Nella IV | month one

Posted on 12/04/2016

Have you met the newest member of our family yet? 

But she's just not a new pet, because we are: 
!!! Kinda crazy, right?! 

Meet Nella! She came to us on November 3rd, which means we have had her one month! 

My hope is to write a post each month to track her time with us, which should be around 20 months. So I figured I would first answer some questions that we get about her frequently, since we have gotten quite a few questions about the process. Plus that cute face! Can you even resist?! 

To start with- we got Nella at exactly 8 weeks old, and we will have her until August of 2018. Then she will go to "college" or advanced puppy training in California. Hopefully, she will do well and will become a service animal for a person with disabilities. If she does not meet the standards (they are of course very strict so it's very possible she will not - anything from a medical issue to even if she just doesn't wan't to work, she would be not move on in training), we will have the option of adopting Nella, or possibly have the option of recommending an adoptive family of someone that knew her as a puppy. (This is one of the first questions I asked, as it was really important to me that she would go to a great home no matter what- and the waiting list for adopting change of career dogs is so long, it's actually closed! So no matter what Nella will never go without a home that will adore her!)

Starting the week after we got her (seriously, 4 days after) we started taking her to puppy classes, and will continue to do so. By the time we turn her in, we will have to teach her a quite a few commands but nothing specialized, she will learn those in college! One month in, and Nella has already been to 6 puppy classes and is doing great! We also have to crate train her, which has been a total breeze. She loves her crate, goes in on her own when tired to nap, and has no problem spending a few hours durring the day there (when we walk Scout or if we go out) and has slept thru the night (9pm- 5:30am) since the first night we got her! That was our happiest surprise, since many people told us to prepare for night time potty breaks, but she never needed them!

What about Scout?
Nella and Scout get along great. We've made sure to keep Scout's routine the same, and she has been fine. We don't let Nella in our room, and she isn't allowed on furniture so Scout can always get "away" if she needs a break, but we try and be really aware of that as well. Scout is an adult, and doesn't want to spend 24/7 with a puppy - totally understandable. However, they are quite happy playing together from time to time and get along amazingly well. 

Lastly, I thought I would address the one question that we get asked the most, all the time in fact. Which is how hard it will be for us to turn her in in 20 months. It's hard when people ask how we could possibly "give her up" - but what I like to say is this. I am a high school teacher. I spend years with students, teaching them, caring about them, and ultimately, at the end of our time together, I hug them and tell them I love them, and say good bye and good luck - and that's what I want for them. And that's what I want for Nella. We are not "giving her up" - just passing her on to the next phase of her exciting life, where hopefully she will achieve great things. 

In future months I'm sure I will just post cute pictures, but hopefully this answered some questions people may have about what we are doing! If you have other questions, please let me know :)

**Everything is my own experience and does not necessarily reflect the views of CCI. All opinions are my own, etc.**

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