WTF Was I Thinking?! We Got a Puppy!
Well, as you already saw, in a moment of complete insanity, we added a puppy to our home. He is an adorable Chocolate Lab puppy, and Little Miss is in love with her new best friend. He has added so much joy and love to our home, but as you know, when you get a puppy, it comes with a lot of work.
Let’s get a puppy
It’s a conversation my husband and I have had for about a year now. We knew we wanted to get a puppy and let Little Miss grow up with a dog in the home. Give her some responsibility, and something to play with, ya know, while I work on getting the husband on board with baby #2.
What we ended up with was the most adorable full bed chocolate lab puppy who is just 9 weeks old and named him Remy. Little Miss got her friend, and I got a lot more responsibility. When we brought him home he immediately took to my husband. This dog must be under or between my husband’s feet at all times. If my husband is gone he is laying on the floor in front of where my husband usually sits on the couch, or on my feet.
Getting a puppy with a toddler adds another layer of difficulty. Now, not only are worried about Little Miss having an accident but now we have to keep constant attention on the pup as well. Half the time while I’m outside with the puppy, Little Miss is at the door telling me she has to go potty too. Lord help me. Twin moms, you have my admiration even more, because dealing with a human and puppy potty training is enough to make me crazy.
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We needed everything
We went from a petless home to owning a pet, so we needed to get everything for him right away. A harness, a leash, and a bed were our first priorities so we grabbed those things at our local farm store.
One of the first things we needed was a dog crate similar to this one here. We bought one very similar to this, we were in a hurry so it’s not this exact brand, but it is almost identical to this one.
We are sort of crate training him. I have set times during the day that he is in his crate, and the door is open for him to go in and hide from Little Miss whenever she gets too crazy for him. She knows that is his spot and she can’t go in with him, but not for lack of trying on her part. We went with a 36″ crate so that it will last a long time, hopefully into adulthood, but we realize we may need to get the 40″ crate before then.
The bowls we got are these adorable metallic bowls with little paw prints and bones on them. They were picked out by Little Miss because of the paw prints, but they actually match the current colors of the house decently well, and as we renovate, they will still match what I am wanting.
I also liked that they were large enough to last him into adulthood, so they won’t need to be replaced because of their size. These bowls are also set up for Gobble Stopper, which is a really neat device you place in the bowl to help slow down your pup’s eating. That isn’t something we have gotten yet, but we will when we have to.
Managing a toddler & puppy
One of the hardest things is balancing a puppy and a toddler. In so many ways, they are so similar. With potty training, not listening to a word I say, and creating messes everywhere. My life has become a bit more hectic.
I had this toddler thing down, Little Miss is good to play on her own for a while. I could get in my self care throughout my day. I had time set aside to work on my Virtual Assistant work, and to blog. Everything would go smoothly through our day. We had things down to a science.
Now, our world has been turned upside down. Little miss spends her time trying to get the puppy to play with her on demand, or to leave her alone as she plays. I am constantly taking the puppy outside to potty, and I have managed to be outside when she had to go potty, which resulted in her having an accident. I felt awful, but accidents will happen on both sides.
Self care in the chaos
Right now, as I usually talk about, life is crazy, and that means the first thing to be cut back on is my self care time. It’s hard enough to find time to do the things I must do to keep a household running, so the things that I need to keep running. I have to force myself to take time to fill my soul.
Since we are sort of crate training the puppy, I have him in there for a little while in the morning and in the afternoon. During the morning crate session, I take advantage and use that time to work out. This is not something that I usually would have made a priority, but I have been doing Bikini Body Mommy and fell in love. I’m still awful about doing it on weekends, but Monday through Friday are down good.
During his afternoon time in the crate, it is usually when Little Miss is taking her nap, which means I get a little time for myself. It is in this time that I work, play with makeup, play online, take a nap, or whatever it is that I need to do for myself. Keeping this time for me is crucial to me keeping everything going in the right direction.
Carving out time for myself, even in the chaos of motherhood, and puppy training is essential to who I am as a mother. In order to keep everything going smoothly, I must be at my best. To work with Little Miss daily on her letters, colors, numbers & shapes, I need to make sure I’m not burned out. I require time for myself in order to make this all work.
What are your biggest puppy training tips? I need them all so I can get through this time.