…you thought I meant a human baby? Ha!
By ‘baby’, I meant a fur baby. A beautiful Yorkshire Terrier! After what felt like a lifetime of waiting, we finally welcomed the new addition to our family.
We have wanted a puppy for a few years now, but between deployments and moving back and forth, the timing was never right. Once we became comfortable in our new home here in Naples, I searched for breeders of Yorkie’s. I found a Godsend of a breeder located in Massa Lombarda, 6 hours north of Naples. She is a very well known show case handler here in Europe, if not, all over the world. I found several resources that all lead to incredible facts, photos, and even a documentary on her and the famous ‘Oliver’; a Yorkie who is considered a legend in the showcase world, and our puppy’s grandfather. I knew that this was exactly who I wanted to get our Yorkie from. The devotion she has for such a wonderful breed is unlike any other breeder I’ve heard of. I felt safe knowing that our puppy was being raised it’s first 12 weeks of life with its mother and 4 other siblings in the comfort of her home.
Now, before you all start complaining about why I didn’t adopt, let me just say – I looked into it but there were zero Yorkie’s available for adoption. I found a local group message board and asked for help to point me in the right direction and all I got were snotty, sarcastic, you-know-what women trying to throw 50 pound dogs in my face and a ton of rude questions as to why it “haaaas” to be a Yorkie. IF YOU KNOW MY HUSBAND, you know he has terrible allergies. The worst. No amount of Claritin or Benadryl could ever help. In fact, this reminds me of a story. When we were living in WA a couple of years ago, the power went out due to a snow storm. CJ was stuck in traffic trying his best to get home to us. Evening comes and I noticed a cat outside in the snow. My heart broke for the little guy and I couldn’t help but let him inside. I fed him some ham I had in the fridge and gave him a blanket to snuggle up in by the dwindling fire. He was in our house for an hour or two when I decided I would have to let him out before CJ got home. The broken heart I just pieced back together was now cracking again as I threw him back out into the snow. CJ came home a few hours later. Leilani and I were asleep, frozen under layers of blankets when he walks into the room – sneezing – and asks, “d-did you let in a cat??” I held back my laughter in amazement how he knew, and lied. Talking through my sleep I say, “what? no…[fake snore]”. This cat who was in our home for less than 90 minutes and only stayed in our front room, made my husband start convulsing in sneezes and eye rubs for the next two days. That is how bad his allergies are. We knew that Yorkie’s are one of the only non-shedding, hypoallergenic dog breeds with human-like hair that would be the best solution to ending our petless family. So, no. Unfortunately, we cannot adopt just any dog. I can go on and argue adoption vs buying like, throwing in cold truths and hard facts, but I won’t. Overjoyed with our decision and that’s that.
When Nicoletta (our breeder) contacted me in December, she mentioned she had a new litter of puppies that would be ready in the second week of February. The first date that came to mind was Valentine’s Day. It fell on a Friday, a 3 day weekend, a perfect way to surprise Leilani! I booked our train tickets to Bologna, a 3 1/2 hour trip to where we would meet Nicoletta and our puppy for the first time. 2 months of waiting couldn’t come fast enough! During that time, I researched, read til 2 am on most nights, researched some more, and YouTube’d all things Yorkshire Terrier. We set up her adorable bed and picked up a few toys and grooming supplies to welcome our little angel to her new home. I really felt like I was getting ourselves ready for a new baby! I even went through a “nesting” phase like expectant mother’s do, haha. Leilani and I came up with a few names but none of them made us fall in love quite like the name ‘Barbie’ did. No, I named her and yes, Leilani wants to take credit for it. Barbie will be wearing baby clothes and bows. It just fits.
The special day was now upon us. The apartment was ready and Leilani still hadn’t figured out our 3 month secret – whew! CJ and I were officially off to Bologna.
Despite having to sit face to face to strangers we couldn’t converse with, our train ride was comfortable and had the most beautiful sights of the Italian country side. We plan on using this train system for future travel.
When our feet touched the platform, my heart started racing. I was grinning from ear to ear while CJ had a determined expression. We couldn’t wait to meet our little fur baby. We were walking through the central part of the train station when I spotted Nicoletta with a blanket draped over a small crate in hand. It was so nice meeting her; someone I remained in contact with over the past couple of months who made time for me regardless of her busy schedule of traveling the world with her champion Yorkie’s and raising puppies. After a quick ‘hello’, we made our way towards a corner, away from the passenger traffic. She set the crate down with our pup who never made a peep and tore the blanket off as if revealing her greatest magic trick. Only, this wasn’t a white rabbit. There she was, her sweet little face peering through the crate door. It was probably the cutest thing I had seen in a while. It was especially cute because she was mine.
Nicoletta pulled her out of the crate and held her for a minute. She was shaking because she had never been in such a cold place or around so many loud noises. She was a darling little thing that God created and sent to our family. My motherly instinct wanted to hold her and comfort her. Then Nicoletta handed her to me. I wrapped her in my draped sweater, cradled her in my arms and rubbed her head while staring into her button eyes. A strong wave of emotion hit me hard and Niagra Falls began raining on my sweet girl. I instantly fell in love with her. While I was getting myself together, Nicoletta gave us valuable information on Barbie’s pedigree, genes, shot records, personality, etc. When we were saying our goodbye’s, Nicoletta held Barbie one last time and said, “ciao, bambini” with honest, pure love. You can tell she was happy, yet sad to see her go. She formed a bond with her and I am glad she trusts us and knows that we are going to take such great care of this little gem.
And just like that, we walked away new parents.
We had about an hour and a half before our train back to Napoli arrived. So, we just marveled at our little creature. CJ instantly grew attached to her and never put her down unless the carrier was on his lap. The way he spoke to her was as if she were a child, calling her “princess” or “my baby”. It was a side of him I hadn’t seen since Leilani was born, haha! As we observed our new pup, we realized she is just like a baby. Soft eyes, quiet yawns, big stretches, and comfy cuddles with her stuffed animal. She was perfect.
The trip back home was smooth, a lot better than I thought. Barbie never made a peep or never made an accident in her carrier. Such an angel!
When we made it home, CJ dropped me off and went to pick up Lei at the youth center then took her to get some pizza – I needed to get Barbie ready for the big surprise! Barbie slowly and quietly explored around the house, made a tiny accident, then sat still in her bed. While she was resting, I made a sign that said, “I wuff you!” then loosely placed it around her neck. I grabbed a heart shaped balloon I got the night before and attached it to her as well. Barbie was now ready to surprise her big sissy!
I got the phone call from CJ that they were about to walk in the building so I grabbed my video camera to capture Leilani’s reaction. I did NOT expect this. (Note- 1. My editing is awful and it didn’t upload in HD for whatever reason and, 2. Excuse the extreme amount of baby talk going on. Clearly, adorable Yorkie’s will do that to ‘ya!)
She kept asking “is it real!?” because Barbie wasn’t moving at all and she thought it was a stuffed animal! That would be a cruel joke only her dad would think of! haha. Also, I’d like to speak on the “NO, not kibble!” part Leilani shouted. In my extensive research, I found that dogs don’t actually need to eat kibble and it’s really not that good for them. Dry, processed, meat flavored “food” with fillers, chemicals, grains, and all kinds of unnatural junk that their ancestors (wolves) wouldn’t eat in the wild is not what I want to feed my puppy. Commercial dog food has a very high amount of carbohydrates that lead to weight gain, diabetes, and a host of other problems that can easily be avoided if you do your research and try out a raw food diet. Some of the benefits to raw feeding are less stools, no doggy odor or bad breath, pearly white teeth, a shiny coat, non existent vet bills, and the meat is cheaper than kibble! Some may think I’m crazy but, I’m not a sucker for false advertisement where commercial dog food companies advertise in magazines and get high profile people to “sell” their product just to make a few bucks. Our vet had no complaints about us feeding Barbie raw, in case you were wondering. Leilani and I have also been eating our own raw diet for the past 3 months that consists of only fresh fruits and vegetables with the occasional organic bread and free range chicken (rarely). But, that topic will be devoted to an entirely different post. We are a happy, healthy, raw fed family and that’s really all that matters.
Here are a few photos of Barbie eating part of a raw chicken back. Yes, she ate the bone. She devoured it in 10-15 minutes and wanted more! I’m happy she loves it and I can’t wait to expand her diet with the variety of meats our butcher has.
We have had our precious pup for 5 days now! She just turned 13 weeks yesterday. Her birthday is November 19th; a Scorpio just like her daddy (no wonder they’re so close)! She has brought so much joy into our lives and has completely filled our hearts. I am happy to be spending the rest of my life loving on this munchkin. We also look forward to traveling with her around Europe – which is extremely pet friendly – you see dogs everywhere! Stay tuned for pictures of her in front of statues, monuments, and castles! She’ll be the most traveled Yorkie there ever was.
Now, I leave you with pictures that will steal your heart like she stole ours.