I’m now a mommy to a sweet 6 month old puppy. He is a lab/retriever & ??? mix. I named him Westley-in reference to my all time favorite movie The Princess Bride. (If you don’t like it, you’re WRONG- yes, I do judge people based on their opinion of the movie and ability to quote it.) Westley is loving and playful and adorable when he’s chasing and kicking his ball.
I’ve had puppy fever for about 2 years now, but didn’t have the time to devote to a little fluff ball of joy. Here’s what I’ve learned in the first 2 weeks..
1. Just because he’s bigger in size doesn’t mean he knows better. Being a slightly larger breed dog, and already 5 months, my sweet Westley is about knee-high. Not exactly a lap-dog. However, he is still very young and hasn’t had a stable home. Adjustment isn’t easy on this little guy. He’s got a lot of learning to do. How long does it take for them just to understand basic routine???
2. When they demand your time, it’s not just for play. Westley, like all puppies, is needy. He wants lots of love and attention which I anticipated. What I didn’t anticipate is him unable to be out of my sight. He is a bit of a nervous pup, which means he pees A LOT. I feel like I have spent 20 some hours just in the week and a half cleaning up after him. All I can think is I would have much more time and energy to play with him if he’d just stop peeing in the house! There’s also the time he takes to be put to bed. His bed is in the extra bathroom so I can close the doors and know he won’t eat cat poop or pee in the living room. Just like a baby, he cries and whines for the first few minutes (and by few I mean nearly an hour) even after I give him a belly rub.
3. Giving a bath is hard. Westley’s baths are done in a kiddie pool outside because he is a bit too large for the tub. Plus all his squirming and such would probably end up flooding the house. Also we don’t have a moveable shower head. So with a leash tied to a post in the tub he goes and did I mention he is kind enough to shake and splatter me with his soapy water? What I didn’t think all the way through is winter baths.
4. Maintenance. Keeping up with my own appointments, check-ups and medicines is tough enough, now I have to make sure I don’t forget the Heartworm meds, Flea and Tick prevention and shots. Very important tip: when you have a pet take these things into financial consideration.
5. Youtube Training. There are some excellent training videos out there for other puppy parents. Classes can be expensive or difficult to work into your schedule. It helped me just understand some basic principles of what teaching a dog anything entails.