Random Musings

Life As You Live It

Hello, lovelies!

It’s been a minute since I’ve written a personal post on the blog (yay depression spikes and having no time to do anything else), so I thought I’d steal some time to do so today. It’s a follow up post to one I wrote about a little bit ago, where I ranted about how surprised I was on the difficulties of raising a puppy (oh, my naive, naive little brain). It a month to the day since we got Dovahkiin and brought her home and into our lives and let me tell you, friends, it’s been an absolute whirlwind.

I’d say, for the first two weeks, I regretted ever wanting to get a puppy.20190707_141305

She wouldn’t sleep. She barked all night in her kennel. Biting everything, never going to the bathroom outside, being picky about her food. And I was so frustrated, because we were doing everything “right”. Our breeder, our vet, friends, family, the internet–any time someone was kind enough to listen to me bitch about how tired I was, how frustrated I was, how depressed this puppy was making me and how guilty I felt about all of it; they’d listen and offer advice and our response became our refrain.

“Oh, we’re doing that.”
“What? And that’s not working? And she’s still doing X?”
*tired sigh while she tries to resist just bawling*

It was…really hard. I’m a borderline perfectionist but a definite goodie-two-shoes, so I want to do things by the book. I want to follow the rules (unless bending them makes more sense, but that’s a whole ‘nother complication for another day) and I want to do things right. It’s a core need for me. So, in all the research I learned about how to raise a puppy, kennel training her was one of those main things you are supposed to do.

But, I learned something important from this pup.

You have to live life as you experience it, not how someone else tells you to.

Despite my protests, despite worrying we were taking a step in the wrong direction, despite feeling like a major failure, I finally relented to my boyfriend’s suggestion and, at the start of week four, we went to the store and got enough baby gates to block off our kitchen. We set up her dog bed in there, with a few toys and her food bowl, and then let her sleep there. The first few nights of doing that, she’d still whine and bark, having to go out a couple times a night (in comparison to on the dot every 45 minutes) but we were getting multiple hours of uninterrupted sleep. It was a lot better.20190728_175851

And then, one night, my boyfriend forgot to set his alarm at 2am to take her out (as we were trying to teach her set times we’d take her out). My alarm went off at 6am to get up with her and start the day. I go downstairs and she’s awake, ready to go outside. No accidents in the kitchen. When I talk to my boyfriend later that day, we realized he didn’t take her out at 2am and that she’d slept–or at least hung out quietly–in the kitchen from 10pm to 6am.

And she’s done that now for the past four nights, with only one accident.

No barking.

No whining.

Just…sleeping.

We switched her food, too, so now she’s eating more regularly. She still gets a little car sick, has the occasional accidents and bites a lot. But she’s much happier. She asks to go into the kitchen to take naps during the day. She’s comfortable to let us hang out in the living room and stay in there, instead of having to be around us constantly. I’m able to get roughly seven hours a sleep a night, instead of the two-three we’d averaged for almost a month. She’s started to really enjoy her forever home as her personality continues to shine.

And I’m…starting to really, really love her.

20190721_073611

Of course, there are still challenges. There are still rough days, moments when my patience runs out and times when owning a dog becomes a lot more complicated. But after I stopped looking at the situation as, “This is what I’m supposed to do, you (Dovah) need to adapt to this,” and instead looked at it as, “This is what you need, so let me adapt to help us both”?

Friends, it is night and day.

So, I guess I’m just saying, if things aren’t going your way; if something is challenging you, upsetting you or just feels impossible; don’t be afraid to take a step back and try and look at it from another angle. Have faith in yourself and know that everything can change, if you’re willing to ignite it and stay adaptable.

Oh, and, ah, be watching this space, friends! In the midst of sleep deprivation and second guessing my entire life choices, things have been going on behind the scenes at Thoughts Stained With Ink. And I’m pretty stoked to bring them all to light for you soon (like, this Thursday levels of soon)!

Cheers.

11 thoughts on “Life As You Live It”

  1. I’m something of a perfectionist as well so I know how you feel about always wanting to do everything “right”. When I had my first child though, that attitude kinda went out the window along with all the birth plans and baby books, lol. Having a puppy I imagine is not that much different. I learned that not everything will go the way you want and the best thing to do sometimes is to roll with the punches and adapt, and sounds like that’s exactly what you did! I’m glad things are a bit easier now, as I had a feeling they would be – just as you had to adapt to the puppy, the puppy also had to adapt to you and I think you’re both settling into a good place now! Remember, every situation is different so you gotta find the best thing that works for you and the pup, and don’t worry too much about what books or experts say. It will only get better from here on out, so celebrate getting over the hump! 😀

    1. Oh, and the carsickness also gets better as the puppy gets older and her digestive system gets more mature. My dog when he was a puppy would throw up EVERY TIME he got in a car. One time he even puked up on my husband’s phone and bricked it, lol. It was like a crisis at the time, but now we look back at that and laugh. While it might not feel like it, I’m sure one day you’ll look back at the memories of these last couple months and treasure them in your own way 🙂

      1. Thank you so much for all of this, Mogsy! It means a lot (especially as she’s had a lot of accidents these past few days and I thought that wasn’t going to happen anymore *sigh*). I think I’m just so used to older, mature dogs who don’t need to be watched all the time that I completely forgot how puppies operate and that they are still *learning*, so it makes sense for her to make mistakes and I should be forgiving of that.

        I do hope the car sickness isn’t a permanent thing! She did really well on the first few rides, but lately, she froths a lot and then pukes (and this last time, all over my boyfriend’s lap as we were on our way to a family event). But hopefully you’re right and it’s just a puppy-developmental thing!

  2. So glad to hear she’s getting better and starting to settle in 🙂 Definitely get teething toys for the biting, it can really help, even if the biting isn’t teething related it’s good to have something to redirect them to!

    Merlin’s finally, nearly, settled after 3 months, to the point his biting is now minimal 🙂 His latest thing is climbing curtains, which I totally lost my cool over the other day. As a perfectionist it’s been so hard to just accept he won’t be perfect. It’s been educational though!

    1. She is! Though, of course, after I write that post, she has two nights with a lot of accidents after five nights with none, so *shrugs*. It’s a different adventure every day!

      Yay, I’m glad he is settling in a lot better, now! Oh, I feel like perfectionist struggling to understand why they don’t adjust immediately and perfectly on a visceral level. I hope he stops climbing the curtains soon!!

      1. Typical! They have their ups and downs just like we do though 🙂 I’m sure she’ll settle soon, and then find something new to test you with!

        Exactly, I was expecting immediate adjustment xD My expectations have always been a bit high though! Thanks 🙂 I think he’s getting it slowly! His latest thing is cramming himself into the bin in my office. He’s kinda odd!

      2. Oh, I have no doubt. 😛

        Gosh, yes, what a wake up call we both received. 😛 But hopefully everyone will settle in nicely and these will just be happy memories!

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