I live! I know it’s been a long time. We had a very rough patch involving a scary illness in my family; fortunately it has resolved well, but it was pretty intense. We’ve had a princess birthday party and a superhero birthday party (all the kids came in costume; it was great) and now we are on summer break, which is pretty much just non-stop running, cleaning and threatening to take stuff away until I collapse from exhaustion.
Also, there’s Poppy.
My husband grew up in Japan, and it was always his dream to have a dog, as having a dog is very difficult in Japan. I always had cats, and while I like dogs, I can’t say I ever dreamed of having one. I promised my husband that we could have a dog when all the kids were potty trained, and in spring. April 1, we had a puppy.
This is Poppy:
She’s a total goofball. She’s some sort of lab mix we got from a puppy rescue. They said she’s part German Shepherd, but she’s turning out to be fairly small, so it’s probably something else. She’s friendly, good with kids and cats but not crazy about other dogs, and she’s been a huge amount of work.
See, I’m used to cats. Every cat I ever had was trained by showing them a litter pan and scratching post, and squirting them off the table. Boom, trained. Jiji, my current cat, was an especially easy, cuddly guy.
Anyway, we got Poppy at eight weeks, which meant we had to house train her, crate train her, and try to train her not to destroy everything she could get her little teeth on. We built fences after she shredded by rose and vegetable beds. I’d always dreamed of having a big garden and was livid when she dug it up. My husband said, “I’m sorry my dream is literally eating yours.” Good fences make good dogs, though, and she’s much more pleasant at five months.
Poppy learned to play by playing with Jiji. Weekly, we take her to “puppy play group.” She plays like a cat, leaping up on her back legs and batting with her front feet. The trainer thinks she was likely isolated as a baby and simply doesn’t know how to be a dog. She’s needed a lot of socialization, but she’s making progress.
I’ll say this, as first time puppy owners: don’t go into it blind. It’s a crazy amount of work, pee, energy and destruction. It’s like having a toddler that vaults gates and runs much faster than you. It’s non-stop attention and reinforcement. Everyone in the family needs to be on board, because everyone is affected.
That said, it’s a lot of fun, too, and she’s a good friend. She’ll grow up with our girls and take care of them. Plus, she’s really cute, and despite her size, thinks she’s a big fluffy lapdog.
Even Jiji likes her.