Monday, March 1, 2010

It's finally puppy day!

Meet Emmie Lou:

She's our new puppy. :)

We adopted her from rocket dog rescue. She and her brother, sister and mother were found in a field when the pups were just 6 weeks old. Here they are at the foster person's house:
Emmie's mom & siblings
Emmie (far right) with her two siblings. 

They say that the mom is a redbone coonhound which Google image search seems to comply with. Dad is of unknown origin. We think she will be about 60 lbs when fully grown. So about the size of a small lab.

Emmie has been with us for one week, making her 12 weeks old by the vet's estimate. She is doing really well, so far. We took her to the vet right away and found out she had a parasite (most puppies do), but is nearly done with her course of meds, and the house has been disinfected with lysol multiple times.

So far the first week consisted of getting used to her (and her to us), learning her name (and attention), housebreaking, simple tricks (sit, down, shake) and who the boss is (me, cw lets her get away with murder). We also got over the hump of crate training (she sleeps locked in her crate at night).

Sleeping in her crate like a champ on night 2

I was totally worried about not being able to sleep through the night with her. But I only woke up with Emmie in the middle of the night on the very first night because all the puppy books had me totally freaked out. Like, if I didn't wake her up every 3 hours and drag her outside, she'd never be housetrained. So it was me that was freaking out, not her. I literally woke her up at 3am and picked her up and dragged her outside to pee. I should have just let sleeping dogs lie. :)

She learns fast and is fun to be around and teach. She's adorable and lovely most of the time. She doesn't bark when other dogs are barking, or when people come into the house. She's goofy and silly and loves us more than anything.

Having said that, there are 3 things that are wearing me out (Iv'e never had a puppy this young before):

1) She howls like the devil when she's left alone. This is probably the MOST infuriating thing. We can't leave her longer than a few hours.. for worry that the neighbors will kill us.

2) She's making the cat insane. He's mega-stressed... this on week 2's agenda.

3) She sleeps *A LOT*, but when she's not sleeping she has massive bouts of energy and goes kinda nutty. Sometimes, I just want Emmie to chill, but when she's hyper it requires a lot of attention to prevent her from chewing arbitrary things. She just gets worked up and if you aren't  playing with her, she finds ways to get your attention. Clever girl.

Week 2 agenda:

  • Enjoying alone time. (well, at least not howling)
  • Befriending the cat (well, at least not hunting him)
  • Walking nicely on a leash (well, at least not chewing it while walking)
  • Need to find an excellent dog sitter/walker
My goals for each day are simple. I set them in advance, and then just keep reinforcing reinforcing. I find this to be the only way to not get overwhelmed with all the teaching and training needed.

So that's it. It's quite a rollercoaster. I'm hoping in a month or two everything will settle and she'll start to be a lazy house dog.

It's hard, but not impossible. Frustrating some, but fun. I'm sure each week will get easier and easier.  Cause she's just too damn adorable.


Louis Gray said...

Woo hoo! Puppy! So cute! Congratulations. Looks like so much fun. We're a dog family, and can't wait until our twins are old enough to handle a dog (let alone having room for one).

Robert Konigsberg said...

Oh that last photo is too damn cute. Those worried eyes are sublime, and will be your downfall.