After two and a half weeks of wedding chaos, our sweet Molly finally came home from Stephen’s parents’ house last weekend. The wedding was perfect, the honeymoon was amazing, but I definitely missed my sweet fur babies. Bringing Molly home again reminded me of the time we first brought her home and all the things I wish I knew then (and now…I definitely still make Molly-related mistakes now!)
Molly is almost two, and they say that they outgrow there puppy habits around that age. I don’t see that happening anytime soon though, because her puppy habits are still in overdrive. She might just be a late bloomer, but that’s ok. I’m not totally ready to lose all of her Molly quirks. So luckily, I still have practice tending to puppy-needs.
I feel like everyone is getting a new puppy lately, so today, I’m sharing some of the lessons I learned when Molly was just a sweet little nugget.
1. Puppies chew everything. And when they miss you, they chew things more. For example, if I leave my clothes in the middle of the floor (and I frequently do… I’m hard to live with.) I will come home and my underwear, bra, shirt, whatever will be all over the living room. Actually, if any clothes are easy access (like in the hamper), she will get them and chew them. Also she and the cat tag team. Mimo will bump things off the counter top and Molly will chew them up. We come home to pens and pencils demolished, a ring cleaning pen that no longer usable, and my personal favorite, she ate my dad’s father of the bride present the first time around. Moral of the story. Don’t leave anything out ever, even if you think a dog wouldn’t eat that. They will.
2. Put puppies in the car early and often. Molly got SO carsick when she was little. We adopted her from a rescue organization when she was five months old which was almost too late to help get her used to riding in a car. When we drove her home she threw up 5 times. 5! And she was in my lap so guess who got the brunt of the vomit. Honestly, she hasn’t gotten much better, but she has definitely improved. Here are a few tricks to help with carsickness in case you get a sweet pup with a weak stomach:
-Roll down the windows.
-Place them on the floor of the passenger’s seat and try to get them to lay down.
-Always have water, paper towels, and put your dog on a towel.
-Talk to them or sing along with the radio.
-I’ve heard giving your dog a jellybean before a car ride helps, but we tried this and Molly just played with it for an hour.
-Take really short rides for awhile to great places to get them used to being in a car. When I first got Molly, I lived around the corner from a PetSmart and that was perfect because she loved to get in the car and go!
3. If you have any dog with “retriever” in the name, you can never have enough tennis balls. Seriously. STOCK UP! They get really moody if they don’t have one or can’t find it.
4. If you rescue a dog, even if you don’t, they have some issues. Molly is afraid of everything that makes noise: the hairdryer, the landscape people with a blower, the blender, the vacuum, the dust buster, people walking too loudly above us in the apartment. You name it. You have to have a place for them where they feel safe. For Molly, it’s under the bed. She sleeps there, runs there when it’s loud, or is afraid of anything in the house. For example, when I tried to take her pictures for this blog post with the camera. She’s fine with the phone, but freaks out with the camera. Also, if loud noise is your dog’s thing, there is a dog thunder playlist on Spotify that is awesome.
5. Puppies are weird about going to the bathroom. They need a “spot” where they are comfortable going. Until you find the magic spot, you will spend a lot of time outside waiting for them. Be patient.
6. Change up the dog food. One sure-fire way to make your dog happy is to change up their flavor or brand of food. Molly literally flips out when she gets a new brand. One time, I was pouring the new bag into her food bucket and she was standing there eating it as it poured out. Would you want to eat the same thing every day? No? Neither do they.
7. Create a routine on day one and stick to it. Whatever the routine is when you bring your puppy home will be it’s routine forever. If you let the dog sleep with you the first few nights, but have no intention of sleeping together permanently, too bad that dog is sleeping with you forever. If you take the dog out for a walk at 5 p.m., guess who now has to go to the bathroom at 5 p.m. for the rest of your life. Whatever you want the routine to be, start it DAY 1.
Those are my top things I wish I knew. However, my best advice would be to just love on your dog as much as possible. We just lost our Stormy, my family dog that I grew up with, a few weeks ago and my heart still hurts. There is no pain quite like this. Dogs are only put on this earth for a short time, and their favorite thing to do is spend time with their people. We don’t really deserve a creature who loves us this much so love them well early and often.
If you are thinking about getting a puppy or you already have one, check out PuppySpot.com for resources and information about how to raise your pup into a mature and balanced dog.
Do you have a dog, what do you wish you knew when they first came home?