The Joy of Raising a Puppy!

By Jay Stoeckl, Chief Assistant to the Assistant, Assistant Breeder, Dec. 21, 2023
Yeti 8 weeks.jpg
Yeti 8 weeks old

For the past two and a half years, a few who know me had asked if ever there would come a time when I would choose one of our dogs for myself. As some of you know, I had considered Cotton Candy after the special bond I felt for her during her plight.

And then along came Yeti.

Because this little white pup was a solitary, there was to be no kennel raising for her. She would never be aloud a kennel to herself without playmates her own age.

So, Jennifer and I decided she would be ours.

At the very least, most people don’t get their puppy until after eight weeks. It’s an unusual experience to see a puppy grow from their first moment of birth all the way until they reach old age. With Yeti, it went farther than that.

We never handle puppies before their 2 1/2 week termperament test. But Yeti did not require one. She was lying in our arms from the time she was a few days old.

Yeti is a joy. She is truly in tuned to both Jennifer and me. We are her world. I don’t know if it has to do with her becoming familiar to us right from the start.

With a lot of people, they are afraid of the commitment. If they have little experience with training, the thought of taking on a sweet, innocent life can be daunting. I do not know if it is just me, but I’ve never found Yeti to be a challenge. She does everything I want her to, she observes and understands the sit and down command right now without much effort early on by either Jennifer or me. And she understands the rules of the house.

What I find in her now is pure magic.

(photo: Yeti at eight weeks)

What find in Yeti is a puppy who loves to be engaged with me. She watches me with an intense love in her eyes. She never wishes to let me down. She made training for the simplest of commands a breeze.

This morning I woke up with Yeti by my side. With Jennifer gone, she takes up half the bed. The moment I stir, she stirs. I look to see where she is. She turns over and looks at me. There’s an understanding right away between us.

“Good morning, Dad!” she tells me just by her expression. If I do nothing to stop her, she’ll get up and shower me with kisses. Yet none of these behaviors last for very long. She can keep herself independently preoccupied too. She loves her yeti plush toys and will squeak them for half an hour.

(Photo: Yesterday morning just after I woke up. Yeti’s “Good morning Dad” look)

I share this story with you, because I wish the same experience in your life. I hope you may have a puppy… just like mine… or perhaps unique in its own way, but still such a joy. Many of you already have. I do not envy you your experience, because it’s happening to me. It’s the first time since losing my beloved Cricket.

I wish you this same dream and hope you get to experience it soon.

P.S..temperament tests started with three of the puppies today. Blue, Purple, and Pink collars passed with flying colors. Jennifer made the stipulation that the puppies had to be fully awake to take the test. That by itself was a challenge, so I was only able to do three of them.

Puppies for sale:

Full grown dogs for sale:

Jennifer Stoeckl is the co-founder of the Dire Wolf Project, founder of the DireWolf Guardians American Dirus Dog Training Program, and owner/operator of DireWolf Dogs of Vallecito. She lives in the beautiful inland northwest among the Ponderosa pine forests with her pack of American Dirus dogs.