“I’m absolutely fine! I’m having the time of my life, and loving every
single second of this new routine!”
– Said no-one EVER, two weeks into puppy parenting!
1. ‘Zoomies’ are horrendous –
So, let me set the scene...
It’s my last weekend at home before I move out.
I’m sleep deprived, I’m emotional, and, on top of that, it’s my ‘time of the month.’
After a day of clearing up puppy pee and chasing said pup around the garden with a string of plastic sausages, Mum and I finally sit down in the living room to relax.
We download a film from Prime (£3.50 – scandalous!), and gaze longingly at the magnificent spread of food in-front of us: our traditional Saturday night feast.
I press play on the film, my hand hovering over the warm, doughy olive bread, and I breathe a contended sigh...
From across the living room, puppy suddenly bows, crouching low, his eyes blazing into mine. He barks sharply, before pouncing at thin air, teeth bared.
Oh God – we know what’s coming! I pause the film and accept that I’m going to be snacking on cold pizza.
Rolo proceeds to tear around the living room at breakneck speed, barking like a banshee.
Occasionally, he aggressively chases his own tail, falling flat on his face in the process.
We open the living room door in a bid to entice him into the garden, and he goes skidding on the laminate, colliding with the front door. He squares up to us as if we pushed him.
He rips leaves from plants, steals DVD cases, raids the bin, takes a running jump at the plate of blueberry muffins, and leaves a trail of excitement-induced urination across the carpet.
This hysteria goes on for fifteen minutes, and includes Rolo snapping at our feet, apparently taking our pleas and cries of pain and frustration as cheers of encouragement.
Fortunately, Rolo only has one attack of the dreaded ‘Zoomies’ once a day – I can’t even imagine how tiring it is living with a dog who showcases this sort of behaviour 24/7!
2. Puppy biting hurts!
When we got our old Syrian Hamster, Sundae, I spent the whole two and half years of his existence convinced that we had been miss-sold some sort of freaky hippo x large rat hybrid.
Now, two weeks into owning Rolo, I am suspicious that we might have adopted some kind of fury Piranha.
He seems to sense when I have made the fatal error of just nipping downstairs without shoes or socks, and launches at my bare toes with venom.
3. Puppies are basically toddlers with fur –
I personally believe toddlers to be sanity-stealing, nonsense-talking, 100-mile-per-hour-crawling products of Satan, and I can now safely say that puppies are no different!
I recall going round to my friend’s house some years ago when her child had just hit the ‘terrible twos.’ I watched in horror as the child climbed the mantelpiece, smashed a picture frame, attempted to eat a shoe, and then spent a good hour loudly shrieking along to Peppa Pig, all the while we attempted to retain some form of serious adult conversation in the background.
We literally couldn’t turn our backs on him for half a second, and in horror, I can confirm that its the same when it comes to Rolo!
The other day, my husband took a work call, and the next thing he saw was Rolo legging it past him with a six-pack of Iced Gems.
4. You WILL be exhausted -
The other day, I found myself proudly telling a friend that I had indulged in a ‘lie-in’ that morning.
... I had got up at quarter past six!
6am now marks my alarm, and despite being a morning person, I can’t say that I am thriving upon my new routine!
Puppy cries all night and then sleeps all day, while I, on the other hand, am kept awake all night by his crying, and then dedicate my entire days to chasing him around the house, prising socks from his mouth and cleaning up his shit, which he has started to kindly hide within the potted plants. (He’s been warned that if he craps on Sundae’s special memorial blueberry tree grave, he WILL be going straight to the Dog’s Trust.)
Honestly, I am SO tired. Thank Christ for Vitamin B12 supplements – that’s all I can say.
5. Your possessions WILL be chewed -
We spent a good fortnight ‘puppy proofing’ the house before bringing Rolo home – to no avail! You can hide the obvious items all you like (slippers, cables, human food, etc), but beware – puppy’s taste in household items will surprise you!
Oh yes, Rolo has proved to be especially fond of human hair, a dust pan and brush set, and books (much to my disgust).
Never in my wildest dreams would I have EVER imagined that I would have to cover the flowerbeds with boxes drenched in bitter apple deterrent spray, because the bloody dog has a fascination with stones!
6. You WILL cry –
A few nights ago, I was that tired I fell asleep on the sofa in-front of the Peter Rabbit movie (this is how rock and roll my life is nowadays – NOT!). Rolo was asleep on the floor next to me, and apparently didn’t stir until I woke with a start at half past midnight.
Groggily, I gathered his toys and whistled for him to follow me downstairs to the kitchen, where his crate is located.
It was very late, and I was knackered beyond words.
The perfect scenario would have been this: Rolo followed me downstairs, got into his crate, immediately settled, and had a whine-free night.
The reality was this: Rolo pissed all over the living room carpet (literally inches away from his pad), was suddenly overcome by the ‘Zoomies,’ ran riot around the house, refused to go into his crate, and then when I finally did manage to lure him in, he spent a good hour crying, which I could hear from my bedroom, preventing me from sleeping until around 2am. Oh, and this was as well as me cleaning up his pee at one o’clock in the morning, while he careered around me, barking manically and attempting to grab the cleaning rag.
And yes, I did cry.
7. You will question your puppy parenting skills – CONSTANTLY –
I read 55,000 articles and nine books about puppy training, so why is this thing STILL screeching the house down in his crate every night?!
This dog trainer guys says to cry like a puppy when he bites me, yet this just sends him into a giddy flurry?!
WHAT AM I DOING WRONG?!
The truth is, every dog is different, and every single website is keen to offer different advice, which generally conflicts the last lot of tips you acquired.
I presume its like having a baby – nothing can fully prepare you for the shock and responsibility of being a parent, of either the human or puppy kinda offspring!
As long as your puppy is being cared for with his best interests at heart and has the basic staples of warmth, love, attention, mental stimulation, food and drink, you can’t be going too far wrong.
And the rest? Well, I guess we will get there, one day at a time!
8. You WILL learn to speak puppy –
I mean, that’s not always a good thing, as ‘speaking puppy’ can mean two very different things. Unfortunately, I speak puppy. I raise the pitch of my voice a few, unnecessary decibels, and say sickly things like, “Ahhhh, who’s a beautiful rolling pin?! You are, yes you are! You are! Ahhhh!”
But aside this, what I mean is, you will also learn how to communicate with your puppy, in ways you never even imagined possible.
For example, I know full well when an attack of the ‘Zoomies’ is imminent, as I also know when he’s planning to shit in the house.
I have grown accustomed to his unusual groans and moans, which tend to surface when I’m listening to Ashanti...
Learning to be in a tune with an unruly puppy is a whole new skill set!
9. You WILL have days where you regret getting a puppy -
“What?!” I hear you proclaim. “You cannot possibly regret bringing such a delightful ball of fluff home! You terrible, terrible person! Go rot in hell! You’re evil! Dreadful!”
... Please, read the above points and actually put yourself in the position of a puppy parent before passing judgement! It is bloody hard work, okay?! And if ‘puppy postnatal’ were a thing, I would definitely have it!
10. ... But you already can’t imagine life without them!
The dashing backwards and forwards in the kitchen at 11pm, leaping over make-shift jumps made up of upturned pain cans and broom handles to tire him out before bed.
The greeting I get when I return home from work.
The rare shared contentment when I sit at my laptop and write, and he lies at my feet, grunting happily.
The moments that make me laugh until my stomach hurts, such as the time he tried to literally drink left over salmon from my plate as I emptied it into the bin.
... He's worth it all!
Cara Jasmine Bradley ©