This cute face’s name is Lola and she is our new family member! We (okay, more me than my husband :D) wanted to get a puppy for quite a while and finally decided to get her for our anniversary.
It didn’t even take a long time to research a good breeder, found them quite quickly and went to see a few puppies with no intention to buy that day.
But, of course, we gave up to the charms of that wonderful pup-lady. She just melted in Dec’s arms and was very playful and adorable. After 10 minutes with her, we couldn’t resist. In a few days when she was 8 weeks, we came to pick her up with all the paperwork.
Trust me, I didn’t think that getting a puppy is easy, but I definitely didn’t realize that it would be that hard! Day 1…we introduced her to the house, it took time to walk through every room, play around and smell every single corner of the room. Aaaaand, of course, the first 💩. Back then we thought we will start with a puppy pads training, so I dedicated a few spots in the flat for her “business”. Ideally, it should be one, but the flat is quite big + we decided to divide it into 2 parts for daily activities and at night, that’s why in the beginning we had 2-4 spots (in case If she’s lost in the flat and still can use the toilet where it was supposed to be).
As responsible puppy parents, we bought everything needed:
- lots of toys (soft, chewy, etc)
- puppy pads,
- anti-bacterial spray (in case of accidents in a toilet)
- training spray (doesn’t work for us at all..)
- treats for training
- bags for “jobs’
and no matter how many toys she’s got, she’s still more interested in the whole house rather than toys. She started teething, that’s why it’s so fascinating for her to chew the hell of our house.
Anyway, she felt quite comfortable at home and in the evening we brought her to other vaccinated dogs and started socializing! It’s crucial between 3-16 weeks.
The first night was also very calm, she didn’t cry, was playing her toys and slept nicely through the night, although EVERYONE asked how the first night was and If we got some sleep.
We slept quite alright the whole week, there was some mess to clean in the morning, but we were a bit more settled and started getting used to having a pup. That was the week when we got the first vaccination done. The vet said: no walking, preferably stay at home till the next one (4 weeks), stay away from dogs if you are not sure they are vaccinated, well, basically, to be very careful. We were about to obey those rules very nicely but it wasn’t too easy.
We realized Lola doesn’t understand puppy pads and she sees all floors as the toilet arena. Tried training spray, praising when she does it on the pads, but nothing seemed to work (although we also were looking for the results too soon). That’s why we tried to get her outside for the toilet and it seemed to work much better! We all know the drill by now, get her out when she:
- woke up
- had her food
Stuck to this schedule we decided, that’s how we will keep it If it works much better for her routine and training.
The socializing aspect was also going very well – we spent time with dogs that we know are vaccinated + took Lola to pet stores where people came and spent some time with her as well as the employers, that’s where Lola could meet new people (I’ve read that till the age of 16 weeks puppies need to meet more than 100 new people, I think we are succeeding here :D).
She started to do some training to leave her alone but to be honest didn’t have time to get right into it and consistency is too important, so for now just paused it a bit and will get to it asap!
This week was the most challenging for us in a way of getting used to NOT having enough time to ourselves. I felt like the mother of a child. You don’t have time to take a shower, forget to eat and house is a mess. Basically it was this way because I was combining work with puppy sitting. I wasn’t able to leave Lola alone for a while, wanted to make sure she’s got 0 accidents in the house.
I think during this week we actually already started getting first results on “0 accidents in the house” days, so I was very focused on that. Dec also realized that week that he doesn’t have enough time to himself. We were both too caught up in a puppy duty which is okay, we just were not ready mentally.
Maybe it was too early, but that week we had a weekend off. We needed a time out and time for ourselves. Lola was having some progress and wow she’s grown already! The vet did say she might weight around 10kg when we’re back in 4 weeks, I think now she’s around 7kg. It’s getting harder to carry her down the stairs 4-6 times a day.
Ah, yeah! Why do we carry her? Well, you see, Golder Retrievers’ hips and elbows are at risk for dysplasia, an inherited disease that causes the joints to develop improperly and results in arthritis. I’ve heard it’s genetic and some other versions, but our breeder said: “NO STAIRS”..with no deadline, so after googling on the first week, I found info that IDEALLY – FOR ABOUT 1 YEAR. Do you know how much an average golden retriever weights around that age? 31 kilograms. 31!!!! When Lola will be 6 months she potentially can weight around 20 kilos. It will be impossible to carry her around, we will just break our backs.
For now, we are limiting stairs as much as possible but I think soon she will have to get used to them. Also, the breeder said, “don’t let her jump off the couch” – easier said than done…she’s so quick sometimes that she just flies around the room, jumping from bed and couches 😀 But I think it made her legs much stronger (looking at the muscles now). And she loved to run! Absolutely adores it. I can’t ask her to sit down, don’t play, don’t go crazy sometimes and just be quiet. She’s a puppy!!
Anyways, we went for a short holiday to Naples and Lola was such a good girl at Dec mum’s for those 2 days, an absolute star! We did realize that the house without her feels super empty and wrong…and although we did have some rest (being completely exhausted from traveling), we missed her too much!
We barely have any toilet accidents in the house, Lola wakes me up at night (or I wake up when she wonders about), we have barely any toilets inside at night. She’s great with other dogs (except for the neighbor Husky…she’s quite scared of her), she’s quite nice with kids. We are used to her schedule, Lola knows it as well and it is getting a little bit easier, you know. Tomorrow is her second injection and we can’t wait till we can FINALLY travel again, go for walks, go everywhere we want, I can continue going to coffee shops to work from there and, moreover, have a bit more freedom (no house prison).
The first month is the toughest one I hope. People do say the first few months are challenging, but I believe as soon as you are getting used to a new family member and her/his routine, you’re fine. We are so happy to have her and absolutely excited about the next week! We will go to Leeds all together, a first decent trip with her!
If you think you’re in the teaching position all the time, you are wrong. Lola is teaching me patience. I swear everything around me taught me patience this year and I wasn’t a good student, but I am getting better. Yes I do moan about not having time, being tired, waking up at night, not going to the dance classes often enough, but I did want a dog and we got one and I have no regrets at all!
Puppy is happiness! I can not wait till the day when Lola is a fully grown majestic, intelligent, wise and gorgeous dog!