Puppy Diaries…The first week

So I hear there are some who are mak­ing wagers whether our new Puppy Peanut will make it past the first few weeks in the Wein­stein home. Already there is a wait­ing list of eager fam­i­lies inter­ested in tak­ing her off our hands if we change our mind. I don’t blame the doubters since only two years ago we brought home another Puppy, whom we named Dex­ter after the TV show char­ac­ter (yeah I know, pretty weird to name a dog after a mur­derer) and within one week we gave him to another fam­ily who love him to pieces.

(Video of get­ting our last dog)

So why may you won­der are we attempt­ing this again?

Well last Thursday, the first day of Chol Hamoed Pesach we were debat­ing between Great Adven­ture (too cold) and Intre­pid Museum.  As we head towards the car to go to the Intre­pid (a bor­ing choice in my view) I whis­per to my hus­band, who is adamantly against get­ting a dog “Let’s get a dog.The kids have been beg­ging for years and  it would make the best Afiko­man gift. Besides I hate the Intrepid!”

He gives me that look. You know that ‘leave me alone about get­ting a dog. I’m not inter­ested. no way. it’s a huge respon­si­bil­ity and I know I’ll end up doing the work and besides it’s prob­a­bly your ADD mak­ing you want to get a dog right now…tomorrow you will get bored and want some­thing else.’ He didn’t say that but I know he meant that. So I pleaded. “C’mon..let’s just do it! A dog brings such life to a home and teaches kids respon­si­bil­ity. Let’s be spon­ta­neous and crazy! Let’s do it!”

I could tell he was suc­cumb­ing espe­cially when he grabbed a note­book and pen and started fran­ti­cally writ­ing a con­tract between him and me absolv­ing him from all duties and respon­si­bil­i­ties related to the dog. If I signed it then he agrees. So I did what any moti­vated, deter­mined type per­son with ADD would do (I was get­ting bored of plead­ing and wanted to win.)
I sign.

So off we went to The Puppy Store (that’s what it’s called) in Mer­rick, owned by our friends Rob and Bughi Lawrence of Wood­mere. The rest is his­tory. We find our new addi­tion, a caramel 10 week old puppy, part Shitzu and part Poodle. We gasp at the price (pup­pies can run over 1K) and at the amount and cost of sup­plies you need. We lis­ten to the instruc­tions on how to crate train it and we head home. Hub­bie, true to the con­tract remained in the car dur­ing this 2 hour excur­sion. (On another note our expe­ri­ence at The Puppy Store was first rate and their dogs only come from breed­ers. Highly recommend!)

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The kids, in dog­gie heaven, right away take to her and play with Peanut (named iron­i­cally due to the Peanut aller­gies in our house and it doesn’t hurt the puppy looks like a peanut.) (Yes we are crazy). Then our new Shih-poo Shipoo’s on our floor. Deep breath. It’s okay…she’s new and it’s our fault for let­ting her out of the crate. (Sup­pos­edly dogs don’t poop where they sleep.) So the next few days I attempt as best I could to hold by the rigid crate train­ing sched­ule which seems a bit inhu­mane leav­ing a puppy so long in a crate, but sup­pos­edly it works. I had to wake up at 3am one night when the puppy couldn’t hold it in and peed in his crate. Another night I checked on puppy at 3am, wor­ried he was too quiet.  But other than that, she quickly caught on and within a few days was using the wee wee pad exclu­sively and sleep­ing through the night. I was thrilled!

It doesn’t hurt that she is incred­i­bly cute and play­ful. I found myself really melt­ing. This time around, I thought, we will ride through the begin­ning chal­lenges of hav­ing a puppy and soon enough she will be a full mem­ber of the Wein­stein fam­ily, fol­low­ing us around, wag­ging her tail when she greets us and doing all sorts of tricks. Yes, I could already see this all happening…

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And then the hon­ey­moon ended.

Pesach is finally over so it’s time to take her to the Vet. If we use the Puppy Store’s rec­om­mended Vet than there is a host of ben­e­fits we get, like first vac­cine free, first visit free, dis­counts and all sick vis­its med­ica­tion free for first 5 years.   So it’s a no brainer that is the Vet we will use. But there is one slight problem…it’s far. As in 45 min­utes away far. To some that may not be a big deal…but to me, some­one who charges by the hour and would rather shop local than drive any­where else even if I can get bet­ter selec­tion and prices else­where, well it’s a big deal. But I load up my car with my 3 girls (off from school), the dog and all the stuff I need for Peanut. (her crate, wee wee pad, leash, stool sam­ple (yuck!), paper­work, toy…) I truly felt like I have a new baby.

The ride was going well, my mood was alright con­sid­er­ing the long drive, we were 10 min­utes away when.….Peanut gets car­sick and pukes all over my daugh­ter thus caus­ing my youngest daugh­ter to throw up too! What’s worst is the dog’s throw up landed not only all over my daugh­ter but in crevices in the car that is 100% impos­si­ble to clean! I silently thanked the lord my lease is up in a month..but still…grosssssssss!

Deep breath.…

We get there and I imme­di­ately ask the Vet sec­re­tary for clean­ing sup­plies and nearly puk­ing myself I try to clean the car but like I said…not gonna fully hap­pen.
We then sit in the wait­ing room sur­rounded by at least another 8 dogs and their very ded­i­cated own­ers all talk­ing like their dog is their baby. It’s a weird feel­ing see­ing all these humans who truly love their pets like their own. I won­der if I will turn into that..I am def­i­nitely not there yet. I mean I think Peanut is adorable, but I have 4 real kids I hardly have patience for…

Any­way, it’s our turn and Peanut was a trooper bravely tak­ing his shots with­out even a whim­per. The vet begins telling me about heart­worms and flees and how to avoid them by giv­ing her this and that. My eyes begin to glaze…it’s a lot of info. I hardly remem­ber to give my own kids vit­a­mins and for­get the flouride I was sup­posed to give them when they were babies.…will I be able to do this? She asks if I have any ques­tions. “Yes” I quickly say. “This vis­its free right? and the vac­cine free right?” She assures me it is. Phew!

As I check out I am handed 6 months sup­ply of Heart­worm and flee stuff and a big bill.…$270!!! What? Turns out only one of the three vac­cines are free, and pre­ven­ta­tive meds ($130 worth) are not free and nei­ther is the $48 poop test. I’m also told I have to return in two weeks for another vac­cine and then again two weeks later.….I’m men­tally cal­cu­lat­ing whether the money I save is worth the hours of my time dri­ving back and forth.

I return to my stinky car in a really bad mood. It doesn’t help that I started Juic­ing today and am feel­ing grumpy from lack of solid food. I insist Peanut stay in her crate this time in case she gets car­sick again…which she does, all over her­self and my car. (It went through the crate!)

I’m still 20 min­utes from home and peanut is cry­ing because, well she’s sit­ting in her own throw up  which can’t be too pleasant.

So there you have it…the cold hard real­i­ties of hav­ing a dog in case my adorable pho­tos make you wanna go out and get one.

But don’t get too excited yet… (yes I’m talk­ing to all you naysay­ers out there). I am deter­mined to per­se­vere and fall in love with this puppy G-d damn it! This way per­haps, like all those cra­zies at the Vet, I too will not mind the money, the throw up, the poop etc. since the uncon­di­tional love and devo­tion, the unbri­dled joy, and cute­ness of hav­ing a dog will out­weigh that stuff. At least I hope that’s what hap­pens. In any case I am com­forted in know­ing that as chal­leng­ing as these early weeks will get, it is still far eas­ier and cheaper than hav­ing another baby and at least they don’t talk back. So wel­come Peanut But­ter Wein­stein. You’re here to stay.

At least for another week.

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