My husband, Justin, and I, Lauren, made our first addition to the family about 3 weeks ago: our little Boxer girl, Hoosier. First, she got her name from Hoosier Racing Tires, not Indiana University; nothing against Indiana, but we live in West Virginia, not much of a sensible connection there. My husband races dirt track cars, and has to use Hoosier tires. We’re both huge race fanatics, along with our families, so it only made since for her to have a race related name. If she was a boy it would have been a lot easier- Engine, Axle, J-Bar, etc, but not many of those sound too girly, Hoosier was the best we could get for a girl. Plus, their logo is royal purple- so at least now when we get stuff with her name on it, its at least in a girl’s color. She was born on May 16th, 2011. We brought her home on June 18th. So she wasn't even 5 weeks yet. We've both had dogs, but they were all older, outside-kept or already house-broken, mutts we had rescued. So, we were both new to the buying a purebred teeny baby. We didn't realize how big of a deal it was for her to be away from her mother at that age and given away until after we got her. I'm still glad we did though. Her breeders seemed nice and caring enough; I think they took good care of them all and did what was needed. But, I don’t think they were 200%, whole-heartedly into breeding like they should have been, or else they wouldn’t have been selling the puppies so early, rather their story of the mother no longer feeding them was true or not. We thought that sounded good enough at the time, again until we got home and started reading up on our new baby, and seen they needed that time for socialization as well. But, no matter how those first weeks played out, we got her, and I am so glad that we did. She doesn’t have any problems so far due to the separation. She’s a fast growing, healthy, well-nourished puppy, who is very playful, smart, attentive, etc. And even though she wasn’t with her littermates for those 3 extra weeks, we have a cat at home, along with a cat and dog at my parent’s house which she sees 2-3 days a week. She also see’s one of her brothers once every two weeks or so. My best friend got him the day before we got Hoosier (actually how we came about getting her); and we try to get together with them every so often. I was so worried about her in the beginning because she was so tiny, and according to everything- she was supposed to still be with her doggy family. But, now that she’s older (actually at the age of release now), got a thumbs up at the vet, and doing great, I’m starting to breathe and enjoy her even more. And I know she’s going to be fine, because even though everyone/thing said Boxers are really smart, she blows my mind. About 2 weeks after we got her, we went on vacation for a week (I know, shame on us- bad timing to get a puppy with a scheduled vacation, but I couldn’t resist her). My parents kept her while we were gone, and I think that did a world of good for her, too. My husband and I are both gone all day every day for work. I do at least work a couple blocks from home so I get to come home during lunch to check on her. So, since my dad no longer works and would be home with her all day, I thought maybe that week would give her a jump on housetraining- which she was doing good on already (considering, we were gone all day, she was really young, and we hadn’t had her long). Well, when we got back from vacation, she came home almost fully trained (she simply cant hold it very long so you still have to be on your toes so she don’t have an accident, but man- she’s definitely got the idea of it now). I think a lot had to do with her watching my parents’ dog, Cindy, a Basenji. Because not only does she know she needs to potty outside, she knows to prance around in circles in front of you, go to the door, bark, and do whatever else to get your attention (just like Cindy) when she needs to go. She also picked up on rolling around like a pig in the mud when she’s playing, rolling on your feet when you’re sitting, wanting you to play with her by (gently) kicking her off and scooting her across the floor only to run back and throw herself down on your feet for more, and slinging her head with toys in her mouth like she’s crazy.. all just like Cindy. She never did that before. I thought it was amazing how much she picked up that quick. She also now goes to our cat, towers over him, and licks him to death.. just like Cindy did to her. Cindy was great for her because she is the sweetest, most well obeyed, funniest dog. Cindy is so patient with Hoosier, as she always is with all other animals, including cats. She won’t even snap on them no matter what they do. Which is great right now for a puppy who’s still learning self control. We decided not to keep locking Hoosier in her crate all the time, but to block off our kitchen and let that be her room for awhile. When were home, she goes through the rest of the house with us. But, when were gone or too busy to watch her, she goes in the kitchen. But, she still chooses to spend 90% of her time in her crate, though. We keep the door open so she can have that as a comfort zone anytime she wants but still come out and learn to live in the house. Justin said that her crate is her den, but I say it’s more like her playhouse. She keeps all her toys (which the collection is quite big already) in her crate, and only has one out at a time to play with, which is another reason why she is so amazing- she’s an organizational guru just like me. We’re pretty sure she knows her name and has a good grasp on “come here” as well. Either that, or she just responds well to our voices. But, she always looks and pays attention. If you say “come here” and pat your leg or snap your fingers, she comes right over. And when she’s out, or even in the house most of the time, she’s always right beside you. When we go walking (on a leash down the street or loose around the yard) she stays right with you and never wonders off. She’s still adjusting to the big rope hanging from her neck when we go out walking though. She wears her harness all day with no problems at all. We can put a collar on with the harness and she’s still fine. But, the minute she just has a collar on, she throws a scratching fit. We don’t know why she’s having such a hard time with a little collar (tried 3 different types- materials, sizes, buckles, etc) but likes a harness with straps all around. We’re still working on this though. I don’t want her to have to wear a harness at home all the time, just when were out in public- and not that I don’t trust her or that we wont make sure she’s well obeyed but for others’ peace of mind, because they all may think she’s so cute now, but they’ll all act scared to death of her when she’s big. I don’t get why people are so timid with Boxers, they’re not mean at all. Well, I guess that’s plenty of rambling for now to get caught up on Hoosier’s life. We have so many plans and hopes for her; And as she grows and we meet new milestones in her life, I want to share them.