The adventures of a veterinarian with lots of practical advice but no practical experience on raising a puppy.

Thursday, January 14, 2010


"Wow". Did I mention, "Wow". I'm slowly slipping back into a semi-normal routine tonight. Wednesday was amazing in so many ways and I had planned for a relaxed workday today - yeah right. Not to keep anyone in suspense - Darcy made it home and is transitioning beautifully.

I'll start with a recap of my travels yesterday - a total whirlwind. I left KCI at 9:30 AM and had an uneventful flight to Atlanta. I guess I've heard somewhere that Atlanta is the busiest airport in the world and I'm gonna say that is probably right. I sought advice on the plane from a seasoned traveler and found my terminal and gate with minimal searching. I tried to distract myself with a light analysis of end of year statistics but was growing more anxious by the minute. The flight to Daytona Beach was quick but the plane was tiny and crowded - ugggh! After intense concentration and some deep breathing I ducked my head and shuffled down the aisle to my seat.

The Daytona Beach airport was a dream come true. I bolted to the common area and started searching the faces gathered there. I thought maybe they would have been holding a little sign that said "Darcy" (I've always wanted to be met by someone holding one of those little signs!) but no such luck. I dropped my bag and finally saw a likely prospect - a couple off to the side with a little blue pet carrier. No awkward moment when we met - Nancy just hugged me like one of her kids and immediately pulled the little critter out for me to inspect. Darcy was stunned and excited all at the same time but was certainly intrigued by her surroundings. Nancy wanted to know if she was what I expected and I realized that I had never even considered that she wouldn't be perfect.

We chatted and looked over all the paperwork that is involved when purchasing a puppy. Now here is a new experience for me! Nancy said she was treating me just like a regular person for the moment - not a vet. She filled me in on what she has learned over the years and shared her ideas about food, vaccination, safety and training. We agreed Darcy would be spayed and that if my circumstances ever changed I would notify her before placing Darcy into another home. There are certainly times when breeders and veterinarians don't agree but I was impressed by the extensive information Nancy provided about Darcy's health/genetic history. I stuffed my already bulging backpack with 3 handmade toys and lots of puppy food! With a tearful hug they said goodbye and the 2nd half our journey began. The parting words of advice, "Don't ever forget she's a show dog".

I had learned from my online research - don't put the puppy through the security scanner. Nancy reminded me too. Laptop out, liquids out, boots off, belt off, puppy out - through the metal detector (lots of oooohs and ahhhhs from the security staff here). They had to do a quick peek in my bag because of the can of dog food! The flight back to Atlanta wasn't crowded at all and passed quickly. Darcy was warm and sleepy, I think the loud vibrations of the plane but her in a trance! Not a peep! I broke all the rules in Atlanta airport - let her out of the carrier to stretch her legs. She was happy and seemed to be taking it all in stride. She slept the entire way to Kansas City and I broke the rules again when we landed. I let her peek out of the carrier while waiting to get off the plane - she was ready to get out! It was wonderful to see Ryan waiting and to be that much closer to getting her home!

OK - she slept in my bed last night, peed and pooped once in my office today and Harper hasn't put her down since I got home tonight. I'm realistic enough to know we need a little time to start establishing that "routine" that I like to preach about (excuses already?). I have very few routines in my life so I'm wondering if having Darcy around will work to hone my time management skills. She hasn't pottied outside yet but did go on newspaper (Thanks, Nancy!). She doesn't seem to even notice the snow and ice but suddenly I'm yearning for SPRING!

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