Hello John, welcome to the forum.
One of the things I really like about Puppy is it's universal installer, which takes you by the hand, and guides you step by step through the install process. There is no guesswork or wondering what to do next.
You kind of lost me a little with your description of what you have done so far, so I'm going to mostly ignore that and give some pointers on how to install Puppy.
You will first need to partition and format the HDD using Gparted (included on the live CD). Then you can use the universal installer. One of the options along the way is where to install, so choose the ATA internal HDD option, and the installer will ask you to verify that you want to install on sda1 (probably), choose yes and continue. One item of note, I think Puppy still requires one to install GRUB in a seperate step after installing the system. A temp file is created with a sample GRUB menu.list that if written into the new GRUB file will allow Puppy to boot.
You can get more help installing Puppy from the Puppy Linux forum:http://murga-linux.com/puppy/