Not only has the recent demise of my laptop limited my access to the internet, but my share of “free time” to play online has also all but dried up. You see, our family just adopted a puppy.
Her name is Lucy Anne, she’s about 11weeks old, we adopted her from a rescue shelter, and she’s believed to be a pointer/lab retriever mix. I could write five posts about how almost everything in our lives has changed, but I’ll try to hit on just the highlights.
First of all, any inch of freedom I finally regained with my 2yo getting more independent is now all gone. And I didn’t realize how NOT READY I was for that. I’ve shed some frustrated tears over that whiplash plummet back to square one. The puppy needs to be watched every second. She needs to be told the same command 8,000 times. She needs to be cleaned up after, picked up, put down, fed, told no, praised enthusiastically, and taken outside what seems to be 452 times a day. Oh, and pulled off my 2yo that many times and more. (his ears are the puppy’s favorite things to chew!!)
The older kids are helping, but I didn’t bank on how much I would have to train THEM in order to train the puppy. They are not catching on to the need for consistent commands – instead I often find them pushing her away from chewing the carpet or just running away from her when she’s hyper. They don’t get that she’s already determining the pecking order and deciding who exactly she can walk all over. Whichever kid understands the need to command and not just shoo away will be the kid she learns to respect. But first *I* have to get each kid to that point. Exhausting.
The puppy is doing phenominally well in her crate, and for that I am grateful. She sleeps like a champ at night, so that has been a blessing. I’m frustrated that almost every resource I’ve found for crate training only gives instructions for how to use it if you work outside the home. I may stay at home, but I tell you, I’ve still got plenty of work to do! I’ve used the crate while we’re at home during the day if I need to do the dishes, vacuum, do the laundry, or either just sit and play with my 2yo without him being chewed on or just grab some time to breeeeeaaaathe. I feel okay about it, but I’d feel better if some professional dog people would tell me it’s okay, too.
I’m not sure if I should start a paragraph about the housebreaking or not. It’s just very frustrating. If I had to give her a grade, it would be a C+. I would probably give myself a D-, though, for how irritated I get with the process. This is our weakest area by far.
The chewing and biting…oh my. This puppy will soon have more toys than the 2yo – it seems that she needs THAT much stimulation and distraction from chewing on everything else in sight. I will say, though, that she seems to be learning the command for DON”T BITE when she tries to nip on us. I understand that she’s just communicating with us how she communicated with the rest of her litter, but we need to get her to stop. I find her catching herself and pulling back from biting with my husband and I, and it gives me hope. She’s still trying to push the kids’ buttons, though, which goes back to the need to train them before we train her.
On the PLUS side (since it seems I’ve taken a negative tone here), it’s clear our puppy loves us. She’s incredibly snuggly and finds puppy bliss in a warm lap. She’s also very sweet and playful when she’s not too crazy. She’s very smart and we’ve already seen her responding to certain commands. Having a 2yo and a puppy at the same time is not what I would describe as an ideal situation, but I’m so grateful that the older kids (especially our daughter who is almost 16) will have the chance to be with her before they leave our home.
Now here’s a slideshow of the newest member of our family: