Bringing Home Our New Puppy – What We Learned

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Puppy outside

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Well, we’re dog owners now.

We ended up bringing our puppy to her new home on St. Patrick’s Day. I wanted to name her Guinness or Bailey but we had all agreed on Bellatrix Lestrange and it stuck.

Puppy in Car

Bella riding to her forever home on my son’s lap.

We picked her up about 30 minutes away and let her ride home on my son’s lap, in her cute purple travel crate that is FAA approved.  She was understandably confused and just kinda popped her little head out the top and enjoyed her first car ride with her new family. When she got a bit more bold, she started trying to climb out, and my son panicked. He was like “little help back here!” so I pulled over.

My husband took the dog crate and our new pooch in the front on his lap instead. She still seemed restless, and after a few miles he took her out of the kennel and let her lie on his lap, which turned out to be a good idea.  Apparently that was what she wanted. She instantly fell in love with him. I mean like stalk his Facebook, follow his Instagram, send death threats to his wife, join his gym – true love. She ended up falling into a deep puppy sleep looking up into his eyes with her chin on his belly.

As this is our first puppy, we were totally unprepared.  Why hadn’t we downloaded a new puppy checklist pdf? There are literally thousands of them online! I had no clue what the important things were for first time new puppy owners to have.

To make matters worse, my Amazon order was running late, and I had to stop for puppy food and treats on the way back. When we finally got her home, she didn’t quite know what to do with herself. Fortunately, I had purchased a small whelping pool and put her in there figuring she could use that as her area until the baby gates arrived. As soon as I put her in, she looked at me, said “seriously?” and proceeded to step right over the edge and out of it. Awkward.

Looking to adopt a puppy? You have some important decisions to make, be sure you ask these questions before you do.

Puppy’s First Day

bringing home our new puppy

Bella staring into my husband’s eyes as she falls asleep on the drive home from her foster.

That first night, I had to have our little black lab mix sleep in a tall plastic bin with a blanket in the bottom. She was scared, so I slept sitting next to her, and gave her snuggles and pets when she woke up. Fortunately, I had puppy pads, so we were able to at least have indoor potty breaks since her collar hadn’t arrived and I couldn’t take her in the backyard.

When all of Bella’s supplies arrived the next day, we had a nice pink crate, an indoor play pen, a soft dog bed, another soft bed for the crate, leash, collar, water bowls, and chew toys! Huzzah! Puppy paradise. I’d even remembered to order an id tag with my phone number, and pet health insurance.

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We tried crate training in our room the next few nights. It didn’t work great, and we found she prefers to sleep in her big bed in the indoor playpen enclosure. She’s been doing that since, and seems to be able to either wake up and use the puppy pads, or wake us up to take her out. She’s also learning to handle her separation anxiety and can be asleep without us for longer and longer periods of time. So far the indoor playpen has been a great way to acclimate her to the home, especially since she was in one at her foster home.

Puppy Life

Puppy sleeping

Zoomies make Bella sleepy.

Recently, my 7 year old decided to sleep on the floor outside her enclosure so she won’t feel lonely at night. It definitely seems to be helping as she only gets up once or twice per night now, and can even self sooth quite quickly. Our issue is wanting to pick her up and cuddle her when she wants middle of the night attention. She’s getting better and so are we.

Bella has been with us for 10 days now. She knows her name and can follow basic commands like sit, stay and come. She’s really smart, and responds well to positive reinforcement. She likes to chase my son around the yard, and do zoomies around our coffee table. She still prefers my husband above anyone else, but she is happy to snuggle with all of us. She’s just a baby after all.

Bella is now 14 weeks of age. She’s 5 whole pounds, and is a sweet, happy little girl who loves to sleep in her safe place, the corner of the couch, but only if one of us sits next to her. So far I love being a pet parent, and it’s been an exciting time for all of our family members to finally have our new puppy home with us. Sure, she’s a lot of work, but our new friend was definitely the right thing for our whole family.

We learned to have all of our supplies ready before our pup comes home next time, to sign up for pet insurance as soon as possible as there is a 14 day waiting period before it is active, and to have plenty of disinfectant wipes and patience on hand. If you’re prepared, you’ll have an even more positive experience than we have.

We gave our rescue pup a home, but she has given us wags, snuggles and licks to let us know that we are actually the lucky ones.

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