Kimma. Oh well. Kimma was picked out at 4 weeks. I just had a feeling. Luckily, the breeder agreed she would be a good fit. The car ride home at 8 weeks was awesome - she slept on my lap the whole time. Had a nice first night of sleeping on the couch next to me, and even settled in her crate well. Then everything changed. She was crazy (of course looking back, a good amount of that was normal puppy stuff LOL). I hated her. Called my Mom crying daily for like 2 weeks. But I didn't want to give up - sometimes she would just give me this look that was part "I think I like you" and part "I'm going to make your life VERY interesting - WATCH ME DO THIS!" Once we started doing training and I realized that alpha rolling and dominating my dog wasn't the way to go (which is what the first trainer we went to believed), things got sort of fun. She was playful with other dogs, and had a blast at the dog park. She learned things VERY fast and loved training. That, of course, made things better. By the time she was about 6 months old, I was starting to like her. I then had her spayed, and after crying when I went to pick her up, I knew that she was mine and that I loved her, but we weren't like solidly bonded. It wasn't until after she got loose from her collar at about 9 months old and I sort of chased her/walked close to her alongside a road until she came to me for hotdogs that I really felt like she was MINE. The bonding was cemented when she escaped my breeder's property while we were visiting one day (which no dog of theirs had ever done before - thanks, Kimma). I thought she was gone. No sign of her. I stood on their deck and called her name and she came RUNNING to the front gate. I was so happy I can't even explain it. And that was it. We were officially bonded.
Pen took a bit longer. I don't think I really bonded with him until we took training classes last summer. He just had so much fun working with me, and I him. He's an easy dog to love, and I definitely loved him from day one, but now I feel much closer to him.
With Bubbles, I saw her picture when she was 10 months old, and I sort of coveted her LOL. I was so glad when the breeder let me have her at 1.5 years old. Then we moved, and things got busy. Again, like Pen, she's VERY easy to love. But I think that as horrible as her whelping was and the weeks that followed were, that was really what bonded the two of us. Though in reality, he is my DH's dog. They are definitely bonded and have been basically since the beginning.
I think I will be quicker to bond with Jari for the simple fact that he's another puppy to raise. It will be interesting to see how things go once Whitey is gone and it's just him.
Loistava Kennels and Red Fox Dog Training
Loistava's Jari - 9 months old (M)
Loistava's Kimma RN AX OAJ CGC - 3 years old (F)
AOM CH Finkkila's Kupla ("Bubbles") - 4 years old (F)
CH Finkkila's Pentti CGC TDI - 6 years old (M)