I mean, how could life before your child/puppy be forgotten so quickly?!
What I am coming to realize is that parenthood, whether of a baby or a puppy, fundamentally changes your life forever. For instance:
- Since we brought Lola home, Bo and I have not left the house together for more than an hour and a half.
- Between the two of us, Bo and I get up three to four times a night to take Lola out to poddy.
- Lola's meals are prepared, devoured, and cleaned up before we eat.
- Before Bo and I make any decisions (i.e. Can we go to a movie? Can we go to the outlets? Should we invite people over? etc.), we always think about Lola first.
- Tricare doesn't cover puppies. Therefore, Lola's health costs a LOT more than Bo and I's combined!
This week we experienced a couple of firsts with our Lola girl:
- we had our first veterinary visit (it was actually her second, but her first with us); and
- Lola attended her first night of puppy school!
Since I had to teach that morning, Bo was the one that took Lola to her vet appointment. Conveniently, our veterinarian is less than a mile from our house! All in all, the visit went well, and we were pleased with the doctor and his assistants. Here are a few of the stats from Ms. Lola's appointment:
- Since we picked up our little lady, she has gained five pounds (i.e. she now weighs 17.5 pounds...and will apparently triple in size in the next few months!).
- She didn't cry or whimper while receiving her 10-week shots. She's a tough girl! :)
- The vet upped her food intake to 2 1/2 cups a day, given in three different meals. Lola was elated!!!
- She was diagnosed with an apparently common form of puppy excema (go figure...she must take after her mom!), and was given several different medications to treat it.
After just three days of taking the medications, we can already tell a huge different in Lola's skin. She doesn't seem to be itching nearly as much, and her previously irritated, red, and flaky tummy is healing quickly and beautifully! Since I know first hand what it is like to deal with excema, I am so happy our sweet girl and getting some relief!
Lola will go back to the vet for her 12 week shots in about a week and a half! Thankfully, I will also be able to attend that visit. I'm looking forward to meeting her doctors too.
As for our other first this week, puppy school, Lola proved to be a star student! Although a little over-eager and excited at times (She loves all people and all dogs, so she was a bit over-stimulated at first!), she is very smart and learned the commands quickly and easily.
This week, our homework is to continue to work with "watch me" and "sit." We are using a clicker as well as treats, but Lola has already been responding to the commands without treats. At home, we try to train 15-20 minutes five to six days a week, and during that time we do use the treats. However, when we are just around the house and use either "watch me" or "sit" we do not, and she seems to respond equally well. Here's hoping that behavior isn't just a fluke, but a truly trained behavior!
Back at home, Lola continues to love to play! She has a small collection of toys (i.e. bones, a Kong, ropes, stuffed animals, rings, etc.), and I recently purchased a basket to keep them in. She was pretty fast at learning how to take them out of the basket. Now, if only I could teach her how to put them back in...
With all the growing she is doing, Lola tends to nap quite a bit. Although, I must say, I do find some of her nap positions to be questionable...
Doesn't she get a huge crick in her neck that way?!
She also like to sprawl out with her legs behind her and her arms overhead. We call this her frog pose. Maybe she is a yogi dog at heart?!
What about poddy/crate training, you might ask?! Well...
- Poddy training is going very well. We haven't had any accidents in almost a week (everyone knock on wood!), and before that, the accidents were our fault (we didn't take her out frequently enough), and she was smart enough to walk to the door that leads outside and pee there. All in all, I am exceptionally proud of her progress on this front.
- Crate training has been a little more difficult for Lola. From the beginning, she has not been a fan of her crate. Regardless of whether we were home or not, she yelped, cried, barked, and jostled herself around. HOWEVER, over the last couple of days, Lola has been alone in the crate for approximately an hour, and when we returned, the crate was accident-free and she was calmly lying down. We are hoping/praying/crossing our fingers that this is not just a coincidence, but is indeed the beginning of a life-long behavior!
While she is still small enough, we also enjoy cuddling, swaddling, lap-time, and spooning with our pretty girl. She is learning that she has to be invited into our arms/laps, and we almost exclusively do so on the floor (no furniture crawling for this retriever!). Sometimes, especially when we first get home, she still get a little too excited and likes to jump, but we are learning the appropriate responses to deter that behavior (i.e. turning around, rotating a lifting knee to the side, etc.).
I can hardly believe that before we know it she will be too big to pick up or comfortable put in our laps. She really is growing up too quickly!
For now, while she is still small enough, she loves to nap underneath our couches. In the beginning she slept on her tummy, but now she is too big for that, so she has to sleep on her side...and frequently with a toy nearby! Just look at that sweet, peaceful face...
Question of the Day:
Did you take you dog to puppy training? If so, how was your experience?!
Ally and Bo