Beginning the Journey

Cabana was born on October 5, 2008. We brought her home on December 10, at 8 weeks of age. I went to get her at the Westin St. Francis, at a fundraiser for Guide Dogs for the Blind. All I knew was that we were getting a female yellow lab, name starting with a C. I walked out on the runway stage, and they brought Cabana to me. She was a sweet warm bundle in my arms.

But don't confuse me with those who gush and rush for every dog in sight. No one would call me a "dog lover", but Cabana had me at first lick. I do LIKE dogs--but LOVE? That just wasn't my way. I thought that this was a good thing, though, because it would make giving her up after a year much easier. But even after the first few minutes, Cabana started pulling at my heartstrings. I felt like she trusted me from the first instant, as she sat calmly on my lap while throngs of people came to pet her. Although I worried she might "relieve" herself on stage, my worries were unfounded.

My husband and daughters were unable to accompany me to the fundraiser, which turned out to be a little tough. Guide Dogs gives puppy raisers a bag of dog food, numerous leashes and collars, medications, and paperwork. After the luncheon and all the petting from strangers, I put the leash on Cabana and prepared to walk the 3 city blocks to the parking garage. But Cabana, who had only just had a collar put on her 5 minutes before the luncheon, didn't know what to make of the leash, and gave me a look that said, "What IS this you're putting on my neck? I can't possibly move with this thing on!" So, I not only had to carry my purse, the dog food, the other bag of accoutrements, but also this 15-pound puppy! To make matters worse, I couldn't find the parking garage where my car was parked. I had worked up quite the sweat by the time I finally found it.

But things got easier after we finally made it home. Cabana learned to "do her business" outside in about 4 days--such a smart dog! Although I confess that I made it my mission in life during those 4 days to get her housebroken. I knew that was the only way I'd finally be able to relax.

Cabana cried in her crate for the first week or two, sometimes carrying on for 45 minutes, barking and howling and yelping. We worried about our poor neighbors, who were probably also being kept awake by the noise. But now, after a month, she totally gets it. Not a peep from her when we put her in her crate.

Since I've got a lot of catching up to do, tomorrow I'll talk about walking and other commands we are working on.

Oh, Momma!  – (January 28, 2009 at 1:38 PM)  

Hey Meem,
I'm not a dog lover by any means, but when I saw that face of Cabana's oh, it was like having that human love for a baby. She is just so lovable, beautiful and apparently very sweet. So glad you got a good one.

I must say I enjoyed your description of not finding the garage where your car was parked, having to carry your entire load and dare say, I chuckled out loud at the absurdity of your doing all of that. The things we will do for an animal - animal lovers or not...

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