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Puppy, Claire

[Puppy] Exhausted Puppy-mom

Well, I've discovered several things about the puppy.

One, she's small enough to worm through all kinds of openings in the side yard fence, and likes to dig up and try to eat the beauty bark that I didn't even know was beneath the dirt there. I'm definitely going to have to find some way to rework that side yard, and soon; she needs to be able to run around out there without quite so much constant attention. Since she's still too little to have all her shots yet and thus too little to be walked on the streets, she needs that place for exercise.

Second, I really need to stop being so softhearted. The Monks of New Skete puppy book I've been using recommends actually having the puppy in the crate much of the time, and I keep on letting her be out more than the book says she should be. (Leaving her out for an hour and a half when the book says fifteen minutes and so on.) But that means watching to make sure she doesn't chew furniture, doesn't widdle on things, and so on. As a result, I'm totally wiped, and since Brent works most of the time there's really no one else to trade off with.

I keep being paranoid every time she whines that I'm doing something wrong, that I'll hurt or emotionally scar her. I also worry that she's not getting enough non-play exercise because I can't leave her in the side yard for very long. Though I think I'm just naturally paranoid of messing things up. :)

Thirdly, I need to set up a puppy playpen somewhere in the house. A place I can put her to play for short periods without having to worry about her chewing on things, like the breeder had.

But aside from being exhausted and being mildly in shock over the complete shifting of my schedule (can't do my old lunch routine anymore, and the lack of getting out of the house is wearing on me more than I expected), though, I'm doing well... and I'm totally in love with my puppy!

She sleeps beside my bed, so that if she has nightmares (she's still kind of having separation anxiety) she wakes up and isn't totally alone. She loves her squeaky raccoon toy and constantly will grab it, shake it fiercely to ensure it's 'dead,' and then trot over to present it to me. She also likes to chew on toes, so anyone who takes off their socks is fair game. :)

Tomorrow, Claire meets my mother and my aunt. On Wednesday, she goes to the vet for a puppy-checkup. In a bit, I need to take her out again and let her potty (and try to keep her from digging up and eating beauty bark!) and figure out dinner, and then I think it's probably time to settle into the living room with her.


It's funny.. I've had several dogs in my lifetime, and we never crated.. in fact, I didn't even know there was any such thing up until a couple of years ago. I can't say the dogs nor my house suffered from it. One thing I did do when our cocker spaniel was a puppy was put him in an old playpen whenever we had to go out. Once he was housebroken and finished teething, however, he was free to roam. What's the whole point of crating?
When I first heard about crating, I thought 'gah, I'll never do that!' But after talking to the breeder and several trainers, I'm giving it a shot.

Crating helps establish a schedule, and makes the puppy less reliant on 'person always there.' It also helps housebreak a puppy faster; a dog will not soil their own den, and crating makes them think of the crate as their den. So if they're in the crate, they won't potty. As a result, if you feed them and give them water and put them in the crate to nap, then when you take them hour an hour and a half, two hours later, they're ready to potty and you can take them straight outside for that.

The breeder was already crating Claire and her sisters; a 'crate' in this sense is just a really big dog carrier. To a dog, it's like a den, a warm little cave you line with blankets and put some of their toys into. So Claire sleeps in the crate very easily, though she whines at first if I walk away from the crate; even when she's sleeping, she wants me there where she can see/smell me.

To give an example, the schedule I assembled based on the Art of Raising a Puppy book guidelines is here (in PDF format).
sounds like fun...

hence the saying "A puppy is a life, not a christmas present"

sounds like you have your hands full
A puppy is much like having a baby, is how I've always had it told to me by people who've had both. And it's true.

I vaguely remember this same phase with Kumo, though I was 13 or so when we got him as a family dog and my parents did most of the work as a result. But I love Claire, and she's totally worth it. Even if she's a bit exhausting right now, and presents an interesting challenge in terms of trying to fit my real work and housework into the day along with her. ;)
yeah, your responsable enough to take care of a puppy, and you defenatly did it the right way by going to a breader. I would like to have a few huskies one day, they are my favorite dog... My old music professor has 13, and she takes them on the dog-show circuits every summer, and she runs a slead team in the winter

I learned a lot about taking care of dogs from her... It is defently not a christmas present.

maybe one day, when i'm NOT in a one room japanese apartment *LOL*

but you'll do just fine with Claire.