At the beginning of the year we started thinking about getting another dog. Woody was nearly two and because we work full time, we thought it might be nice for him to have a friend. We didn’t want to get a puppy before we went to Cuba (wouldn’t be fair to get a puppy and then leave it for two weeks whilst it was just settling in).
Once we got back I started checking out the free ads online and within the first day I saw this:
The 9 puppies were German Shepherd (mum) ans Staffie (dad). We went to see them that evening. I was so impressed with how they had been looked after. All the puppies had a document with their birth weight on, their weight each week after that and the dates they had been wormed. Mum and dad were really nice dogs too.
They were all just adorable and it was ridiculously difficult to chose. I had my eye on a really lovely brindle boy to begin with, but he was twice the size of his siblings and we were worried about how big he might be as an adult.
Their personalities were already so different. A couple of the boys were all about the play, constantly biting my shoes and trying to undo my shoelaces. And then there was the one girl who was still lively and playful, but more happy to watch from the sidelines, little tail wagging. I picked her up and she just curled into a ball. She was the only brown puppy so I nicknamed her Brownie. Coincidentally, she’s also the puppy in the advert above. We put a deposit down on her and the waiting game began.
They were only five weeks old so we had three weeks to wait until they were old enough to leave their mum.
To say it dragged would be an understatement. I even had a puppy countdown timer on my homepage. Darren and Ryan, the guys we got the puppies off, were good enough to let us go round half way through, so we could have a quick half hour with her to see how she was getting on.
We tried to decide a name for her and had some ideas. I was tempted to call her Brownie, her puppy nickname, but had too many people put me off! (I’ve learnt not to share possible names with people because they will put you off.) Craig decided that we shouldn’t chose a name until she was home. We chose the name Elmo for our other dog before he came home and within minutes of picking him up knew it wasn’t right for him. (He’s now Woody.)
So Saturday 25th June came and we were up at the crack of dawn to get Woody walked so we could go and pick up the new arrival early. We had decided we would be literally in and out so we didn’t make mum more anxious than she needed to be.
Puppy was amazing. She sat on my knee on the way home (about a 15 minute drive) and didn’t make a peep. She was alert and very interested in what was going on, but not at all scared or distressed. I was so relieved. We had a really distressing experience bringing Woody home. He howled and cried the whole way. He also lost all control of everything (if you know what I mean) and vomited really badly. He didn’t stop shaking for hours. It was horrendous and I felt guilty for months.
We got her home and gave her a quick bath (the other puppies had wee’d all over her that morning!) and took it in turns to sit with her in the office, whilst the other one gave Woody a ridiculous amount of fuss downstairs. Within minutes she was play fighting and eating some breakfast. Again, the polar opposite from Woody who sat very quietly in his new bed for at least the first day.
We were planning on keeping them apart for a good few days while she settled in and then introducing them very slowly. However, given Woody is the softest dog in the world by a mile and she was obviously much more confident then we expected, we gave her about an hour to just get to know her surroundings and the took her down to meet Woody.
I instantly knew they would be OK together. Woody’s tail is massive, like a foxes tail and he has the most expressive face. This means you can read him like a book. He was inquisitive, but definitely not put out. Within the hour they were happily play fighting, sharing toys and snoozing. We just looked on in amazement. I didn’t think it was possible to love Woody more but seeing how patient he was with Puppy makes me smile just thinking about it.
We decided that afternoon to call her Maisie.
After a few sleepless nights she’s starting to get the hang of our routine. The only time she cries now is when she can’t be with Woody. She’s not fully immunised at the minute so she can’t go for walks. So when Woody gets taken for a walk, she sits and cries at the door. She’s not a mummy’s girl or a daddy’s girl, she’s a Woody’s girl! Most of the time he likes it. He’s quite happy to play with her (he’s still so young himself) but she obviously just hasn’t learnt the dog signals for ‘I’ve had enough,’ so poor Woody doesn’t get much of a break!
We’ve been really careful to treat them completely equal, so she doesn’t get any more fuss than he does. I think this is always important when you bring a new dog home, but especially for us because Woody is extremely affectionate. I try to greet Woody first in the mornings, because that’s what he’s used to.
Seeing them playing together and curling up for a snooze together makes me so happy. That’s not to say it’s all plain sailing though. She’s hard work and I am finding the new environment a bit difficult. Woody is such a good dog, it’s difficult to remember his naughty puppy days, and I find myself longing for a cuddle with him, without getting my face bitten off by a puppy trying to get involved.
It’s only been 10 days since we got her though and it’s already easier. I’ll be nice when she’s grown up just a little bit and isn’t as manic. It’ll be easier when we can tire her out with walks; only a week or so to wait now!