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.)
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. There are lots of places you can buy a puppy from such as VIP Puppies, but this is where we chose to get our puppy from as our friends could guide us. 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!)
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! I thought it was definitely time to purchase some washable dog diapers.
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…
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. She sure loves her puppy toys – can’t go anywhere without them in fact! It’s fun to watch her get excited playing with them and so, as any good pet owner would, I have no problem buying them for her.
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!
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 knew that I’d have to buy some figo pet insurance for her too but luckily I found a cheap quote which saved me a bit of money.
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..