Tuesday, January 15, 2008

What How-To-Raise-A-Puppy Books Fail to Mention

10.) You will not have the rich online life you once had. No longer will be able to post several times to your blog in one day and have time to update your Twitter via IM or Text. And you won't be able to check Facebook 50 times a day. In other words, you'll learn how selfish you really are about your time, which may make you feel like a very horrible person for about a week. Then you learn you can make time for someone else and it's all good, and then you feel better again.

9.) Once you learn how selfish you are, you might cry. A LOT. Especially the first two days. I cried for about 24 hours straight. Sometimes because I was frustrated. Other times because I was so full of love I couldn't cope. During a crying fit, your puppy may look at you like you're crazy, but he will always come over to comfort you, which will make you cry more.

8.) Wear layers (I'm talking boxers, flannel pants, a tank, a T, a thermal, and a hoodie) to bed if you get a puppy in the middle of winter. This way at 3 a.m. when you forget to put on your coat when you take him out to pee, poop, or pee and poop you won't freeze your ass off. And always wear socks because you never know what you are going to step in...

7.) Read up on parasites. Especially if you are getting a pure breed dog from a kennel. Then ready yourself for the poop, which may be hard, soft, totally runny or a combo. Maybe it will have blood. In that case, don't panic. That's the sign of the parasite. Go to vet ASAP for meds. But just know that you will be thinking about poop for weeks.

6.) Get good at multitasking. For example, a puppy may fall asleep in your lap and you want him to sleep so you can take a break from the poop. Therefore, keep your laptop close as well as any other readings or work you must complete. If you need to move around, crate the puppy and work quickly. Chances are after an hour in the crate he will have to pee, poop, or pee and poop.

5.) Be calm and assertive as Cesar Millan says. The moment you panic about an accident and get upset and drag your puppy outside while you are screaming at the top of lungs, that could be the moment your puppy hates going outside. And the moment you baby talk instead of giving an order, the moment you lose control of your house. Trust me, I can't have either one of these things happen, and calm and assertive seems to be working. And be patient--I'm still learning this one...But every day I'm getting better.

4.) You'll learn more about your marriage from a puppy than ever before. For instance, I fell in love with FD all over again the night he cleaned up an accident while talking me down from a crying fit and calming Bleu down from a crazy-energy fit. I realized how patient and loving FD and I really are with each other, and what a great team we make. And how having a puppy has brought us together; we now go for walks and play as a family whereas before he'd work in his office and I'd work (or play on Facebook) in mine and we'd hang out when we were done.

3.) Create a Schedule. Puppies love routines, so get in one ASAP! I drew one up, so he'd be crated at the same time in the morning and afternoon so I can actually get shit done around the house. Needless to say, I'm loving it.

2.) Give commands while you are working in the kitchen or doing laundry. When you give your puppy something do while you are doing something you need to do, then it is less likely he will get into trouble.

1.) The moment you hold your puppy in your arms when you take him home, the moment you form an unconditional bond with him. I love Bleu so much I feel like a crazy person. Seriously, I would totally jack up anyone who hurt my pup. And every day I'm amazed at how smart and sweet he is. And how much he loves me, even when I have a "mad" moment. When he cuddles in my lap, I'm overwhelmed by love--love that I've never felt before. Love that makes me bawl like a baby.

I wasn't ready for all this love.

But I'm totally getting used to it.


Katherine said...

I've been waiting for this post. I had a feeling...

As much as I love dogs - and I LOVE dogs - I don't know if I'll ever raise a puppy. I figure my selfish refusal to deal with puppy poop at 4am is balanced by the karmic boost of adopting a cast-off. However someone could cast off the dogs we've adopted is a complete and total mystery to me.

All that said, I have a feeling this post is going to be very relevant to me in a very personal way very soon. You sound just like a new mama, for sure. :-) Ain't no avoiding 4am poop w/ a kidlet. Or, for that matter, the overwhelming love.

Amanda said...

The can totally drive you nuts but when they look at you with that face everything is alright again. Rilke is just about 6 months and we have no idea what we would do without her.

I am at the point where I can not wait for her to be a big girl and be more independent but I also know she will not be a puppy for very much longer so I better enjoy it now.


bethany said...

Welcome to the wonderful world of dog love! It doesnt get any better than this!

Carroll said...

I stumbled upon this post just at the right time. Two weeks ago we got a mini dachshund puppy from a local pet store and I think I've cried every day since! I am home all day too and I got more done when I was working 9 hours a day. I don't think I ever realized how hard it would be, and how emotionally draining! I truly question my ability to raise her everyday, and it makes we wonder if I have what it takes. I think it's great that you were you able to create a schedule for the puppy to be in the crate, do you have any tips on getting to that point?