Well, we did it. After just 8 short weeks, “the puppy” has come home. Here is where I describe the ins and outs of bringing home a new puppy to two people who seemingly weren’t fully prepared for what was in store.
See, we had settled on the fact that we would reserve a puppy from Gem Doodle’s (next litter later summer/early fall ’09 if you’re interested) most recent litter. One of the offspring of Tula the poodle and Bruno the golden retriever would be ours. All we had to do was wait.
February 4th, the puppies were born. There were 7, 3 boys and 4 girls. We were 3rd in line for a boy, so we didn’t even really get to “choose”. However, it would be a few weeks before that process would happen. For the time being, we just got to sit with all 3 boys.
Eventually, the time came for selections. The other 2 families ahead of us made their selections and we found out which one was ours. Early on he was easy to spot because of his little striped cowlick down the front of his muzzle. After much discussion back and forth, Jess and I settled on the name “Murphy”.
The visits continued. Every week. He just got bigger and bigger. He eventually started to respond to his name being called. Started looking more and more like a dog.
His hair was a bit wavy, but not near as curly as some of his siblings. That will come with time.
Finally, April 1st came. Time to bring that boy home. Jess and I drove in to work together in order so I could drive home and she could hold Murphy. After one last run around at the breeder’s house, it was time to hit the road. Let’s just say that he wasn’t too keen on the car ride. If we were sitting still, he was ok, but once we started moving again, the whining and yipping would start again. It would be a noise we would hear a lot of for the next 24 hours.
Once we got home, he started to tentatively explore his new house. Not sure what to make of the whole thing, he never strayed very far from Jess or I. On the plus side, every time we took him outside, he would pee. Good sign.
Eventually, the evening came to an end, and it was time for bed. Notice how I said “time for bed” and not “time to sleep”. There was not much sleep that first night.
We parked the new kennel right off the foot of our bed. Covered it with a blanket to give him some privacy and placed him in it. At first, he whined a little, but he was tired and soon fell asleep. That didn’t last long.
That first night, he spent it sleeping (short periods of time), whining/barking/howling (long periods of time) and going outside to pee (every hour or so). Of course, it was also raining that night, so every time I got out of bed and put a robe on (it was about 35 degrees or so) I got to stand in a freezing drizzle while he did his business. My reward for this? Hearing him yipe and cry for 20 minutes upon being placed back into the kennel. That was how the entire night progressed. Jess, having to work the next day, bailed out and slept in the spare bedroom. I was working from home the next day so it wasn’t so urgent for me to sleep. Good thing, cuz I sure didn’t.
We spent the next day together. I was in the my office with the doors closed and he alternated between sleeping and playing. Off or On. That’s the two switches he has. He is either going 100% or he’s passed out. Such is the life of a puppy. As I struggled through work, eyes heavy, he had a good day. He seemed to get more comfortable with the house as the day progressed. We had lunch. We played a little. He slept more.
By the time Jess got home from work, Murphy was doing well. I wasn’t as much, but what can ya do? We riled him up all evening, then he would sleep for a bit only to do it all again. We also spent some time in the kennel with the door open. I was trying to make him more comfortable in there, so I would sit next to it while he laid in there. I’d be sure to praise him every time he walked in there on his own.
Finally, about 9pm he crashed in the kennel. I had originally thought I would go through the sleep/potty/play circuit one more time before I went to bed, but I simply couldn’t keep my eyes open. So, I shut the door to the kennel (he didn’t even notice) and got into bed. I was asleep in about 20 minutes, unlike the previous night when even if Murphy was sleeping, I couldn’t relax enough to slip into sleep.
Surprisingly, he didn’t wake up until after 11pm. I got out of bed to take him outside (thank God and the builder for the bedroom door to the backyard) and he did his business. Back into the kennel. Here is where I got nervous. Again, he started to yelp a bit, but nowhere as vigorously as the previous night. I said a few comforting words while laying in bed, and it seemed to help a bit. In less than 10 minutes he was asleep and I wasn’t far behind. He didn’t wake again until almost 3am. This time we pretty much replayed the same events as last time. It took him a bit longer to fall asleep, but still not too bad. Final wake up was just before 5am. Same routine as before.
Jess’s alarm went off at 5:30 and he was ready to go by then. He’d had his sleep and was up and going. She piled some toys by the door of the bathroom while she was getting ready. He was having so much fun with those and with her that he was barking and jumping around. She really didn’t want him to so I could stay asleep, but I was already awake. No big deal. She fed him breakfast and finally placed him back in his kennel when she left for work. That lasted until he woke me up at 7:30 and it was time to start the day.
He is absolutely more comfortable in the house now. Know how I know? Well, he is attacking just about everything when he is playing. He especially loves the bathmats in the bathroom. He’ll pick them up and take off running with them. Hooo boy. Here we go.
He is currently laying under my chair sleeping. We did have the first accident in the house this morning. I knew it was coming at some point. Lucky me, it was on my watch. But, I hit it with the oxyclean and we’re good to go.
I’m sure it will continue to get easier. Until we get to that teething stage… that will be… interesting.
Keep your eyes on this spot for more updates.
Now, if you excuse me, it might be time for another 5 minutes of play.