The Puppy Has Landed

That’s right. Saturday morning we were a dog-free family, and by the afternoon, that had changed forever. As we were driving to pick up Ferris, the only real comparison I could think of was when we were going to the hospital for Tomas to be born. Yes, I realize Tomas is a human and Ferris is a dog, but still, some of the principles were the same. We’d read up on how to handle a dog. We had some of the theory down, but the nuts and bolts were still very much blurry. Particularly because we’d be having a puppy come home with us, not just a dog.

I had several dogs growing up. I love dogs, and l wasn’t worried about the dog aspects at all. You feed them. You take them out to do their business. You can train them or play with them or do any number of things with them. But they already know what’s what and who’s who. Puppies, on the other hand, definitely do not.

And sure enough, it’s been quite the ride this weekend. We’ve set things up in our house so that he can be in the kitchen, and that’s it. There are dog gates and doors in the way of everywhere else he might want to go. We’re working on crate training and housebreaking him at the same time, which is a real bundle of joy. He’s very well meaning, but he’s got no clue in the world what he’s supposed to be doing. (Which is to be expected. He’s an 8 week old puppy transplanted into a new house with new people.)

I spent Saturday morning reading How to Raise the Perfect Dog, and that was a great book to give me a basic foundation of what I’d want to be doing with Ferris. Then again, it all seems so straightforward in the book. “Housebreaking is easy. I just do this, this, and this, and the dog is good to go in three days.” I have no doubt housebreaking is easy for someone who’s already done it multiple times. That would be like me saying “Writing a book is easy.” Because it is, more or less. You write some every day, and after a while, the books is done. Ta-da! But so much of the ease of that process comes from having done it so often. Sure, you can get to the point where you can look back and it all seems to simple, but when you’re there in the trenches for the first time?

Not so much.

It really helps that the family is all helping out. Tomas and Daniela are taking turns taking Ferris out to pee. Denisa and I are tag-teaming getting him out in the morning and watching him during the day. But for now, it really feels like a full time operation. Keep an eye on him. Try to get him to go outside before he goes inside, if you get my drift. Thankfully he’s sleeping a ton, which gives us plenty of breaks. Even still, the whole weekend felt like one big blur to me as we tried to stay on top of all of this. It’s a good thing we’re doing it well before the kids have to head back to school and Denisa has work. In theory, this should be better in a few weeks. At least relatively. Right? Right?

In the meantime, I suppose I can be grateful I’m back at work on campus. 🙂

Word on the street is Ferris is doing well today. When I came down this morning to let him out, he’d rolled in so much poop in his cage, it was like he thought it was an audition for the roll of “Poop Rolling Pin.” (He nailed the part, by the way. I would totally have given it to him if the part existed.) So I gave him his first bath and handed him off to Denisa with a “good luck.” (For the record, Denisa actually cleaned up the disaster area. I was busy bathing the dog. Big props to Denisa on that one.)

In any case, we’ll see how things are looking when I head home today. He’s a cute bounder, I’ll say that much. Having him fall asleep in your lap is really endearing.

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