Posted in Dog Life

Java Arrived!

It had to be the longest day of my life.  After two failed attempts to fly her from South Dakota to Alaska, Java showed up at a little after 8pm.  I must have paced up and down the same section of the airport where you pick up oversize and special luggage.  It’s the same place I pace around whenever I’m waiting to pick up my bike after an out-of-state race.

They took FOREVER to get her to the door, which really was no fault of Alaska Airlines.  In fact, of all the air carriers we have ever dealt with they are the best. And the whole week long delay had to do with the United Airlines Pug Mishap, which won’t allow them to ship animals until July.  This forced Top Dog Kennels to use Delta Airlines. And from what I hear, none of the breeders in that area want to use them.

Her powder blue kennel was so tiny and she was super anxious to get out.  Once we got her on the aiport’s pet lawn, she bounded out of that kennel and started licking us and running on our laps.  I almost started crying. She is so beautiful and happy.  Even my husband, who had been rather stoic about the whole delay in getting her, was suddenly a dad of a small being all over again. He was giving her water and food out of his hands, rushing her home, and getting a bigger kennel put up for her while I got her little one clean.  We were wiped out.

She cried a lot last night, as we expected she would.  And while we listened for anything particularly wrong, we withheld responding unless we really had to.  The morning was a big potty mess to clean up, but we expect that.  Phil and I are pretty good about joining forces when it comes to parenting goals, so no doubt we will have her potty trained fairly quickly.  Plus, I’ve been through this with a human child already, so it isn’t too much different.

So the adventure begins.  I think I need a nap!


Posted in Dog Life, Summer Training

Tomorrow She Arrives

dog bowlIt’s been a weekend wait to confirm Java’s flight, but this morning I got the news: She is indeed flying tomorrow morning out of South Dakota.  After a transfer in Minneapolis, she will fly direct to Fairbanks, Alaska.  We will pick her up around 8:30 pm and bring her home for what will probably be a very long night. Or maybe she will adjust just fine. Either way, I have a recovery  day on Friday, so we can have a calm morning getting used to her new home. Thankfully, I only live about a quarter mile from work and will be able to make frequent visits.

New pics when she gets here. I am so excited. I picked out a dog tag today. She will visit the vet on Monday for her vaccinations. Then the fun begins!

Posted in Dog Life

4 Weeks and Things are Getting Serious Now!

4 weeks and dang has this dog gotten big! We were sent a host of pictures from Top Dog Kennels today along with a price quote to fly Java up from South Dakota.  It will be four more weeks before she can make the trip, but we are already talking flight arrangements. That’s a sign that we are almost there!

It woke this sudden awareness in my husband that the house needs to be rearranged and things put more away.  I’ve actually been working on this since we decided to own a dog, but my husband is someone who only notices major sweeping changes while the small things appear on his radar and “something odd.” It cracks me up, but whatever. If he wasn’t ready to quite have a dog in the house he will be soon.

More than that he feels the pressure to listen to the puppy training podcasts and read training literature. That I can appreciate. I have ready one book so far and talked to some facilities around here, as well as gotten recommendations from other owners on vets, gear, and training classes.  It’s like being first time parents all over again!

And so the countdown continues! More pics to come I’m sure.

Posted in Bikes, Dog Life, Running, Summer Training

One Week Old

My poor bike mates had to hear me gush about this post during dinner the other night. All of them have older dogs. And while they love their dogs, I think they wanted to talk more about bikes than having Facebook pics in their face. My peeps love me… I think.

But aren’t they soooo cute. How can you blame me?

I started running seriously again and all I could think is how much better my runs will be when I have a dog. I have had various human training partners with whom I’ve parted ways because of diverging goals. Having Java run with me will be a boost to my mental endurance. Plus it will give me motivation to focus on her training. I want her to be a good and respectful trail dog.


Posted in Dog Life

Java is Almost Here!

This Facebook update came during dinner AK time. Earlier I had watched videos of my friend’s lab pups playing with each other over Easter weekend. I noted that Java would probably have a lot of fun hanging out with those two. Playdates! Like when Ivan was a baby…

Posted in Research

The Parents

This was the last post on Facebook that updated the status of my puppy. Moose and Mona are the parents bred for this litter. We are starting to take bets as to when they will be born.  Maybe Easter/April Fool’s Day?  I wouldn’t quite know how to take that post initially given the dual holiday.


I also took a moment yesterday to Facebook Message Pawsitive Dog Training and the
Fairbanks Retriever Club regarding the right age to attend classes with Java.  No word yet. Not surprising.  This is Fairbanks, Alaska. No one seems to respond quickly to anything around here.  So for now, I will keep reading and talking with other owners with well-behaved dogs.

Posted in Winter Training

2 Out of 3 Ain’t Bad

My dog will be born next week.

Her name is Java.

We chose this name for 3 reasons:

  1. It’s programming language. It’s the least favorite of my husband’s programming language, but is one nontheless. I only program in spurts, yet I have more skills than most.
  2. It is an alternative coffee.  My dream is to own a coffee plantation when I retire.  There is very little better than coffee.
  3. Coffee is brown. Meaning Java is brown.  And we are getting a chocolate lab.

Can you tell we are a household of cerebrals?

I have the second pick of the female litter. We are purchasing Java from Top Dog Kennel in South Dakota. My co-worker recommended the kennel after getting his second dog there. In May, they will fly her from South Dakota to Alaska. I’m not sure if he will be able to fly her all the way to Fairbanks. I may have to drive down to Anchorage (about 300 miles away) and pick her up there.

white mountains 100 2018 pic

So for now, I’m a girl.  Granted I’m an older girl (43 years). I have a bike.  Actually, I have several.  My favorite is a fat bike named Belle because her big tires remind me of the oversize skirt worn by the Beauty and the Beast character. Fat bike season is almost over. Spring training will begin soon. I’m pouring over books on how to best train Java. I will start contacting local training schools here soon.  I want to have as much lined up before she arrives.