05 May 2011

Raising a Puppy - Week 1

Gem! I adopted Gem (or Farm Fresh Buns in the Oven's Gem Lake [formal name; mom's name is Buns]) from Beckett Ranch in Lyons, Colorado, on 1 May 2011. He was born on 7 March 2011, so that makes him a little over 8 weeks old. This puppy caught my eye because he makes eye contact and seems to like to "pose" for pictures.

Like any puppy, he's quite a handful. Or many hands full... For the first three days, I was so sleep deprived I even fell asleep just inside the front door after taking him out for a potty break in the middle of the night. Today is the first day I've felt awake enough to write.

This is really hard. I do not recommend that you get a puppy unless you are prepared for it to be much harder than you think. Separation anxiety is the most difficult thing to battle here, and Blue Aroo, our 13-year-old husky mix, is finding the puppy's crying & barking very trying. He sees it as a distress call, which it is, and he panics and/or comes to us to fix the problem. I'm hoping we can work this out by treating Blue the same as usual, except doing things like feeding him turkey while puppy is nearby and puppy gets nothing, etc., to reinforce that he is alpha and all is OK.

The easiest thing so far has been potty training, with just two accidents in the house that were my fault because I wasn't paying attention. Gem has figured out how to ask at the door to go out. Next (when he stops trying to eat it), I will hang a bell on the doorknob for him to ring when he needs out.

Like Buddy before him, Gem seems to prefer sleeping spread out on the tile floor or with his head up on something. He also moves around a lot, waking up for a couple of seconds, turning around, and going back to sleep. I just wish he would be OK with sleeping peacefully in his crate or in his playpen.

I should probably be sleeping now to catch up on rest I'm missing in the middle of the night. Twice up and outside. This is when I really miss having a yard, but, on the other hand, I wouldn't leave him out in the yard unsupervised, and we have a park-like lawn right outside our deck's fence. Gem is doing well; I have to just remember to breathe and sleep when I can.

I took this week off; I'm not sure how going back into the office next week will work. I'll keep you updated!

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