Sunday, April 3, 2011
Welcome home sweet little baby. You are so cute, so sweet, so cuddly and lovable. I will love you forever and ever – or until you keep me up all night long.
We decided in January to get a puppy. The kids have wanted one for a long time and my husband, well; he’s a guy, and I think dogs just further increase manhood, so he’s wanted one longer. Our Saint Bernard was supposed to arrive home on February 14th – just in time to say I love you! I had about three weeks to get the house in order, the kids ready, the cats prepared and all the pre-spring cleaning I could do because I knew it would be at least six weeks before I saw a broom again. On February 4th, we got a phone call from the breeder telling us the puppy had seen the vet, Mom was done nursing and we could get him whenever we wanted.
I wasn’t done nesting! My closets were still filled with clutter that I knew would only grow once we added a dog to the mix. There is logic there, but you’d have to be me to understand it. My husband told me to wait a few days and then go get him, but as he was telling me that, I was telling the breeder we’d be right down to pick him up. I was like a kid in a candy store. “You mean, I can take my enormous lollipop home – TODAY? Squeeeee!!!” So we scrapped our dinner plans we’d had with my mother to celebrate her birthday, and instead, being the loving being she is, she helped us by going to the pet store to buy dog food and dog bowls.
I was taken back to the week before our first daughter was born. You know, that time when you read every magazine and talk to every mother you know to find out what you should pack for the hospital, and instead of taking a few ideas from each person, you are sending your husband out to the store with three pages of things you just know you’ll need from magazines (because you’ll be so bored) to lollipops (because they don’t let you eat – ever) and new underwear because you don’t realize the hospital provides those really neat webbed underwear. I suddenly realized this puppy would need to eat and though he might like Cheerios and fruit snacks, they weren’t the best choice for a pure bred Saint Bernard puppy. But I had no clue what was appropriate. Then I realized I had no place for him to sleep, nothing for him to chew on except small children and I was certain that wasn’t appropriate and then lastly, it hit me that the only thing I knew was that I didn’t know anything. It was like the adoption agency called me the day I said I might be interested in adopting a baby and said, we have one, come and get it. Sure I’ve had dogs before, but I also had parents that took care of all of the extra crap that goes with having a dog. And I’ve never had a dog with children, and I’ve never had a dog in the suburbs, and when do they get neutered, and when will he need his shots, and just how big is big, and oh my gosh, whose idea was this anyway? Breathe, just breathe….
My mom has dogs, so I left the necessities to her and trusted that she wouldn’t come home with fruit snacks and a fish bowl. She didn’t fail me. She even let us borrow her crate. Wait…crate! This is new. My dogs were never crated. We just let them run wild. In fact, I once had a Yorkie that tore up an entire Sunday Denver Post and then made sure it covered every carpeted surface of our apartment. It’s obvious I didn’t know a thing about dogs.
Good grief am I a little high strung or what? Jeff laughs at all the scenarios that go through my head, but it is just how I think.
Once all the issues are figured out, we head to Aurora to get our new puppy. He is the cutest thing ever and all my worries go away. All he needs is a little love, some food and a good home, right? We get him home, which was a feat in itself because he wouldn’t sit still on my lap, and then he hid under Arwen’s bench seat in the back of the van for the rest of the drive. Jeff was so patient when he had to pull over so I could sit in the back and make sure he was safe. When we get home, my mom greets us with food bowls, food and the crate which she sets up for us and trains us in the crate training process. It’s pretty late by the time we are all settled and the kids head to bed after shedding lots of tears about leaving our new Sebastian Bach all alone in a crate in the living room. Little did they know!
By the time Jeff and I were ready for bed, I of course, was not ready to leave the dog. But I also knew moving the crate up and down the stairs each day would be too difficult to manage. So I slept on the floor….in front of the crate….with my hand in the crate and the puppy’s chin on my hand most of the night. There was a span of about two hours that I was able to roll away from him and snooze, but basically, as I did with all of my new babies, I was up all night making him feel secure, loved and worrying about his future – and mine because sleepless nights wasn’t really on my agenda.
After two nights of this, I crashed and left Jeff to lie in front of the crate offering support to the sleeping puppy that was probably laughing at us because he has us beat after only three days. I had no idea having a new puppy was so exhausting. On top of not sleeping at night, I had to take him outside to potty every thirty minutes – in the cold and February snow, keep him from biting the kids with those shark like puppy teeth, and make the cats feel loved. My love was spread pretty thin by day three. On day four, a friend brought us her crate so I could sleep in my room again, and suddenly Sebastian started sleeping through the night….then the toddler phase began.