A good friend said that raising a puppy is as tough as having a baby, except you can’t just put a nappy on them and take them everywhere you need to go. She said it’s harder but that it get’s easier quicker. It’s been tough. There’s that moment you realise your life will never be the same again. And it’s amazing how my perspective changed. The satisfaction that midnight toilet breaks now happen at 10pm. From the horror of finding that your puppy has a taste for cat poo and moaning about having to pick it up and take it away, to praying each time you go into the garden that you can find some before she does.
And then there is the endless to do list for new owners. How to socialise your puppy in 249 easy steps. It’s relentless, from meet and greet training to the customary sit, down, stand, to recall, ‘leave it’ and lead training, not to mention ignoring, distracting or discouraging all the other stuff.
But the drive to chew has been the most amazing revelation. Never could I have imagined the level of focus. LR’s jaw is constantly in motion. I remember my husband saying that all a new puppy really needs is a toy and a lot of love. What did we know… Try 25 toys! Kong and Nylabone have been lifesavers. Anything to distract her from the furniture, the cats, the wiring. To be honest we paid a lot of attention to puppy proofing the house before we brought our bundle home, but she still caught us out. The Dyson vacuum cleaner, what a marvelous invention for the pet owner, but how quickly the wiring snaps in two when left alone with one tiny puppy.
What matters is that we’re making progress. It seems it doesn’t matter where you start, as long as you have an idea of how you want things to be. You can celebrate the small wins when things are going in the right direction. Now there are glimmers of hope on our short walks where LR’s nose is not permanently glued to the pavement and she’s trotting along happily beside me.