Boy, I’ve been pretty absent these past few weeks, both from my blog + twitter.
The reason has mainly been Scout, our puppy. What the puppy books don’t tell you is just how hard the first few weeks are. I’ve been in tears of exhaustion several times, and really questioned our want for a dog. Here follows a truthful account of our difficult start…
The first week was okay, Adam was off work, we were taking things in shifts (generally, night times have been good.. she was waking at 12.30am which we soon discovered wasn’t for a toilet break, but rather a ‘is anyone here?!’ fuss, and then again at 4.30am before wanting to be fully up at 5.30am). When there’s two of you, that’s not so bad. The first few days were still tough, though, adjusting to a new routine, cleaning up pee (she’s never intentionally pooped inside, more on that later), and making sure the cats were getting the attention they needed.
During the second week, Adam had to go on a work conference for 5 nights. I’m not lying when I say those were the hardest 5 days of my life. Not that I’ve had anything particularly difficult in my past, but quitting my job? easy, my degree show? a cakewalk. I was getting no sleep, my patience was wearing thin, I was worried about the cats and tired of cleaning up pee. Trying to find even 1hr to get work done was proving difficult. She didn’t want to be alone, I could barely leave the room let alone the house without her (once, to the post office). For a few of the nights I found myself sleeping on the floor next to her crate just so I could get some sleep without her crying out.
It’s insane how much worse everything seems when you’re tired. Adam was receiving several teary calls from me each day, “I think we’ve made a terrible mistake in getting a puppy”, “I can’t do this!”. You guys know I’m not a quitter, but if I could’ve turned back time right then I think I would’ve.
I spent my days googling “When does a puppy get easier?”, “Finding new puppy really hard”, and a surprising number of results appeared. I wasn’t alone! Other people had felt exactly the same! Empathy, at last! Something I read struck me and made me realise what was going on, “You don’t know this puppy. They’re wrecking your life right now. Your routine has been destroyed, they piss, shit, go crazy, and you don’t even like them much yet. It gets easier, no one would own dogs if it didn’t”. I don’t now how single mother’s do it, this is a puppy forchrissakes!
When Adam got back I went for a nap. Best nap of my life.
Things started improving that night when I got a full and glorious 7 hours of uninterrupted sleep. Bliss! We started getting our routine back on track, and I finally started to become friends with our pup.
The past week got a little more difficult. Scout has a tendency to eat whatever-the-hell she wants in the garden, no matter how many times we pull stuff out of her mouth. She started with a poorly tummy on the Monday which (even with calls to the vet) hadn’t cleared by Thursday. It involved twice-nightly cleanings of her crate, and constant poop-watch. A trip to the vets on Thursday, a shot of antibiotics and some soothing medication later, she’s finally starting to get better. Our schedule is back on track!
A bumpy start, but things are 100% better and Scout’s a welcome addition to our family. The cats are doing a lot better with her now, but they’re hanging out upstairs (their domain) more than usual. With time, I hope they get more used to Scout (maybe when she’s over crazy puppy-dom?).
There was a bit of a shitty incident yesterday when an anonymous “neighbour” posted a note through our door about Scout barking in the morning (barely, she barks a couple of times to wake us up). Seriously, just come around and speak to us, anonymous notes? grow a fucking pair. People, eh?
Anyway, I’ll be back to regular blogging this week now we’ve got our routine sorted :)