and opened with Q&A like we do every class, and then we set out to experience the room with Kolby. Similar to an Agility ring we have obstacles set up for the pups to experience and work on. A hanging circle tube for the pups to go through, varied heights of platforms for the pups to do Ups, Unders, and Jumps, a swimming pool filled with plastic bottles (it changes throughout the year), a skinny bridge, and much more.

My favorite moment came when Kolby was half way around the room and came to a ladder made from PVC pipes. There were two of them, and our Trainer laid them flat to the ground so that the two ladders were side by side creating squares from the rungs - squares on the left and right. The pup was to step in each square as they stepped over the rungs of the pvc "ladder".

I hope that makes sense. Think of the pro-football players warm-up routine where they are jumping the rungs of the ladder laying flat to the ground.

I bent over and got the kibble lure ready to take Kolby into each square, and he immediately stepped on the PVC pipe that ran in the middle of the obstacle. The actual pipe, not the floor, but the skinny pipe of PVC. He continued to walk the pipe the entire distance (about the length of a good sized couch) without missing a step, without getting scared, without falling off. He wasn't too slow, he had confidence, and he was determined to keep going.

The trainer was shocked, called to the Directors on the other side of the room to check out Kolby. It was so fun!! He strutted off the PVC at the end for his treat as if he knew exactly what he was doing!!

Every obstacle he didn't hesitate to try it out - and he succeeded in every challenge.

I love our first pup Haddie, LOVE HER!!!, but she was no where near the confidence level that Kolby shows. I have tried so hard not to compare the two dogs, but I just need to say it here that working a dog that has total confidence is completely different than working a dog that needs to be encouraged. I am very thankful for the differences. I wouldn't trade Haddie's learning style for anything, and I wouldn't do the same for Kolby.

I feel like I can love Haddie for all that she gave us in learning, and I can love Kolby in an entirely different way for all the experiences he will provide us in learning too. I don't feel like my two pups will cross into that gray area where I feel like I've "been here, done this before" or that I will expect certain things from Kolby because of Haddie. It is exactly as it should be. Opposite. Unique. Independent. So Happy!!!

So - Mister Kolby, well done at impressing all the right leaders of CCI tonight. You were a rock star and your little heart was pounding so fast with excitement when the class was over. You seemed to really enjoy your moment of learning. Nice work. Goodnight Puppy. 

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Mommy and Daddy

I don't want to get to far into puppy raising Kolby and forget to post these pictures of his Mommy and Daddy. His parents are so beautiful and handsome!!

 I learned through our Trainer that Kolby's great-grandpa was part of Guide Dogs and helped start a new line of pups for CCI, and Kolby's grandpa was a rock-star in our Chapter. I think Kolby's genealogy is exciting to learn about; and I am so curious if his parents loved to sit as much as this pup does (makes me smile).

Mommy Kanga

Daddy Luca
Favorite picture of Baby Kolby
Don't they look like such a happy puppy-family?!

Monday, March 11, 2013

i. heart. kolby.

This little guy is just too adorable. My first day without having to share him. My kiddos went off to school, my hubby had to go into work versus working from home, and this young mister was all mine. Until I had to pick up the kids, bring them home, and teach piano lessons.

I got a text from my girl during her lunch period. It read, "Bring my boy to pickup??"
Today in a nutshell was all about bringing out the best in Kolby. We walked a little on the leash. I put his confidence in wanting to get "up" on the ottoman into a positive by working on the command "UP"... followed by the command "OFF". I watched him sleep and took photos. I kissed him a lot and snuggled too. I continued working on the "HERE" command. I let him run crazy in the side yard. I continued reinforcing his amazing eye contact, and his favorite thing ever ... Sit.

I watched him sleep. I watched him sleep. I watched him sleep.

i. heart. kolby.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Kolby gets a bath

Today was the day that Kolby needed a bath. We exchanged his airplane and kennel smell with a fresh scent of Green Apple Kiwi Puppy Shampoo. Ooohhh, he smells so cozy.
I never knew that a bath could wear out a puppy so quickly. He took his longest midday nap in his kennel for the first time while drying off; a record 2 hours, as opposed to 20 minute stints with wake time of crying, whimpering, and barking.

Maybe he was trying to tell us all along that he just wanted to get cleaned up!
Kolby was a rock star in his bath; even beating out Cora's attitude about her first bath experience with us and she was a retired Beauty Queen on the National Circuit of Champions. Way to go, Kolby!!

He sat. He stood. He didn't whimper, try to shake, or try to get out. He even voluntarily dunked his head straight into the stream of water when it first turned on - and he didn't even care.
I am crossing my fingers he continues this amazing attitude when we graduate to the tub and then to the shower. You can do it, Kolby!!
And if we find a clear lake around here this summer - it is all yours, Kolby!! I have a feeling you enjoy water.
Tomorrow I will work on cleaning his teeth. One day at a time and this pup will be squeaky clean.

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Cora & Kolby

(Blogger is not cooperating, so the photos will remain stuck at the top of this post. Not my intended style.)

I woke at 2:45am this morning shocked that I had yet to hear Kolby in the middle of the night. I had put him to bed at 10pm, and based on how he had reacted to his kennel during the day, I thought for sure we'd hear him by midnight. I distinctly remember thinking, "Oh please, oh please don't let this thought be a jinx."

Sure enough fifteen minutes later I heard Kolby singing. Thankfully our family is on the same page and nobody got up, or complained from their rooms of the crying puppy. We all just continued to ignore (as directed by our Trainer) and eventually Kolby found a way to get himself back to his happy place.

When I woke to get him up for the day, he was still sleeping and had zero accidents in his kennel. Night One was great!

He is still pretty exhausted as his playtime moments are few and far between. He is drinking and using the bathroom outside with outstanding success, but he has little interest in eating when served. We are using his kibble to treat him for the little bits of training we are sprinkling into his awake hours to help fill in the gap of his light interest in food.

We are focusing on his Name and reinforcing Sit which he learned at Becky's. And, when he looks into our eyes on his own doing - we mark it with a Yes and give him a treat. While I would love him to devour his food at each serving, I am not worried that he is not getting enough food. I am sure he is still a little under the emotional weather from the big change to his environment.

We decided to introduce our pet Beagle, Cora, to Kolby sooner than we did with Haddie. Partly because I now know that Cora is a gem when it comes to another dog sharing her home, and partly because I was less interested this time around in going through the hoops of rotating the dog's out of their kennel and through the house.

Wow, what a difference in meeting Kolby than meeting Haddie. Each prior puppy will help us with the current puppy, so for that - thank you, Haddie, for teaching us so much!!

Kolby started off in his kennel in the kitchen while Cora had free reign of the house. At first Kolby was quiet when Cora investigated his kennel, but made noise when she walked away. Cora ignored his banter. Nice work, Cora.

When he was silent, I let him out of his kennel and the two sniffed each other and then Kolby sat down and Cora stared at him. It was actually very uneventful. I think Cora was waiting for Kolby to pounce on her like Haddie had done. I am glad that that did not happen. They both got off to the right start, it seems to be a great match in personalities.

Today Kolby's mellowness matches Cora's and they both seem happy. Cora will continue to play a key role in helping us raise Kolby for CCI and his forever family. Thanks, Cora!!

Friday, March 8, 2013

Kolby's Arrival

We arrived at Alaska Air Cargo two minutes before the scheduled landing of his plane; or so we thought. We walked into the lobby and were greeted with our Volunteer Welcome Waggin' with the words of, "Do you hear your baby?" Barks and whimpers were coming from behind the windowed door to the warehouse section of Air Cargo.
Once the paperwork was complete, they wheeled out his kennel and we all fell in love. He is simply adorable. His fluffy face was all pushed forward with his deep brown eyes giving us the plead to let him out, now!
We snuggled for a bit and then it was time for the bathroom where he immediately went. Thank you, Kolby! More snuggles and pictures were taken before we left for home.
I asked my parents to join me in Kolby's pickup. I am so glad that they were free and said yes. It was not a hard sell. My husband has had a whirlwind of a week at work attending off-site meetings, which meant that today was his catch-up day that he could not afford to miss any minutes of. And my children had already missed three days of school (which took more than three days to make-up) just weeks ago in order to travel to California for Haddie's Turn-In. Missing another day, no matter how exciting this day was, was not going to happen. Thankfully, they understood without much protesting.
Luckily our school district has half-day Fridays, so I only had two hours alone with Kolby before we went to get the kids. He explored the house for a few minutes, watered and bathroomed, and then he was ready for a nap. We snuggled, of course. It was very relaxing.
My daughter is released first from school, so Kolby and I parked in the lot and waited for her to come to us. She brought two friends - it was fun for her to show off Kolby. And then she held him for the ride to pickup her brother. There is a 45 minute delay between letting out the two schools, so she had some quality time with Kolby. He slept most of it under the warmth of the sunshine that came out to welcome him home.
When my son came out, he was followed by two of his teachers, and my very dear friend! It was a nice surprise that she was working as a Guest Teacher at his school today, and learned that Kolby would be at the car waiting for my son. It was nice for my son to feel the support and interest of his teachers, and especially exciting to see our sweet friend.
The rest of the evening was another visit from my parents with the routine of playtime and sleep time for Kolby. I will say that our adrenaline kept us going until dinner time. And now we are running low on energy. I am hoping that Kolby sleeps well all-night-long.
His sleep pattern today has been very interrupted, causing him to sleep in short spurts. He was vocal in the beginning about his kennel, but is learning (and will continue to learn) his own way to soothe himself and put himself back to sleep. I know that this will pass, and so I am not too concerned. I also know that when it does pass, it means the little guy has gotten bigger, and I know I want that part to go slowly.
At this stage in Kolby's life he enjoys a good cuddle, and lots of love. He walks with a tumble to his step as he continues to understand his coordination. He has a playful streak - enjoying chew toys that he can enjoy laying down, before he gets up to move three steps, only to lay back down again. His eyes melt me, truly the soft Golden Retriever in him. He loves his kennel stuffed with fluffy blankets, and a sweet puppy-proof soft wooly lamb toy that my daughter named Kanga after Kolby's mom.

The first day has been perfect. Kolby's Arrival - simply the best!

**Any picture where Kolby's eyes are closed was the result of him sleeping, not of him blinking. Obviously it was a long adventurous day for Kolby as most of our pictures show his eyes closed. (not all of them were posted here). Too cute.