by Zoe

I was the first, the first puppy born to a first time mom on a cold February morning in 2009. It’s good to be first but in this case my mom didn’t have any idea what was going on or what to do. Thankfully my kennel mom, Arlene, came to the rescue and explained the situation to my mom. Arlene helped mom with my first bath, it wasn’t long before I was joined by my two sisters and three brothers.

My family hails from Colebrook, New Hampshire. Colebrook is a quaint little village, about fifteen miles south of the Canadian border. Spring is still a long way off up here in the North country but my sibs and I are staying nice and warm cuddled up with mom.

Fast forward to April. Arlene said we are ready to find forever homes. A couple from Arizona is coming to meet all of us. In 2003, a chocolate poodle named Mattie went to live with Monty and Carrie in Arizona. They were heartbroken when she died of kidney failure in 2008. The puppy that goes home with them has some big shoes to fill. I’m going to learn a lot about Saint Mattie, apparently she could do no wrong.

I’m going to just sit here nice and quiet and see what happens. I told my sibs to chill out and act cool but they are barking, growling, and jumping all over the place. I heard the man say it might be good to have a laid back puppy. Hmmm, my ruse is working. They are holding me and talking really sweet, I love baby dog talk. I think they want to take me home. Where is Arizona anyway?

I love when mom tells the story about when they adopted me. Mom and dad were traveling the East coast in the truck pulling the 5th wheel trailer. Arlene had already called mom and dad and told them she had a beautiful litter of puppies ready for new homes. As mom and dad left Washington DC they had a decision to make, turn left and head home to Arizona or turn right and go to New Hampshire to check out the puppies. Like dad said. “It’s just a right turn and there you are in New Hampshire”. I love that about dad, nowhere is too far, that’s what wheels are for.

April isn’t really spring that far north, there are a few campgrounds in New Hampshire but they weren’t open yet. Mom finally found a place in Vermont where the care takers said they could park the trailer even though the park wasn’t open yet. The next day we became a family, mom and dad named me Zoe, it suits me.

Mom made me a nice bed in the back seat of the truck with a couple of toys, and a biscuit or two. If I stretched up tall I could see out the window. We rode for a little while but I really needed to go potty and this didn’t look like a good place, I didn’t want to wet my new bed. Maybe if I stand and scratch at the window that will get the message across. Yeah, we’re stopping, I hope I can wait.

As mom tells it, that was the first of many potty stops. She insists we stopped at every second rest stop between Colebrook and Tucson, that’s over 2,600 miles and a lot of rest stops.

Our first overnight stay was in upstate New York and it was snowing. Mom and dad were not thrilled, apparently it doesn’t snow much in Tucson. I like snow, I get my feet all wet and muddy and it feels good. Mom put towels down on the carpet in the 5th wheel and made me stand still while she wiped my feet. I never had to do this at my kennel home but I like the attention. I love exploring my new trailer home, it is lots bigger than the truck seat and there are even stairs going up to our bedroom. The stairs are my favorite part, it’s like climbing up Mt. Everest and then I scoot down on my tummy.

The next big stop was to meet my new Aunt Ruth, and Uncle Charles, in Nashville. They have a lovely home and a huge back yard with a big hill. I ran all over and chased a tennis ball. I’m good at running and jumping, those stairs in the trailer that I tentatively scooted down are now a launching pad. After I climb to the top I turn around and take a running leap all the way to the bottom. My ears fly and mom and dad laugh. Everybody loves me in Nashville but now it is back in the truck for the long ride home. I hope I like Arizona.

I was beginning to think I’d been kidnapped by a cross country truck driver and his wife. When we finally got to Tucson I was thrilled to discover I had a yard, a house, and my very own cat. Funny, but Ali Kitty doesn’t seem too pleased  to met me. Maybe I was a surprise. I’m sure she’ll come around and show me the ropes around here.

One of the first things I discovered about this new yard is the sprinkler system. While I was sitting in the lantana bed, like magic there was water spraying all over the plants. Talk about fun, I bit at the water, chomped on the plastic sprinkler heads, and ran through the spray, it was a grand time, I love this place. I don’t know why but the magic sprinklers never happened again. I think dad changed the sprinklers to water at night when I’m in bed. Bummer.

I love to travel with mom and dad, we have been so many places I can’t even remember. I think the ocean and beaches are my favorite places unless it is the mountains and snow, I love snow. I make new friends everywhere we go, dad says I’m a chick magnet, I’m not sure what that means, but dad smiles when he says it. The three of us have a lot of fun together.

I know mom will tell you more about our travels and I probably can’t stop her from being a tattle-tale about some mischief I’ve gotten into.

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