OK…so, to start with, I’m going to apologize for having two back-to-back puppy posts. Second, I’m going to apologize for not blogging in two weeks because, well, I HAVE THIS PUPPY!!! Third, I really need to stop apologizing but I feel rather bad that much of what I’ve been doing this last three weeks is chasing this little guy around!
Do you have puppy fever? If you’re following Artichoke on Instagram you’re seeing all of the antics that a new puppy can get into making my life absolutely chaos at the moment! He’s also sweet and darling and an absolute joy!
If you’re thinking about a pup, here’s my tips for bringing a new one home.
1. PAW-TERNITY SHOULD BE A THING!
Take a week off. Or two. Heck, three if you can. At this point, I’m thinking full on paw-ternity leave should be a thing! Paid would be even better! Bringing a puppy home, while being a work-from-home solopreneur…is STUPID. Don’t get me completely wrong…I love this little dude…I’m laughing out loud and feeling less lonely so he’s definitely worth it…it’s just that I hadn’t really thought about the fact that I work A LOT…and having him around makes it REALLY HARD TO WORK! So, for all of you work-from-home folks who are thinking it’s time to add an office-puppy to the mix, take it from me…book some time off! This dude requires a LOT of attention which means less attention for clients which means more stress for me…you get the idea!
2. CONSIDER YOUR AGE!
There’s a reason we have babies when we’re younger and I’m thinking the same applies for puppies! My 20s…30s…raising puppies while raising babies…not so bad. 40s…still completely doable. However, for me, being months away from FIFTY with a brand new pup and the energy it takes not to mention the lack of sleep…I’M DARN NEAR EXHAUSTED! Once again…super cute and all but there are older dogs who need homes that are just perfect for those who don’t want to deal with the puppy stage! I feel like I’ve aged a few decades since the last time I did this as I don’t remember everything hurting so much! My body is an absolute wreck…I’m suffering from lack of sleep, I’m a wee bit on edge, every joint in my body aches, I’ve hurt my shoulder and my back…and my hips are killing me. I’ve hardly been out of pyjamas in the last three weeks but especially during the first ten days…it’s been crazy how dragged and old I’ve felt!!! (HUGE Side Note: just between you and I…it might not be my age and having a new puppy that’s the issue. The thing is, it’s becoming more and more evident as each day goes by that I may…though don’t go spreading the word yet…it’s just that I MAY have started menopause pretty much to the EXACT day that the new pup came home as if my ovaries completely and entirely crumpled up and rebelled the second the baby arrived! So honestly, I might just be a hormonal cranky mess and it’s not the new little guys fault at all!!! But, at the moment, I’m burying my head in the sand about the menopause thing and if it’s all right with you, I’ll blame it on the puppy for now.)
3. BE PREPARED FOR VISITORS
Like…a LOT of them. Expect visits from people you see all of the time, others you see rarely…others who you haven’t seen for years. Each and every one of these people want to take the opportunity to come and smell the puppy breath because WHAT’S NOT TO LOVE ABOUT PUPPY BREATH? I mean…I get it…I totally do. It’s been lovely to see so many wonderful faces over the last few weeks but for me, working from home, all those visitors means time away from work and…see point number 1! I really should have taken some time off work because I have the very most adorable puppy in the whole wide world and I can’t blame everyone for wanting to come and see him!
4. OPEN UP YOUR WALLET!
Puppy paraphernalia has gotten a whole lot more expensive than the last time I did this puppy thing. Either that, or I’ve completely bought into the “right” food, “right” toy, “right” bed, “right” treat thing as I’ve made more trips to dog stores in the last three weeks than I did the entire time I had Zucchini or Pumpkin which is making me think that the other two missed out on some fabulous luxuries but this guy, nope…this guys is getting it all! I have done more research on what to feed, how to feed, how to kennel train, how to clip nails, what to give, what not to give etc… etc…than I ever did with the other two as everyone is throwing advice my way and suddenly I’m feeling the pressure to do all the things the right way! Is it me? Or has it always been this way and I just hadn’t bought into it before. Or is this the way things are now and if it is…THANK GOD I had my babies before the internet told me what to do all the time! (Or is this just the menopause making me act all crazy?!)
5. ONE NEW PROJECT IS ENOUGH
With the addition of a new pup in the house, there’s ENOUGH going in your home and I would suggest you NOT take on any additional projects at the same time. For example, DON’T empty your pantry onto your kitchen table and think it’s the perfect time to re-organize, paint, wallpaper and “Pinterest-up” your pantry BECAUSE IT’S NOT!! Three weeks later, you’ll still be living with all of your food and pantry items piled high on the kitchen table, there’s nowhere to eat, you tried to wallpaper but the puppy insisted on helping…you’re sick of seeing the mess and you regret that you ever started the project to begin. Plus…every single person that visits your house to see the puppy will comment with a “what’s going on here” as they look at the mess of your pantry spread out for all to see while you’re standing there in your jammies feeling like a big mom-puppy failure. Nope…take it from me…ONE NEW PROJECT AT A TIME IS ENOUGH!
6. WHITE NOISE IS YOUR FRIEND
Ok…I’ll admit…this one is voodoo weird crazy but it’s working! When Emily was a baby, we wore out TWO Electrolux Vacuum motors because that baby didn’t settle down until you turned the vacuum on! She’d be screaming and whaling her little lungs out and you’d press the button on the vacuum and just like that…stop! Often, she’d be in her bed and the vacuum would be in the hall…just running…helping the baby sleep. The pup…SAME THING! Some nights he’s perfect but others, if I can’t get him to settle, the SECOND I turn on this youtube video of white noise and lay it by his kennel…he completely settles down. I discovered it in the middle of the night, by complete accident, when the pup was freaking out to get out of his kennel and I was SOOOO close to giving in and bringing him in bed with me! I searched “how do I get my damn puppy to sleep” and low and behold…I found the ridiculous “white noise” video, placed it by his kennel and IT WORKED IMMEDIATELY! I don’t need it every night but if he can’t settle at the beginning of the night or if he wakes up crying during the night, I turn it on…and he drifts right back off again. Maybe it’s my puppy…but I’m telling you, this is working like a charm for me so if you’ve a puppy you can’t settle, give it a try!!! (Also, if someone knows of one that works to get menopausal women to sleep…let me know…I’ll try anything!)
I’m three weeks in and I’m finally getting dressed each day, I’m just about finished the pantry makeover, I’m getting a full night’s sleep, I’m happy when visitors pop by and I’m getting a bit more work done…but I have to say, no matter how many times people said “It’s just like having a new baby” and no matter how many times I’ve done this before…I was really and truly NOT prepared for the chaos this little guy would bring to my home.
Nor was I entirely prepared to fall completely and absolutely…head over heals in love!
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Make sure to check out Artie on Instagram as he worms his way into everyone’s heart! It’s a good thing he’s cute!