Confessions of a smug dog mom

Last week marked the three-year-anniversary of the glorious day that ‘Lil Beezy joined our family. I’ve been spending a lot of time reflecting on that period because we’re carefully weighing our options for adding a second pooch to the family. I like the idea of adding another dog to the mix—it would certainly put an end to the nightly fights over who gets to cuddle with her—but I went a little overboard those first few weeks after bringing Beezy home. Am I mentally fit to care for another dog?

I’ve learned a lot since then—about life, about myself as a person, and about dogs in general. I can’t believe how smug, self-righteous, and arrogant I was. Oooph, it was ugly for a while. But I’ve come a long way, baby, and life is all about the journey we take as we grow into better people, right? I think I’m making some progress thanks to my little brindle bundle of joy. But just some.

Once I knew for sure that we were going to be bringing home a Frenchie puppy, I went into full-on “Operation: Best Dog Mom Ever (OBDME)” mode. I’d already made sure I knew everything there was to know about the breed, now it was time to learn everything about raising a puppy. I was going to be the best dog mom on the planet. I was going to be a puppy-owning savant! I bought all the gear to ensure it would happen. I read all the books. How could it not happen? Let me tell you how that worked out. But I’m betting you have a pretty good idea…

Example: see the feature photo there? That’s Beezy in the car outside the breeder’s house on the night we brought her home. You can’t see it, but she’s wearing a fancy no-pull harness that’s connected to a special doggy seatbelt. She doesn’t use either anymore … because she has her own car seat now (of course she does!). That yellow blob in front of her? That’s a special toy called a Snuggle Pet. It comes with an electronic beating heart that can be turned on and off because, apparently, a wrapped hot water bottle and ticking alarm clock—a remedy that has worked for decades—is not sufficient for us. I wouldn’t blame you one bit if you’re rolling your eyes as you read this. I mean, I’m responsible for it and I’m rolling my eyes as I write it down!

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Beezy on her first night at home. I do NOT have any memories of her being this teeny tiny. I was too busy trying to be the best dog mom ever. [sadface]
Despite the fact that Frenchies are notorious for being difficult in that area—and this is for total realz—I had it in my head that my dog was going to be completely and totally housebroken in less than a week’s time (she absolutely was not). I followed all of the advice I’d read and took her out once an hour, every hour on the dot that evening. I was already killing it as a mom. I mean, really nailing it.

 

When it was time for bed, I carefully placed her in her brand new crate, which was tricked out with all of the amenities a new puppy could possibly want or need. A blanket was draped over the top to create a “den-like” feel. Blankets lined the floor of the crate to ensure that she’d be nice and toasty … OK, I feel like I need to pause here and just point out how jacked up that is. A tiny puppy does NOT need blankets on the floor of their crate. Do you know why? Read on.

I closed the crate door, turned off the light and went upstairs to get ready for bed. It was going swimmingly and I was really impressed with myself. But then the howling started. I’d read this could happen, so I was prepared. I did not budge. She needed to get used to the fact that she was in her very own space and she would eventually calm down and grow to feel safe. I needed to let her learn that. But when she was still crying and howling 20 minutes later, I felt like I needed to go downstairs and offer her some reassurance that everything was going to be okay.

The first inclination that something was amiss hit me when I reached the bottom step. There was a really strong smell of … poop. How could that be? She’d just been outside—like the books said—and it had only been 20 minutes. Frenchies are notoriously gassy, maybe that’s all it was. Yes, I was sure that’s all it was. I mean, I’d read the books! I cannot stress how much time I’d spent reading the books!

Yeah, it wasn’t gas. It was poop. And a whole freaking lot of it. Snuggle Pet? Covered. Her comfy blankets? Covered. Beezy herself? Covered. She’d managed to hop around in it and spread it everywhere, including on the carpet on the floor outside of the crate and on the built-in cupboards nearby. The books did NOT mention this.

It was a long, stinky night. But we got through it. It wasn’t the last time we experienced poop in the house (we discovered she has a chicken intolerance) and we eventually got rid of the crate altogether. The books? I think they’re in the basement now.

Looking back on it now, my one regret is that I spent so much time trying to be the perfect dog mom that I didn’t really spend any time actually enjoying the experience. Kind of like going to a concert and taking pictures and videos with your phone all evening long. I don’t really remember Beezy being a puppy. At all. I spent so much time and energy keeping her from doing typical “puppy” stuff that I’m not sure if she really ever got to be a puppy. So, maybe I’m looking for a do-over. Is that wrong? More specifically, is it the wrong motivation for wanting a second dog? How do you know if it’s the right move?

Do any of you live in a multiple-dog household? If so, do you recommend it? Let me know!

 

 

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3 thoughts on “Confessions of a smug dog mom

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  1. Love me some Beezy! Two dogs is a lot, I am not gonna sugar coat it! They both follow you, they both want your attention…. it is hard to give snuggles to one and the other is like “um, hello??!!”. But, they absolutely thrive TOGETHER! They love each other. Leis shows Oso the ropes! When she’s calm, he is calm. When she is feisty, so is he! I wouldn’t have it any other way – two dogs is great! They key is getting them to like each other, too. Leia would NEVER deal with another dog in the past. She has truly come a long way with adding Special Agent Oso. I have to say, she is so much MORE snuggly and loving with him here. She thrives on hugs and kisses! They both do! You definitely are an amazing dog Mom, Kim. You and Trace should definitely add to your family. Muah!

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  2. As you know I recently added a 2nd dog to my home, it’s only been 3 weeks but I think we have similar reasons for wanting another addition. I wanted Cappy to have a playmate, and that has worked out! They play so well together. I can’t wait until Ellie is bigger and they can really let loose! Ellie adores Cappy, she climbs in his bed after him, wants every toy or bone he has, and he tolerates her! He is only a year and a half so we didn’t want to wait too long to add a 2nd dog to the family. I also take Cappy to Camp 1-2 times a week and he still seemed have energy to expend each week, so Ellie has really helped with that. As far as the snuggles, Cappy would typically cuddle with Dave on the couch at night and cuddle with me in bed. Now, one of us either has both dogs or we each have 1 at any given time. It’s funny! I do think he helps to train her. The potty training is taking some time of course, but she is not chewing on things she should not be and her overall demeanor is very good and loving, just like Cappy! I do think this will be our last puppy because they are a lot of work, but isn’t that why they make them so cute!?! ha ha I also remembered what I was getting into with another puppy because it was not that long ago that I went through it with Cappy. It took a good 5 weeks until I was not exhausted every night keeping him busy and taking him outside. I say get a 2nd dog!!! Two is better than one 🙂
    On a side note, earlier today I felt like I may have failed as a Frenchie Mom when I read your FB post because I do not have a cooling, mat, vest or bandada for my dog. I just looked all of those items up on Amazon! ha ha He seemed to do ok last summer, however it would be good to have something on hand when we get in the car or take a field trip tough, so I think I may have to invest in something!

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    1. Yes, even after twice-a-week daycare visits, Beezy still has a ton of energy to burn. And I feel kind of bad because during the school year, d00d and I are both so busy that she maybe doesn’t get all of the play sessions she needs. That’s why I’m thinking a second dog is the way to go. Also, I can already tell that I’m so in love with her that when the time comes that she has to move on, I will be an absolute and utter wreck. I need a buffer to help me cope. I’m not trying to be morbid, just realistic. I’ve been having a tough time finding a breeder, though, so part of me thinks it’s a sign from the universe. I’ve been spoiled, so it’s not like I can settle for just any old dog. It’s a smoosh-face or bust for this girl. How did this happen to me?????

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