Back home, Don, Archie and Daisy went to my office—where the pups would live for a while—to put the crate together while I took care of some things upstairs. When I returned to see how crate construction was coming, I found Don lying on his back with two puppies on top of him, climbing on his head, licking his face and basically using him as a wrestling mat. I missed the photo, but the picture is indelibly etched in my brain (and my heart)!

The rest of that evening was a whirlwind. My sister, who was chomping at the bit (or maybe leash is more appropriate) when I sent her a picture of two puppies instead of one, and her family came by to meet their new niece and nephew. We pulled out their new toys and romped in the floor with them for hours. Don and I had to shoo them out of here so we could heat up  some leftovers for dinner at around 8 pm!

It was also time to start putting all the stuff we had read about house training into practice. Like clockwork, I took them out every 1 ½ to two hours and, just as my sister-in-law had taught her puppies, I began bumping their nose on a bell at the front door to encourage them to alert me that they had to go.

Daisy picked up the bell very quickly, but she did have a few accidents (#2) in the first days. One time, she rang the bell and, before I could get my shoes on myself and a leash on her, she’d pooped by the front door. I consider that a Mommy fail, not a Daisy fail. Archie, on the other hand, was the golden child with no accidents (at least that I’ve found!). But then the bell training was all for naught as we ended up restricting them to my office after discovering that they could squeeze through the barely six-inch gap on the gate going up the stairs. Seriously… Archie did it first and then taught the less wily Daisy to do it too!

Their personalities also really emerged in those first days. Archie turned out to be that annoying brother who demands all the attention, to the point that when you’re cuddling his sister, he will squeeze in between the two of you as if to say, “Look at me, I’m cute too!” Daisy, on the other hand, loves to be petted, but she never, ever demands it. She’s perfectly content to sit across the room or in her own chair chewing her bone while her brother gets the spotlight. But don’t think she’s any shrinking violet (or daisy)! While the two are play fighting, this little wisp of pup (she’s three pounds lighter than Archie and is much more delicate) typically has the upper hand, flying off the couch and jumping directly on Archie like a WWF wrestler and pinning him over and over.

Let’s not forget the elephant in the room, AKA the crate. From the start, both of them got into their little padded prison without much of a fight (the foster parents apparently got them acclimated). However, as soon as you left them, particularly if it was just one of them, they cried, this shrill, keening sound, that would make even the steeliest parent want to run down and release them from their painful bondage. The only reason I resisted was that Daddy (Don) insisted.

A couple days into the adoption, when Don and I ventured to the movies, leaving the babies completely alone for the first time, he realized that our security camera just happened to be pointed directly at the crate. From the theater, where we went to watch a matinee, we could see the kids snuggled together and sleeping peacefully. Made the cost of the camera completely worth it! Being able to keep our eye on them–even talk to them–made that first outing so much more fun. I figure that camera will save me a mountain of anxiety in the coming months! Keep your eye on this page for the next installment of ISO Shaggy Dog.