2 weeks tomorrow till we collect Betty! Some of you have left helpful comments about puppies - thank you very much. Regarding a crate - yes we agree it's a good idea, in fact we bought one straight away, as soon as we'd seen Betty. We've got a good size area underneath the stairs, the crate's gone there. There's about a foot of floor space along the front of the crate, and a space the size of the crate to the side of it, this is to be her playpen. OH is making a fence to put across the front of the space to keep her in there overnight - we didn't want to lock her in the crate. This way she can get out of the crate if she wakes and has an area to pee in if need be (we've bought some puppy pads to put down for the first couple of weeks, she'll be paper trained by the breeder, but we want to get her trained to go in the garden asap), and some space to have a play. We've put a nice soft bed in the cage for her, along with a cuddly furry toy for comfort (I've unstitched it, taken out the squeaker and sewn it back up!). I'm taking a small fleece blanket when we go to pick her up, she'll sit on that on my lap on the way home (hopefully asleep!), so that will go in the crate too, it'll have my scent on so that should give her a bit of comfort also. I think the breeder is going to give us a toy that Betty, her siblings and mother have been playing with, so another thing with a comforting scent. We'll be taking up the suggestion of leaving a radio (tuned to a talk or classical music station) on low overnight, thank you - I also read that on a dog trainer website. We're counting down the days now!
We've got quite a few home grown pumpkins and squashes in the utility room, it's a brick built outhouse on the side of the kitchen and has no heating, so it's always cool in there. Even so, I noticed this morning that one of the pumpkins has gone mouldy.....I'll have to remember to check them every day from now on. I've chopped up 2 of the pumpkins, 2 big traysful, they're roasting in the oven with paprika and sage. Most of it will be frozen, but I'll be using some in a pumpkin quiche for dinner this evening. Saw it when I was googling for pumpkin recipes and thought I'd adapt it a bit - I'm going to use blue cheese with some more sage, instead of the Cheddar that was mentioned in the recipe.
I'm also about to chop up and roast another couple of trays of veggies to freeze - potatoes, swede, parsnips and carrots. They freeze well and it saves so much time when I can just grab a bagful out of the freezer and bung them straight in the oven.