We were beyond excited to collect Rubeus a week ago (where has the time gone?!), but, despite reading all the books and articles I could get my hands on, the first week was definitely not all sunshine, puppy kisses and rainbows.
He’s the most darling, beautiful creature, and I am completely in love. But I’m not going to lie to you – it’s been tough!
Currently reading: The Celts
We were up at 5am to get the train to Shropshire and collect our puppy. We’re completely exhausted, but very excited. We’ve decided to name him Rubeus – after Hagrid from Harry Potter. It’s a 4-hour train journey, but Rubeus is waiting for us at the train station.
I’m a bit nervous. What if he doesn’t like us? What if he’s a nightmare on the train back? What if the train journey back freaks him out completely?
The minute his breeder hands him over, I think I melt a little bit. I can’t get over how absolutely tiny he is! He’s gorgeous. And already wants to explore the world.
He’s a perfect angel on the train. He has a little wander, but otherwise sits quietly and watches the world go by. He’s not phased at all by the people who want to come and pet him, other dogs, or the journey. I’m so relieved. There is only one wee-wee incident.
He settles in quickly at home, has a snooze, runs around the garden, and is generally adorable. Then the fireworks start (it’s Bonfire Night weekend), and he’s petrified. I’m in tears trying to calm him, and cursing the neighbours. I used to like Bonfire Night…
He calms down and goes to sleep, and we’re up at 3am to take him out for a wee. He’s so well behaved, I can’t believe it. I was expecting mayhem and mass clean up.
We’re supposed to be having a quiet day at home, so Rubeus can settle in. Of course, everyone wants to meet him. We have a flow of visitors all day. He’s a perfect little gentleman and plays nicely with everyone.
My housemate’s cats are a bit wary, but he’s not particularly interested in them. They happily ignore each other.
We have one toilet incident in the house. At 3am, my partner puts him on the floor while he finds his shoes to take him outside. It’s horrific. It’s everywhere and it stinks.
We make a short excursion to the high street for a coffee. It’s his first time out, and, while at first he’s a little nervous, he quickly decides he wants to explore.
He hasn’t had his vaccinations yet, so my partner carries him in a sling bag. It’s the most adorable thing I’ve ever seen. We’re proud puppy parents.
He cries in the coffee shop until we put him on the floor, and then he runs around happily. He’s good as gold, actually. I can’t believe it. After a few minutes, he settles down under the table to sleep. He does not appreciate my carrot cake.
He takes a nap when we get back, and wakes up in a foul mood. Where did my cute little puppy go?! He barks at me until I feed him, even though it’s not his meal time, and bites us both repeatedly for no reason. He runs around like a mad thing, and gets into absolutely everything. He barks when I remove any unsafe items from his reach. He eats cat poo in the garden, and then the cat food, and resists all attempts to prevent this. He stinks now.
There have been several wee-wee incidents in the house, despite taking him out very often. I don’t understand what we’re doing wrong. And I’m having no luck getting him to “sit”. I spend a long time watching YouTube videos of people whose 8-week old puppies sit with seemingly no training at all.
We have been defeated by the baby gate. It does not want to fit, and falls apart when we try to attach it to the wall. After an hour of Googling and swearing, while desperately trying to restrain an overexcited puppy, we give up.
Then he falls asleep. So do we. He wakes us up at 2.30am, needing the toilet. And again at 6am. We’re so tired by this point we can barely string a sentence together. We have come to the conclusion that we need a crate.
We take a trip to Pets at Home to buy a puppy harness. He’s very good on his first bus trip, but not at all interested in the shop. He cries to be put down. So now we’re on edge and just trying to get out of there as fast as possible. The harnesses are all too big for him. We end up buying one anyway, but have an argument on the way out of the shop about how ugly it is.
He’s exhausted when we get home, and sleeps for an hour. We are also exhausted, and are longing for any time to ourselves after three days of non-stop puppy supervision.
He’s learned to sit! It’s a miracle! All that YouTube self-flagellation paid off, because I adjusted my approach and now he’s sitting on command (as long as I’m holding a piece of sausage – not kibble, only sausage, and there’s nothing more exciting going on). He’s also learned to go up and down stairs, does “follow” and “up” (for yet more sausage), and comes back most of the time when called. I am one very proud mamma.
I have to go into work today, so I’ve left Rubeus with my partner. I already miss him. I’m pretty sure he’s fine, but I have separation anxiety. I keep smelling him on my jumper and getting sad.
The lack of any personal time is starting to kill both of us though, so it might be nice to be at work… At least for a few hours. I mean, we literally can’t get anything done! Laundry is piling up, the house is a mess, and my writing goals are going woefully unmet.
I thought this time off would be relaxing, but I seem to spend all my time running up and down the stairs. Every half hour I take him to potty, and every 10 minutes I’m chasing him away from the stairs as he desperately tries to get to the cat food in the kitchen, stopping him doing something he shouldn’t, or listening to him cry because he wants to go downstairs…
I shouldn’t complain, but no-one tells you about this… My partner and I have been fighting since yesterday because we’re knackered from the 2am and 6am potty trips, and the constant demands are wearing us both down.
Does that sound selfish and ungrateful? I know, it does. I love him so much, and I’m having the best time watching him learn and grow, and playing with him. But the realities of having an 8-week old puppy can be harsh.
My partner brings Rubeus to visit me at lunchtime, and we run around the park. I take him up to the office to introduce him to everyone. He’s a big hit. And he met a dog in the park and behaved perfectly. I’m so proud!
I spend the afternoon applying for home working jobs. I miss the puppy too much.
Thankfully, I’m at home now until next week. I missed Rubeus so much yesterday, and was so jealous of my partner being home with him. He doesn’t appreciate how lucky he is at all…
The crate delivery date has been changed. I’m freaking out. How are we ever going to manage without it? I don’t know if I can take much more of this. We’re fighting constantly because we’re both exhausted. I don’t think he’ll ever be housetrained, and then what? The plan was to take him to work with me eventually. I can’t do that if he poops on the floor, can I?
The current issue is the kitchen, where my housemate leaves the cat food for his three cats… Rubeus is desperate to eat it. He keeps making a break for it and getting a snoot full of Whiskers.
He did his first sit today without a treat being held at his nose. I am very proud. Less than 9-weeks’ old and he can already sit on command! Of course, he refused to do it again when my partner returned, expecting to see this amazing accomplishment. Still, I know he did it. Early days.
Currently reading: Earthsea
I can’t believe it’s been a week since we brought Rubeus home!
We had our first dry night – that’s the big news. And we would have had a completely dry morning, only he was a little too excited this morning and didn’t finish his business outside. But he did get it on the newspaper we put down for him, so I’m still pleased and proud. Taking this one as a win.
I went out to pick up poop in the garden before breakfast, and had a literal shit fit. It was everywhere. Am I the only one cleaning up after him?! For fucks sake… And the smell… I cannot even describe to you how vile the whole thing was. And at one point, despite my best efforts, it got on my hand. There was poo on me… I was nearly sick. I tagged my partner in, because, I’m sorry, but he should also have to suffer.
We’re having a quiet day at home today. I’ll spend most of it working, while Rubeus plays in the conservatory. We’ve been trying a schedule I was given by someone in my new puppy support group on Facebook. It’s a game changer! Now he’s sleeping more, and more regularly. I can get things done. Plus, we’re getting him outside on time so there are fewer accidents. No new puppy owner should be without this thing, seriously…
I built Rubeus a fort in the conservatory out of bedlinen, and, while at first he was a bit sceptical, he’s started stealing clean laundry and dragging it off to his stronghold. I am finding it hard to be annoyed by this, because it’s just too darn cute. I’ve ordered him a children’s play tent, since the fort was such a success. I know, he’s spoilt… I mean really, whose puppy has a play tent? Mine. Mine does. Don’t even care…
I’m terribly sad at the thought of going back to work next week. I’ll miss all these wonderful little moments, watching him grow up!