Well, the boards are flooded right now with all sorts of brand new puppies (either right now or soon to be coming home). I just love those lil puppy faces!! It got me to thinking about last year when I got Brody. It was also a time when a lot of forum people were getting new puppies. There were a whole bunch right around the same time I got Brody and for about a month afterward as well. As the posts and pictures came fast and furious I remember thinking that it seemed like everyone else was just so much better at this than I was. I felt like I was the only one who had any problems or who felt tired/frustrated/overwhelmed at times. Looking back, I can clearly see I wasn't the only one, but I had blinders on and didn't see that others had their problems too. You know how it is - worrying that you aren't the best possible pet parent you can be.
So, it's interesting to see how things stand a year later.
Most of those problems have disappeared. Brody is pretty much reliably potty trained although occasionally he does something stupid and I'm thinking "what on earth possessed you to do that?", but I can't remember the last time he got it wrong. He also doesn't pee on himself anymore. His aim has greatly improved!!
He sleeps in now, so no more 5am wakeups. Mommy feels much less tired!
He pretty much outgrew the chewing thing and honestly he wasn't really too bad with it anyhow. He still loves his toys and playing fetch. He also figured out that treats were good although he's still really fussy about treats.
He still does better in his crate/Xpen at work than left out. He still barks at people and this has been an uphill battle which really kicked into gear when he hit 7 or 8 months and found his "voice". I wish he'd lose it again!
I can shower on my own although typically he does still like to be able to come check in on me to make sure the shower monster hasn't gotten me.
He doesn't sleep on my feet so much anymore. I got abandoned for the back of the sofa. He does still like to be near me at all times. And he still thinks that bedtime is the best time ever, especially now that he gets to sleep on the bed!
If I have errands to do I leave him at work because he will bark and I'd rather not get evicted.
Sadly, I gained the 7 pounds back.
Anyhow, the aggravations pass (okay, sure some new ones come up too) and they pass more quickly than we think. At the time it seems like it is going on forever, but really it's not. Sometimes I even find myself missing it. At these times, I dig up an old post and remind myself to be thankful for the sweet boy I have. Puppyhood is great, but it passes - thank goodness!!!
Here's a post from way back when: From May 21, 2011
I keep meaning to give you all an update on how things are going with Brody. It can be hard when it's just me to get everything I plan to get done in a day actually done.
First he's a doll. Totally love my lil guy. He's just under 15 weeks now.
One of the first things I found out was I was REALLY glad I went the Ugodog route since that has the grate that keeps the pad away from pup. He goes nuts for potty pads so having the grate to keep the pad away from him is a must. Since he picks up everything he runs across, rocks etc. I was also glad I didn't go the litter box with pellets route. I'm pretty sure that would have ended up a big mess.
He does really well with the Ugodog. He pretty much goes there to poop every time. Occasionally he gets too close to the edge of it and misses the grate, but at least he's in the right spot. Now peeing has been a different story. I know he knows where to go and some days he will. He always gets lots of praise when he gets it right which he loves. He's hard to treat because so far he only really loves his hard biscuits and if he gets more than one or two in a day his stool starts to get soft so have to be careful how many I give him.
He's a stealth pee-er. I'm serious, he'll make no sign he has to go sometimes. He'll just stand there all normal, no circling, no sniffing, no squatting or anything and then go. He also tends to get more on himself than anywhere else! Agh, my boy has bad aim! But more and more often he's going in the right place. We had 2 full days of no accidents, followed by 2 days of one accident each. Then 4 days of no accidents and yesterday he had 2. So it's progress.
This dog is weird. He absolutely loves it when I go to pick up his poop and take it to the toilet. First it's the "OMG there's toilet paper, let me try to attack it game" then he runs in front of me to the bathroom so he can watch it get flushed down the toilet. He LOVES this. My boy is weird. LOL
I'm trying to work on his barking for attention issues. It gets annoying, plus since I live in an apartment he just can't be overly yappy or I'll end up homeless. Honestly, so far nothing seems to work on him. If I ignore him he'll bark non-stop for over an hour which I just can't have in my apartment. I tried a spray bottle, but he liked it and would bark just to get me to spray him. As it stands now I can't leave him here alone at all and this has to change. Right now, he has to come with me and stay in the car if I want to go grocery shopping or do anything else. When the weather gets warmer that won't work and I'll be forced to have to take him to my work and leave him there and then go do my stuff. Not really ideal and a pain in the rump for me.
I can't even shower in peace. He goes crazy if I crate him and then try to go shower. If I bring him in the bathroom with me he still goes nuts when I'm in the shower. I'm sure he'd jump in if he could. It's a bit frustrating. From day one I've tried to leave him for short periods (just a few minutes) to try and avoid any separation issues in the first place. So much for that plan. At work I'm in and out of the main office quite often so he knows I always come back.
He also thinks mommy is a big chew toy. I can redirect him to a proper chew toy 6 trillion times but he always comes back to my feet, clothes, etc. And he bites hard. Crying out (in real agony) doesn't even phase him. Stopping play and ignoring him doesn't phase him either. So far he's not striking me as overly sensitive!
I have to admit that I start to feel mean when I'm constantly stopping him from doing everything he wants to. You don't realize how many things are dangerous or just not good or acceptable for a puppy to chew on until you are saying "no, leave it" 50 billion times a day. He looks so angelic when he's sleeping though!
He does really well at work. I'd like to let him out of his crate more, but when I do he doesn't settle and barks at everyone. He settles in really nicely in his crate though for the most part. I do try to give him out of crate time there until he starts acting up. Hopefully he'll learn that the longer he acts nicely the longer he can stay out with everyone. It's nice to have him at work because I can take him outside every couple of hours and he gets to be around people and noises and stuff.
He likes to sleep on my feet. He'll settle down there better than when I put him up on the couch with me. When he's up with me he runs around like a goof snapping at me and everything in sight and practically falling off the edge every 2 seconds. I still bring him up for a bit because I'm hoping he'll learn to settle down up there and just lay beside me nicely (with a nice approved chew toy) like he does on my feet.
At night he sleeps in his plastic crate on a chair beside my bed. He's been awesome since day 1 about settling in there quietly until morning. Of course his morning comes much earlier than I'd like, but I knew that going in. Getting up early for your puppy is true LOVE! In the last week I've been letting him up on the bed with me while I read. At first he wasn't lasting very long up there because he'd act like such a dork, running around, digging, chewing, practically falling off the bed every nanosecond. Now he'll eventually settle down and snooze and he's starting to actually perceive edges better and back off whereas before he seemed to have no clue he was going to fall. He loves being up on the bed. The other night he kept running to my bedroom door (shut) and barking cuz he wanted us to go in there.
Of course he steals my pillows and then burrows among them. When I'm finished reading I do put him back in his crate. He's so little and I wouldn't want to accidentally fling him off the bed while I'm sleeping. Plus, he's still not reliably potty trained. While I don't think he'd actually go on the bed, I'm not risking it and I don't want to risk him falling off or jumping down.
He loves to play fetch and he's pretty good about bringing the toys back. He totally loves squeaky toys and he has a couple where he's discovered he can position the squeaky part in his mouth and every time he bites down it squeaks. It's hilarious. I don't like that he snaps at me when trying to play with him though. We're working on it. I just get tired of saying "don't bite" ad nauseum. He still loves his mean mommy though.
He's a funny little guy. I have a little stuffed sofa for him, but I had to take it away because he chewed the zipper on it and broke it, after unzipping it to get to the foam. I'll see if I can sew it up. Here I was thinking, "oh how nice, I can take the fabric off to wash it since it unzips", but Brody had other plans for that. I'll have to see if I can maybe sew it up so I can give it back to him (sewing isn't my forte). He loves the thing and will drag it around the apartment (it's twice the size of him), attack it and get under it like a kid playing forts. He also decided to go under his crate mat in his wire crate. It was hilarious, you could barely tell there was even a dog in the crate. I did get a picture!
<snipped for length...to be continued>