#24

As you will have read by now, on Thursday last week I ticked #24 off of my bucket list…I bought a puppy!

He is a beautiful little Golden Retriever who turned 9 weeks old today, has the sharpest teeth you can imagine and boasts an entire weighting of 3.3 kilograms. He is very much a bundle of fur with the biggest brown eyes I have ever known.

His name is Igloo in reference to looking not at all dissimilar to a baby polar bear, only a little more caramel coloured. And he is the definition of adorable and naughty all rolled into one, but owns my heart as if he had always had the key.

I’ve spent almost every hour over the last four days with Igloo. We have perfected a sleep-play routine and usually circle back through it at least eight times a day. We wake up, we play, we bite everything in sight, we get told ‘No’ a lot, we eat some grass, we do a wee and if we’re feeling particularly good, we do a poo too. Then we enjoy tummy rubs before dozing back off to sleep for the next hour or two before we wake up and start it all over again.

Igloo has become quite fond of the taste of the BBQ brake tabs, and strangely enough, his own poo. Which is equal parts amusing as it is disgusting. He is very curious about the bricks down the side of the house, more-so than the neighbours dogs who consistently bark at him. And he has taken quite a liking to the drains down the back of the yard which supersede any interest in the actual puppy toys I’ve bought for him.

Nevertheless, I am never bored when I hang out with the little man. He never ceases to entertain me with his “gumby-ness” and endless affection for suckling on my fingertips. He is the best thing that has ever been mine, even if he hasn’t quite figured out how to best use the limbs attached to him without falling over head-first-bum-up.

I will admit, however, that it has been a lot more hard work than I thought it would be. Not that I ever thought a puppy would be easy to look after, I always knew it was going to keep my hands full. I just didn’t realise exactly how much.

I’ve come to realise that having puppy is a lot like bringing home a new born baby. Except a puppy doesn’t wear a nappy, has teeth and is more mobile than any new mum would prefer. It’s a constant visual stake-out trying to distinguish ‘exploration‘ sniffing and ‘I need to poo right here on the carpet‘ sniffing – which unfortunately for me, look all too similar.

I have totalled about 10 hours sleep over the past four nights, and I feel more exhausted looking after Igloo than I do looking after all my patients combined on a night shift. I’ve even found myself to be quite the worry wart when it come’s to looking after him. He brings out the ‘Mum’ in me, and rightly so.

In all honesty, he’s actually being quite good through the night in that he barks to let me know when he’s done a wee. So I’m thinking that this is better than barking for no reason at all. But in conjunction with a puppy-sized bladder and the copious amounts of water he drinks, this happens to be every hour, almost on the hour. Meaning I barely fall asleep before he calls out for me again and I find him there, standing in his own little puddle smiling at me.

I guess we are both learning about each other. We are very busy trying to figure out what makes each other happy and how to live in harmony. And I know that’s going to take some time, so we’ll just take it one day at a time.

He’s the first puppy that’s been mine. So I am figuring out the ropes just as much as he is. I know the basics from having a hand in raising the family dog, but I was also seven at the time he was a puppy…so there’s not much to go on.

It’s a whole new experience that is going to keep me busy for quite a while I think. I’ve been busy reading forums and books, trying to be the best mum I can to this little fluff ball, but I think it simply comes down to this…

I have plenty of love in my heart for him and so long as I do, I know we are going to be just fine. We make a good team already, so I’m ready.

Although, I do think I’m going to need another holiday to recover from this holiday. And oh how I hope he feels like sleeping the whole night through tonight!

I’ll keep you posted.

d x

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