It was December 23, 2015. The airport was relatively quiet. The flight had come in safely. The baggage was being unloaded.
And then things seemed to stop. Baggage handlers and ground crew, bundled against the cold, crowded around a medium sized white box. They were smiling and laughing. Then one of them picked up the box by its handle and headed for the terminal.
Our package had arrived.
It was more than a simple package. It was our pups. The ones that took our crusty defense mechanisms and turned them into mush.
They had come home to a place they had never been before (think Sleepless in Seattle or John Denver).
We were mesmerized by them. Tiny, squeaky litter mates in need of some immediate controls.
We were prepared. There was a puppy playpen. At the time George was much smaller than Gracie. It was clear, on that day, that Gracie was the leader. George did not object. At least not then.
They did not stay in the puppy pen for very long before someone would pick them up and hold them. On the night of their homecoming their first nap was on someone’s lap.
There have been surprises as they have grown. Three surgeries for cherry eye. (I won’t show those pictures.) A bout of two of learning to growl. A kerfuffle or two or three when they discussed the merits of Gracie being the Alpha dog.
The most surprising to us was the bond between them. To this day, they dislike any separation. They are usually in the same room together. If not, one will go looking. When chasing tennis balls they will not return to the thrower singly. One will always go to the slowest retriever (either because of distance or speed) and circle until the slow poke is in possession of their ball.
Their trainer has a video of them playing with other dogs. In it Gracie reminds a much bigger dog that he (the other dog) is not to mess with George. Just running along beside that dog barking her head off. The other dog had just run right over George and Gracie was having none of it.
They have helped us build a home for ourselves, for them and for Marley.