As I type this, I’m one day shy of a month with my new puppy. Other than moving to America, she’s the biggest commitment I’ve made in my life and is definitely the biggest responsibility. My girlfriend and I picked her up on a spur of the moment type of wim, she was at a Rescue Center. My girlfriend turned to me (as she has any time we go to a pet store or rescue) and said, awwww…can’t we get her? I’ve always quickly said no. My reasoning being that, some day soon I might decide to move back to Ireland, I’m also living in an apartment, it would be unfair of me to get a puppy and leave it locked up at home all day, alone and scared. Well this time she asked and circumstances had changed. I’m working from home 100% now. I also researched laws about traveling with dogs.
You see, back when I was a kid. I can remember stories of dogs being moved from or to Ireland and having to stay in a quarantine for months before being released back to their owners. It seemed so cruel but back then it was a necessary evil to prevent diseases spreading. Now, a collective of developed countries have agreed to allow pets to travel as long as they meet a certain criteria. So now, I really didn’t have any of those excuses left to give. So, on July 12th 2014 a little puppy named Bachal came home with me.
First thing we did was give her a new name! I wanted to call her Liz or Lizzy after the band Thin Lizzy but it just didn’t seem to stick. The Z sound seemed a little too harsh to say for such a cute little fuckereen. My sister had been binge watching the show 30 Rock…the main characters name happens to be Liz Lemon. So, we mulled it over for a few minutes and thought Lemon would be a great name. We got her a yellow collar and her identity was decided!
We went out and picked up a crate\kennel\cage\den or whatever. I was a little opposed to the idea but after being shown some stuff online, I lamented and thought it made sense. The explanation is that dogs historically want their own space, or their own den. It’s a safe place for them to go. If you get a Crate and get them to eat their meals in it and sleep in it, it will eventually become familiar and be their go to safe place. The first night was hell. She cried and whimpered a lot until my girlfriend literally went down on the ground beside the crate with her hand in it, rubbing her until she fell asleep. Little did I know, that Lemon just picked her favorite. My girlfriends sweetness and compassion to her when she was scared and in a strange place has resulted in her being fixated with her. So, if you’ve got a new puppy and want it to do what you say…be there for her on the first night!
Subsequently, she has slept through the night, most nights! For the first week, I was setting an alarm to wake up around 2am…after going to sleep at 11:30pm. I would wake up and bring her out to do her business and she would duly oblige. During the day, I would bring her out every 2 hours. When out of her crate she had a few accidents but now just a month in and just over 3 months old, she knows to go outside. She will cry to be let out, we bring her out and she goes right away. If you have a puppy that’s under 3 months old, they are meant to only be able to hold their bladder for 3 hours so remember this and remember you need to be able to bring her\him out regularly. If you’re living in an apartment, particularly not on the ground floor…this can be a real pain in the ass! Also, picking up shit multiple times a day isn’t particularly fun BUT it’s worth it!
My girlfriend has been working hard at training her. In the last 2 weeks she has learned Sit, Paw, Lay Down, Here and Roll Over. It’s pretty amazing that this tiny little creature, who has seen so much change in her life so quickly is already able to comprehend and learn so much. My girlfriend actually just watched YouTube tutorial videos in order to learn how to train her and they are working great! The next command up will be stay, this one apparently takes several weeks to learn. But I’m sure she’ll get it. If you want to train a puppy, I strongly suggest you checkout YouTube videos and dedicated 10-15 minutes at least twice a day to train the puppy.
If you get a dog, for the love of god. Pick up after them. It is a pain in the ass to do but I’d imagine it would be even more mentally taxing on you to watch as the area you’re living in becomes nothing but a dung hill of your pets shit. Also, beware…find a dog food that works for you and stick with it. Try to ensure you don’t go switching foods too regularly or else the shits you’ll be picking up will be much more rancid!!
Go to a vet and make sure all the shots are squared away. Puppys need booster shots to ensure there immune system is strong enough to fight off infections they may catch from other dogs. They also require a Rabbies shot. It’s very important for a puppy to get inoculated young, otherwise they should never be allowed to socialize with adult dogs.
Finally. If you are in a position to get a dog e.g. You have the time to devote to one, you have the money to support one. Go for it! It’s very rewarding. I’ve actually lost some weight from all the walking she makes me do. Working from home, my apartment has kind of become more of a workplace than homely. I found myself becoming increasingly stressed out. Being able to talk at her, pet her or watch her chase her tail or do something stupid is an instant de-stresser. I’ll be sorry to see the end of her puppy days but I’m looking forward to seeing what kind of dog she becomes. So far, it looks like she’ll be a loyal, affectionate cuddled of a dog.