Registered NI name: Tralildog Innerleithen
Known as: Esme
Date of birth: 12/12/2019
Loves: Shyla (more than everyone put together), her BBF Shadow, mummy Miya, vegetables, snuggles on the sofa, laying in front of the fire.
Can be: The loudest yawner in the house.
Esme is Miya's daughter, and from the first litter we had. We always planned on keeping a puppy from this litter, it was a big milestone in our breeding plans, as well as adding the fourth member to our growing pack, that we definitely wanted. Having Esme from birth has been a special journey for us, not only did we welcome her into this world, be the first to hold her and nurture her and her litter through the first weeks of their lives along with a very attentive and loving mummy Miya, it was such a unique and wonderful experience.
Esme quickly developed her own personality as did all her littermates, and we knew she would fit in well with the rest of our pack. However, as much we knew keeping Esme would change all our lives, we certainly hadn't expected Esme's arrival to have such a big impact on Shadow. When the puppies were born Shadow was only 8 months old and very inquisitive as to what was happening. As the puppies got older and bigger we introduced all our dogs to them slowly. It was clear to see that Shadow and Esme had a special bond. While we were always very careful to supervise any contact, and then play as Esme got older between Esme and Shadow, Shadow was only ever very gentle with Esme. The bond that they both have is incredible and lovely to see. They are more than best friends, where one is the other is never far behind. It is often difficult to know who is causing the most mischief.
Esme is a very gentle puppy, she is not loud unless she is yawning (it really is something special to witness). Esme loves to cuddle, we are sure she still thinks she is a small puppy as she leaps onto our laps almost crushing us at times and settles down to sleep without a second thought, despite the fact she is now the tallest dog in our pack and weighs a sizable 35 kilos, but that's the way it is supposed to be!
Raising Esme from birth means we have been there with her through every milestone, we have seen all her firsts, the first time she opened her eyes, the first time she went outside, the first time she experienced snow, and as she grows with us we just keep adding to this list.
It has been a strange year raising Esme amid lockdown, it has been challenging. Her socialisation went so well at the start, she attended a local puppy socialisation group, her confidence grew and grew, but we admit we lost some of this when the virus and lockdown came into force. We went for weeks without seeing another dog. When lockdown eased and we could again think about getting out further and going for walks, Esme had spent most of her life just with her own pack, and meeting other dogs at the start was difficult. It was difficult for her and yes it was difficult for us. But we took training back to basics. We met some lovely people and dogs out and about who were encouraging, and Esme did overcome this hurdle.
As we head into a new year, and with that a new way of living, we are hopeful the world will eventually return to some sort of normality for us and our pack. Esme has taken this year in her stride as she does everything, and we cannot wait to see the Traildog she will become.