I told my daughter we could get a second dog for her 14th birthday. She wanted a cute little 2-3 year old lap dog, but our search with local rescue groups didn’t go so well.
Day 1 – Meet Daisy!
(August 28, 2016. 4-5 Weeks old, 2.9 pounds)
We thought we were bringing home a 7-8 week old small mixed breed puppy that would reach 20 pounds at most.
Confession: With her tiny blue eyes that didn’t seem to focus on anything and her little round tongue that looked perfect for latching on to mamma dog, I wondered if she was really what they said. But she was part of an abandoned litter of 7. She was small, her brothers were already gone, and my daughter was already falling in love with this puppy who had freckles like her. (light brown splotches on her white feet) So we took her home.
Our vet diagnosed her as a 4-5 week German Shepherd/Great Pyrenees mix. At 2.9 pounds the online calculators say she should only reach 16-21 pounds but the good folks at our local animal clinic tell me she is going to be a “big dog.” It will be interesting to see what she grows into!
Our 11 month old terrier mix, Leah, seems happy with her new sister. Unfortunately we need to restrict their time together while Daisy gets gets strong and healthy. She is badly infested with worms and without knowing what she has been exposed to, they told us to watch for signs of parvo. Leah is up to date on all veterinary care. They will eat and sleep separately but be allowed to play with close supervision.
Day 5 – Making progress!
(August 2, 2016. 5-6 weeks old, 3.7 pounds)
Daisy has already shown much improvement. She went the last two nights without a midnight meal and is getting much more playful. She is officially big and strong enough to climb through the doggy door from our back yard into the sun room, but the door from the sun room to the rest of the house is still too high.
My daughter (Cheyenne) is doing an excellent job of keeping up with her end of the deal, taking Daisy out for night time potty breaks and keeping an eye on her while I am at work. But taking a puppy potty 20+ times a day is a big job for anybody. I let Chey do it all the first 2 nights as a learning experience. But going forward we will tag-team through the night. Hopefully Daisy will only need to go out once or twice per night when school starts.
Leah has gone back to sleeping in the puppy bed she outgrew months ago. She is struggling with this little ball of fluff that she can only sometimes play with. It gets to eat her favorite canned food EVERY meal and we even gave that darn puppy a Nylabone! LEAH LOVES NYLABONES!! But she is much too strong of a chewer.
Week 2 – Now that’s a puppy!
(August 11, 2016. 7 weeks old, 5.65 pounds)
As our second week with Daisy comes to an end I continue to be impressed at her progress. In just 14 days she has grown from a sleepy, wobbly legged 2.9 pound ball of fluff into an energetic 5.65 pound puppy. She bounces and pounces on almost everything! Blades of grass stand no chance against “Fluffy Stuff!” She started to bark Sunday. She scampers out the doggy door when she needs to go #2 but I don’t think she understands our dislike of puddles on our floor. Her legs and snout are suddenly getting longer.
She is starting to use a little bite control when she grabs my hands with those puppy teeth. We try to keep a Nylabone handy to stick in her mouth whenever she chews something inappropriate. Sometimes she gets a good hold of Leah’s beard or ear. Our poor terrier’s beautiful tail is getting ragged at the tip. But her wirehairs are coming in, so it is hard to know what to blame on the puppy and what is just part of Leah growing up.
Leah has officially reclaimed her kennel and her old puppy bed. She is a fairly submissive dog and I think she is trying to figure out where her place is in this new family arrangement. Leah gets fed first and is greeted before Daisy when I return home from work. I still make time to sit with her in the mornings and watch squirrels and birds while we wake up. And we make sure she gets some private play time with us every day. I am trying to make it clear that I see Leah as above Daisy. But then I turn around and make Leah give Daisy all the Nylabones and Daisy has moved into my bedroom, spending a portion of the night in bed with us. (Turns out once my daughter has a few days to get used to new sounds she turns into a very heavy sleeper. – She even tried setting loud, obnoxious alarms.)
Leah and Daisy have been caught playing nicely with each other several times the last couple of days. I am sure Leah and Daisy will figure out their roles in time.
Health-wise Daisy has been through 2 rounds of wormer, is taking probiotics to get her digestive system back on track, and had her first round of puppy shots. Her tummy is finally getting less bloated but she had some pretty bad gas tonight. Poor puppy was startled by her own farts! She kept looking back and wondering to a different part of the yard to poop.
Week 3 – New dog, new tricks
(8 weeks old, pounds)
We started our third week together with some training. I know Daisy is a little young, but she is starting watch Leah more closely and copy her behavior. I want to take advantage of this interest while I have a chance. If Leah lays down to chew a stick, Daisy plops down to chew a stick. If Leah is playing with a ball, Daisy wants to share. And if Leah sits nicely on command for a piece of kibble, Daisy sits on command for a piece of kibble 🙂
My ex is letting us borrow a crate until we know how big Daisy is going to get. I hope this interest in copying Leah will make crate training easier. Leah hated her crate for a while! But now she sees it as a peaceful place to eat or nap without Daisy’s help.