Brady Blue has finally arrived… and so far, he’s lived up to the hype.
After years of our children prodding, pleading and praying, our 8 week old Golden Doodle puppy showed up last weekend, making dreams come true. The breeder drove him and 4 of his siblings from Michigan to their new homes in Pennsylvania and New Jersey. Wilson and I were away, so some generous friends offered to take him for the first night. (Shout out to the Backers– hope he left only memories and not puddles and teeth marks!)
As I’ve mentioned before, neither Wilson nor I had a dog growing up, so this was a big step and we anticipated a huge adjustment.
Before his arrival, I shook down dozens of friends for insider tips on care and training. I eagerly read the terrific book “Good Owners, Great Dogs,” and spent over an hour perusing the aisles at PetSmart.
The groundwork reminded me of being pregnant the first time, under the illusion that the best gear and thorough research would prepare me for anything.
But new living things– both furry and bald– are unpredictable. You’re never quite ready. But they’re so sweet, innocent, and helpless, your nurturing instincts kick in and you quickly forget what life was like without them.
We all fell in love right away.
10-year-old Aden– who pushed the hardest for the pup– has been extremely attentive and earnest in helping me train him.
Like an infant, the first few days were bliss. He cuddled and slept and smelled good. Every little noise and expression was adorable. By day 3, his personality came out and he became more brave, adventurous, and defiant. Now he’s going up stairs, teething on shoes and doesn’t need to be sitting on my feet all day (although it slowed me down, I loved that ephemeral phase.)
He doesn’t like the crate much. He resists going in and if you can get him in, he cries as soon as you close the door. It hurts to hear him cry so I don’t leave him in there much during the day when I’m home, but he sleeps in the crate near our bed at night. Wilson and I have been strong badass parents. We don’t give in and let him out, and the crying has dissipated each night.
Last night– his 5th away from home– he only cried for 5 minutes and slept a glorious stretch from 11:30p to 6:20am. We’re on a puppy roll.
It took a few days to find a routine, but he sleeps a lot during the day so I’ve been able to get some work done when he naps and try to take him out every 2-3 hours and after every meal. He has met many kids and adults and is friendly and mellow.
He can be affectionate, especially in the morning. I never thought I would enjoy a dog licking my face. Whenever I saw other people receive a tongue lashing I thought it was gross, but a peck from my pooch is now sweet. Plus, I know exactly where that tongue has been. He hasn’t had all his shots yet so he can only go in our backyard and the house.
Don’t get me wrong, it’s a lot of work. I get so frustrated when he has an accident in the house, mostly because it means I’ve fallen down on the job, and missed an opportunity for a teaching moment. But there’s always another pee coming my way.
He has little bursts of activity where he goes nuts with a toy or a blanket, rolling over and growling while wagging his cute little white tail. But after about 10 minutes he’s spent and passes out.
There are certainly similarities between taking care of a puppy and a newborn but puppies are much easier. When I need to leave or get something done, I put him in a crate. He eats and drinks on his own. And he’s as cute and lovable as a newborn (let’s face it, some babies look like little, wrinkled old men, but there’s no such thing as an ugly puppy!)
And I didn’t have to carry him for 9 months or forego sushi and wine.
Look at this face.