Life with dog

Thursday, November 25, 2010

It's been less than a week and we're all still adjusting to life with a dog - the dog is adjusting too. He went from shy, meek, mild little shadow to hellion extraordinaire in the span of a day. It's like our little Rorysaurus is possessed by a demon with a sharp bark and even sharper baby teeth. He'll bark at NOTHING - he'll be sitting in the kitchen like a good boy and all of a sudden will emit this eardrum-splitting bark, totally unprovoked. He cries and screams and jumps on the door when we put him in his room, making us feel like colossally negligent and cruel assholes. And he seems to think that chewing feet is OK. He jumps over his barricades. He wants to eat the stairs. He scratches the glass on the patio doors when he sees his reflection in it. We took him for his first walk on the leash last night, to the mailbox, and he did the first third of the walk completely sideways. He eventually straightened out but then continued to walk UNDER Peter's feet and in the process, got stepped on.

"Hold on," you're probably thinking. "I thought they got a Sheltie, which is supposed to be one of the smartest dog breeds. This puppy sounds retarded." Don't get me wrong - Rory is very smart. He's learned some tricks already and performs them like a champ. He hasn't messed inside the house once, which is amazeballs as far as I'm concerned. He knows when you're mad at him and will make up to you to get back in your good books. He's a very bright little guy - smarter than many people I know.

He's also adorable. It's so hard to get mad at him when he's got the big, sad brown eyes and the oh-so-serious pout on. He's vain, and loves looking at his reflection in any shiny surface (he gets it from Peter). He's energetic and loves to cuddle and be around people, and he's a charmer. At his vet checkup earlier this week, he was quite the girl magnet at the clinic, so I'm told.

It's taken some getting used to and I don't know if Peter and I fully understood how different life would be when it wasn't just us anymore. Now, when we wake up at 6:00, we don't laze around through multiple snooze buttons anymore - we're up and outside shivering while we wait for Rory to do his thang. When I'm eating breakfast with one hand I'm throwing his tennis ball with the other. At noon, instead of eating lunch at my desk or walking around the office block, I've been hustling the 20-minute drive home to let him out and scarf a sandwich before heading back to the office. Around 4:00 I can barely concentrate on work because I can't wait to get home and see my boys.

One of my favourite parts about every day now is coming home from work, the gym, errands, wherever, and going in to get Rory out of his room - no matter if we've been gone five minutes or five hours he's just as excited to see us. I LOVE the feeling of having someone that happy to see me. Regardless of what kind of day it's been, seeing Rory instantly makes me feel better.

So we're only a few days in, but so far, so good. We're all getting used to each other and I think we're all going to get along just fine.

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  1. I just sent this to my husband to read - we're picking up our new rottweiler puppy on December 12th and I am absolutely clueless about what to expect from a puppy (my family adopted a fully grown dog when I was living home). I'm excited, nervous about our new house, and sooooo in love with Gil already!!

    So thank you for this post. It was so fun to read and reassuring that the annoyances will all be worth it.

  2. Thanks! If you guys have any questions don't hesitate to drop me a line. We are by noooo means experts but we would be happy to offer up any advice on just getting used to having a new beastie in your home!

  3. LOOOOVE this. And welcome to dog parenthood!

  4. Awww, poor little guy!! He's just getting used to things... and you can't be mad at someone so consistently happy to see you :)

  5. Just linked to you through 'who's your dachshund's Ben's recent post. Oh squeeeeeeeeee
    Your description of life with Rory is almost as adorable as he is--almost that is. I would totally work from home for awhile....Jeeves and Melinda

  6. Wonderful! Your experience with Rory is 100% ours with Lucy. He'll get better.

    As for his lack of leash walking skills - She had none either, and like your dog, walked sideways. We got her a hardness and it seems to have made her into a walking genius.

    That's the harness we have. It's called the EASY WALK. It clips the leash up front of their chest so if they tug, or walk incorrectly, it pulls their shoulder back. WHICH dogs hate. She PROMPTLY realized the errors of her ways and is wonderful (well, at walking at least) now!

    Good luck!!! If you need any advice, I'm all ears. he sounds JUST like our puppy was!

    HAVE FUN!!!

  7. thanks guys! Jenilee - his hate of the leash seems to be cured! He walked like a champ all weekend! One question though - how do you stop a puppy from crying and screaming and freaking out at night or when you leave for work? He completely hates to be left alone and I've read that you need to just "wait it out" and "they'll get used to it" but are there any ways to make it easier?

  8. Well, for starters, we stopped coddling her like nobody's buisness. She got COMPLETELY attached to us. We couldn't even walk out front to get the mail without her crying on the stairs. Once we stopped being overbearing parents, she really backed off A LOT.

    She's a husky so she HOWLS, it's loud and wakes the dead. We bought her a collar - it doesn't shock, it either beeps or vibrates. We put it on vibrate (medium setting - it's really NOTHING, just annoying for her) and left for the day. She barked twice and stopped. Now, when we're home and she gets into barkfest 2010, we show her the collar and she shuts up. Or we put it on her, with the power off.

    People ARE right. You do need to let them kind of just get used to it.

    One other thing we did was leave the house (her in her crate) then if she barked, I walked back in the house and said NO, and left. Did that three times max and then left for the day. She learned from that too.

    They get bored. Dogs have no concept of time. That's why he's happy to see you after 5 minutes or 5 hours. We got her KONG toys and fill them with peanut butter and freeze them. it takes her like an hour to get the peanut butter all out, then she's full and tired and sleeps.

    If he won't EAT a toy (Lucy would), you can get one of the baby teddybears that have a heartbeat in it (soothes babies AND puppies). It keeps them calm.

    Lucy was in the crate for 2 weeks at night time. She cried her brains out the first night so we put the crate next to our bed, and she slept every night peacefully after that (only whined to go pee outside... little puppies = little bladders).

    Also, make sure you're not crating him too long. Puppies can be in a crate their age in months plus 1 in hours. So, if he's 3 months old, he'll be okay in the crate for 4 hours at a time. I used to go home on lunch too. It's annoying but worth it. Eventually she stopped eating her lunch meal (around 9 months) and was able to hold it for the 9 hours we were at work.

    How old is he again? He could be teething. She had an AWFUL time with that. It was a HUGE reason why she randomly barked and cried (like Rory does). We gave her ice cubes to eat, it numbed her gums. We also took rags and soaked them in water, then froze them. She loved to just chew on the cold.

    Wow, that's a long answer. let me know if you need anything else!!

  9. Jenilee - thank you so much for your advice :) He's 13 weeks, not sure if that's teething time. We have been ignoring him when he barks and cries but maybe being told 'no' would help. It's definitely that he's upset at being left alone. I put peanut butter in his Kong yesterday and he loved it but then he had the poops, haha!

  10. You're quite welcome! Puppies start loosing their baby teeth around 4 months, so Rory's actually right on time. So it's probably a mix of teething and seperation.

    Lucy gets that sometimes from too much PB. You can put TONS of other hings in there. This website was great. She really just liked her mushed up dry food (moistened with water) frozen in hers.

  11. ahh I once wanted a dog and then I went home for the week, spent it with my sisters new puppy and was totally convinced that I'm not responsible enough yet!
    Wearing It On My Sleeves