Good Puppy

Well, the good news is Sam has settled in.  YAY!  Seriously, it is like we have a different dog at the house.  On Wednesday a switch was flipped.  I guess it is because he is finally comfortable in his current, new surroundings and we have all found our rhythm.  Wednesday evening he slept from 10pm to 6:15am, or if he wasn’t sleeping at least he wasn’t barking.  I did let him sleep in the room with me and not in his crate.  Well, I intended to put him in his crate but feel asleep before I could.  Had he woken me up at midnight again, he definitely would have been in it.  He did so well I let him sleep in the bedroom again last night – shhh, don’t tell his dad.

At 6:15 I get up and let the dogs out (this has been consistent the last two days) – he’s even going out without his leash like the older pups, which is awesome – and then put them in the sunroom to eat and hang out while I go back to bed for another hour.  I let them out again around 8 when I leave for work and then they hang out in the sunroom during the day.  I have been going home at lunch to take them for a quick walk and then I’ve taken them on longer walks each night when I get home.

Sam is even doing all of his business outside now!  I felt like a proud momma the first time he did and he’s continued to do so – no more accidents in the house!  (Knock on wood.)  Luckily all of the accidents were on the hardwoods and easily cleaned.  The only lasting sign of his presence will be the bite he took out of my foam pillow and evidence of his chewing on our outdoor table legs (yea, that kind of makes me mad but what can I do now?).

Of course, now that we have settled into a rhythm, Sam is leaving tomorrow.  Lucy also leaves tomorrow and Mace went home last night.  We will be dog free.  A part of me is ready for the house to be ours again (P got home last night!) but there’s a part of me that has also settled into this new rhythm and kind of likes it.  Maybe I’ll miss them just a little bit.

Puppy Update – Day 4

Sam has been at the house going on 4 days now, two with only me at home (plus two other dogs).  We are dog sitting for those of you who missed this post.  I thought things were getting better and maybe they are but I’m just running low on patience and steam.  Last night I left the office early because I was unable to get home at lunch to take the dogs out like I try to do.  I took Sam and Lucy on a walk/run around our neighborhood for an hour.  I was actually shooting for about 30 min because I went to the gym too but I got lost in our neighborhood… it took an hour.  It was really great a refreshing to be outside and to be running alongside of them.  They were actually kind of cute because they would run side by side and get tangled up in each other’s leashes.  We’d have to stop to untangle or stop to smell all the bushes.  I let them sniff everything they wanted after a while in hopes that it meant they would use the restroom.  Sam had not gone #2 at all since he’d been at our house and I really, really wanted him to go.

After an hour of walking and some more grazing around our yard we finally went inside and I was like, okay they are tired, they’ve been exercised and given plenty of chances to go to the bathroom… so I let them roam the house (downstairs was blocked off because our dogs love marking our old carpet) for about 5 minutes while I took a really, really fast shower to rinse off.  Seriously, that is all it took.  I get out and for some reason walk into the dining room where there was a puddle on the floor.  A puddle of pee, not residual water dripping from the water bowl (which tends to get all over the place – messy drinkers).  I know it was Sam because Lucy and Mace went outside more than once and they never have accidents.  Sam tends to leak – like he just squirts without even stopping.  I happened to look further away and see that he also left me a nice present, several, in the living room (#2).  Luckily it was on the hardwoods so it was easy to clean but I’m so frustrated.

How do I get the dog to go outside?  He does pee outside, multiple times, so how does he still have it in him when he’s back in?  How do I get him to really do his business?  I don’t know if it’s because all three of them are out at once and he gets distracted or if he just needs more time to sniff around (more than an hour)??  I just don’t know what to do.  Oh, and I put him on Lucy’s leash for a bit because his leash is super short and her’s is extendable and allows him more freedom to roam the yard without me right on top of him and he managed to get it wrapped around a tree and broke the thing…

I am at my wit’s end.  I was up at 5 this morning, back in bed at 5:30, up at 6… and the pattern continued all morning.  I took them out 3 times over the course of 3 hours.  I tried to let Sam hang out outside of his crate in the sunroom with the dog gate up but he broke it down.  He jumps on doors and scratches them.  So the only way I can keep him pinned is in his crate which I hate to do.  I plan to go by at lunch because I have an event after work tonight.  I’m going to see if taking him out alone will help but that’s the only idea I’ve got.  HELP.

No More Puppies

We kind of have an unofficial dog sitting business at our house.  P started it several months ago by posting a flyer at his office.  Not only was it a way to earn some extra money – this started when we were buying/renovating the house, planning the wedding, and I was starting a business with no real knowledge of how successful we’d be from the first – but I think P also saw it as a way to convince me that we don’t want a dog.  Well, we have been super lucky to have only had older, house trained, calm, cool, and collected dogs stay with us over the last year and his goal of proving I don’t want a dog hasn’t been all that successful.  Until this weekend.

We agreed to keep a new dog.  Most of the ones we keep are regulars. They know us, our house, etc.  I know their routine. They are easy.  Sam is a different story altogether.  I was a little nervous when I saw the original email from his owner:  1 year old, likes to chew, sleeps in crate at night.  But, we are trying to pay off some credit cards and also save up to replace our carpet so I was like okay.  Then we had two of our regulars need a sitter too.  We said okay.  991140_739799244504_1469851115_oAs you can see, Sam is a beautiful dog, probably part chocolate lab but unsure totally of his genetic make-up.  And he is very sweet.  I like a dog to give a little love.  But he doesn’t stop.  He doesn’t understand “no.”  He doesn’t understand any commands actually.  He actually was fine during the day, in fact, after Lucy showed up and they got to know one another, it was a very peaceful day.991888_739799469054_2146415648_o

But then nighttime came.  P and I decided to use a Living Social deal we had for dinner and go see a movie with a gift card.  Sam is supposed to be crate trained so we put him in his crate so we could leave.  I have never heard such awful noises come out of a dog.  It was like we were torturing him.  I thought he was going to break his crate into pieces.  P assured me he would calm down once we left and hopefully he did but I think Lucy may be traumatized from the experience.

When we got home we decided to try letting him sleep in our room (on the floor) like Lucy does instead of being in the crate again. He’d already been in there 4 hours while we were out and I could not handle the barking/whining/screaming.  He did pretty well until about 5:45 am when he landed his paws right on top of me.  Okay, I will take them out.  Took the dogs out, was ready to crawl back into bed but Sam wanted to play.  Lucy didn’t want to play.  I didn’t want to play.  Sam didn’t care.  He kept trying to leap up on the bed so P put him in his crate.  Once again, screaming bloody murder ensued.  It was awful.  And it continued.  P finally just got up around 7 and took the dogs downstairs with him so I could sleep before having to keep the nursery at church.

After church, we ate lunch with some friends who are expecting their first child and I was like, I think I can kind of understand what it is like to be up all night with a baby.  Now there are a lot of differences in this situation but it did give me a whole new appreciation for what they are about to encounter with an infant… at least the baby will be theirs, can be cuddled, and won’t be stronger than you… Luckily P was able to nap a bit that afternoon but I did not.  Sam did not want me to nap and kept jumping on me and honestly, he is stronger than I am so I pretty much stood in the rain all afternoon so he could tire himself out outside.  I tried walking both dogs that afternoon but we got caught in the rain so our yard on a leash was as good as I could do.

Sunday night P left for a business trip.  I am pretty sure he was glad to be leaving the dogs behind.  Mace, another regular, came over shortly after and I’m pretty sure he did not want to stay after being greeted by the circus.  After some time on leashes outside I put all three dogs on the deck (door open to the sunroom where I was) and let them play around a bit.  Despite Mace being much older, I think he enjoyed the play time and established his role as alpha male.

1006420_740073030834_1477989269_o997903_740072896104_1192741938_oThankfully it had stopped raining and by the time it started again, they were ready to settle on the floor with me and watch So You Think You Can Dance.  (After I mopped.)  At about this time P texted me with some advice that would change the course of the evening with Sam.  His owner emailed him and told him a squirt bottle with water will keep Sam from barking!  This was a game changer and luckily we had an empty one!  Sam went from crazy, insane puppy to…986869_739799543904_1155753561_o

Calm.  Or at least afraid of being sprayed with water.  Thank you Lord.  I seriously was running low on patience, on sleep, on warm feelings.  I’m usually such a softy with dogs and don’t like to yell or discipline but I was seriously on a short fuse.  Luckily I was able to get him to sleep in his crate last night and with help from my friend, the water bottle, he settled down after about an hour.  And with the help of ear plugs, Benadryl, and a glass (or two) of red wine, I slept pretty well last night until around 6:45 when Lucy barked to let me know she needed out.

After taking 3 dogs outside, feeding them, giving them their meds, and putting them in their respective rooms for the day, I made it to work this morning almost on time, despite getting up about an hour earlier than normal.

It is only Monday.  I have all three until tomorrow and then will have Lucy and Sam until Saturday.  I am hoping we can get into a rhythm and the rain will stop so I can take them for a walk/run and tire them out!  It’s hard being cooped up in the house all day!  Wish me luck making it through this week.  Pray for me and for patience and for the state of our house…

Any other tips, like the water bottle trick, to help get puppies to calm down??  Looks like another night without a walk or run after being cooped up all day.  Momma needs her rest.