What do you do when your dog gets a little bit easier to manage? You get a puppy – that’s what you do! And so it was that our family recently welcomed young Luna to join our 2 1/2 year-old Vinnie – completing our family (hopefully) for once and for all.
Having written previously about what having a dog does to your life, I thought now was a good time to update you if you’re wondering whether to add a puppy to your brood.
1. Wake up. A lot.
You know ‘Rock Around the Clock‘ – where Bill Hayley sings “One, two, three o’clock, four o’clock, rock”. Having a new puppy is a bit like that, except those are the times you’ll be waking up as your puppy decides:
- One o’clock: She doesn’t want to be in a crate
- Two o’clock: She needs a wee
- Three o’clock: She needs a wee
- Four o’clock: She wants a cuddle
And let’s not forget the times in between when your dog gets annoyed with the puppy cuddling up next to him. Or hears a noise. Or thinks that there may be a cat within 15 miles of your home.
2. Feed the dogs
While you have trained your dog to sit patiently and wait for his food, your puppy still needs to learn. Until she does, she will shriek like a banshee and pogo like a punk. You will regret the open-plan extension you built and wish for the cosy sound-absorbing kitchen you used to have.
3. Go for a walk
Now with one dog that is fully mature (although robbed of his knackers – poor boy!), and one puppy that cannot go on long walks, you have the following dilemma. Do you…..?
A. Walk the dog, crate the puppy, then walk the puppy later.
B. Walk the dog and the puppy together, but put the puppy in a rucksack on your front once she’s had her requisite mini-walk.
I went for Option B, because I thought it would be fun. And she would look cute. It was, and she did, but my puppy weighed close to 7 kilos. That’s is a lot of kgs to carry on your front. Especially when your dog likes a good three-mile stroll to start his day.
4. Hop on a conference call
All I can say is thank christ I am freelance. And that working from home is the norm for most of my clients. And that most of them have dogs. One call involved four attendees with five dogs between them. The person who didn’t have a dog was under pressure from his wife to get one. I’m unsure whether the assorted yipping, whining and barking from everyone’s hounds convinced him.
WHAT I WILL SAY IS……despite all the distraction – including my colleague’s dog barking because she heard me say “postman” (!) – we managed to hold it together enough to conduct a detailed discussion on virtual desktops. Perhaps having that level of distraction sharpens your game. More likely we’re all so bloody desperate for non-canine contact that the call was like a lifeline to the outside world and we devoured those technology words like a meal at Le Manoir.
5. Try to write something
A call is one thing, getting into “flow” is quite another. If you don’t have a puppy, you can have an immersive, ‘virtual puppy’ experience by doing this:
- Stab yourself in the hand, ankle or thigh every five seconds with a fork to emulate a puppy’s teeny tiny teeth.
- Go and stand in your garden every ten minutes to experience the joy of ‘encouraging’ your puppy to have a wee or poo. This can be made even more realistic by squealing, “Wee-wee – good girl!”
- To mimic a dog clambering onto your laptop while you’re trying to work, press the palm of your hand firmly onto your keyboard. Then swipe your hand across like Little Richard giving it the full Tutti Frutti. For an enhanced effect, lick your thumb and wipe it across the screen.
- Make a cup of coffee. Slosh it liberally across the table.
- Depending on the breed of virtual puppy you have in mind, trim an appropriate amount of hair from your head and sprinkle it on your clothes / in your keyboard.
- Steam clean your floor.
- And again – your virtual puppy has just wee’d in the hallway.
- Give up on the idea of writing then notice your puppy is sleeping. Write like a demon.
6. And finally…
Book a meeting for the following day. Announce to your partner the moment they get through the door that tomorrow it’s their turn 🙂
Want more puppy dog tales? Try these:
Or you can buy the books.