In honor of National Puppy Day, I decided to document our early journey with our spoken-for puppy, Islay (pronounced “EYE-luh”). She’s named after the Isle of Islay in Scotland–home to breathtaking nature and our favorite scotch. (It’s also at the top of our dream vacation list.)
My husband Matt and I have wanted a medium sized dog or two for awhile, but we knew we needed to wait for the right time. As we began to anticipate that our major interior renovations would wrap up early spring, we started the puppy search. We’ve had our hearts set on a teddy bear shichon (named Watson–my idea) and a Boston terrier (named Dracula–my husband’s idea) for many years. We decided to go with a teddy bear first, as my companion during Matt’s tours…sweet deal, if you ask me!
We contacted a few teddy bear breeders, and the timing worked out for us to go with Celena–the same person who bred for my mom’s dog, Beau. I told the breeder I was on the lookout for a brown and white boy, and she told me we had first pick of the next litter (yay!).
When the litter came, there turned out to be only two puppies. Celena was anticipating four or five, so two came as a surprise. There was one black and white boy (who looks just like my mom’s dog Beau), and one brown and white girl with some dark gray in her face and tail. Well, the plan was to take home a brown and white boy named Watson, so we weren’t so sure what to do. But we had first pick at the top of a long list, and the timing just felt right. We decided to put down a deposit on the little girl, and we flirted with the idea of naming her Watson anyway.
We tossed around some other names, but nothing really seemed to fit. Then we remembered an old idea we once had, to name our future pups Islay and Skye after the Scottish islands. Islay was the only name besides Watson that we got excited about, so we picked it.
When we first “met” Islay, she was just two weeks old and too young for us to hold–she couldn’t even see or hear yet. We weren’t supposed to get our scent on her, but we got to sneak a peek of her when we delivered our deposit. When Celena walked toward us with the pup in her hands, everything just clicked. She was Islay, and she was joining team Gabriel.
Two weeks later, we got to hold Islay for the first time. Her eyes and ears had recently opened, but she couldn’t walk yet. She could slowly pull herself up my coat with her tiny arms, and all she wanted to do was snuggle. She kept burrowing into the crevices between our arms and torsos–basically into our armpits. Islay was so sweet, and we were happy we had chosen her.
This morning, the day after National Puppy Day, we saw Islay for a third time. Today we got to play. Now she knows how to use her legs, and boy does the girl like to run around! She was so active this time! She loved playing with her little unstuffed toy, wrestling with her brother, and jumping around our hands. She even played some gentle tug-of-war.
We can tell she’s developing a fun little personality, and at this point, she is so eager to explore her surroundings. Even when her tired brother fell asleep, Islay was pestering him to play. We also had our first experience with training Islay not to bite. Her tiny teeth are coming in, and she tried to munch on our fingers a bit while playing. After about an hour of playing, Islay finally tuckered out and got snuggly all over again.
We can’t wait to take her home in a few weeks! The timing is working out really well. We finally have interior doors, and they’re installed and painted. We replaced our exterior doors, and they’ve been painted too. The only things left in our unit here at Livingston are trim and light fixtures, both of which we have lined up with contractors. And neither of which will get in the way of raising our little Islay.