Thursday, February 9, 2012

Living with a Puppy means...

Life with Rex is like living in a perpetual revolving door.

Each day revolves around the following activities:

Standing outside waiting for puppy to go potty countless times a day and in all kinds of weather!

Having to step over dog squeaky toys, chew toys, bones and other puppy paraphernalia.

Lots of play, (remember all that puppy paraphernalia)

intermixed with a little sleep here and there,

And the occasional bath.

No wonder I feel a little dizzy and like I'm not getting anything accomplished.

All I can say is it's just a good thing he's so cute!

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

It's Up to Me

I am grateful for the lessons even a puppy can teach me.

We are in the middle of crate training at night.  T-Rex is not yet sleeping through the night consistently, and, honestly, it is getting old.  I feel like I have a new baby again and I am too old for the sleep deprivation that brings!

Last night he was up at 1:06 am (yes, I remember the exact moment!).  We first thought we could tough it out, ha!  He had a Urinary Tract Infection a couple of weeks ago and I was wondering if that was back, so Dave (thank you!) got up and took him outside.  Rex went back to his crate

I didn't hear from him again until 6:12 am.  After I took him outside since it was still so dark and cold I decided I wanted to crawl back under my covers.  So, I put Rex back to bed.  He was not happy about that, but I was determined to exercise some tough, I'll-show-you-who's-in-charge, kind of love.  I knew all his needs had been met and he just wanted to play.  I stayed in my bed and listened as he complained loudly, hoping to capture anyone's attention.   He protested off and on (mostly on) for over an hour before I finally got into the shower so I didn't have to hear him anymore.

While I was lying in bed trying to ignore his complaints I was reminded of a valuable principle - We do not have control over another's actions, only over our responses.   I could not control Rex's complaining (getting him out of the crate was not an option) but I was able to control how I responded to his incessant barking and howling!  I was not happy about his actions, but I did not allow my emotions to be taken hostage by a little puppy!  What could have been an incredibly bad start to a day (I know, because it has happened before!) was instead an empowering lesson on the capacity I really do have to control my thoughts and thereby my emotions, actions and results -  even when the world around me is bidding me do otherwise.

For all you animal rights activists that might be reading this:
Rex was totally fine when I finally released him from his crate!
Oh, and I do plan on contacting the vet to get her take on whether that UTI could be acting up again.

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Ch-ch-ch-ch-Changes for 2012

A few changes have come into my life already this new year.

Change #1
I returned home after working full time for the past  5 1/2 years at a local Charter School. It was a good experience, a good environment and I worked with some great people, but it was time to move on.  I needed more time to dedicate to my Foot Zoning as I look to graduate from my program early this summer.  Dave and I decided the new year was a good time to make the break and focus on this path I have been placed on.  I was anxious to finally have some time to myself to re-group and "breathe".

All this started to become a little more complicated when my son, Travis, introduced me to Change #2:

Travis with T-Rex the Goldendoodle

He had gone with my other son and his wife to look at puppies so Cait could have a companion while Justin is deployed this year.

Justin and Cait
They found their sweet puppy Sloane that day.

Cait holding Sloane

While they were looking at puppies, T-Rex climbed up into Travis' lap and as they say, the rest is history.  Of course, he was encouraged to bring the puppy home by his younger sister, Laura, who promised to help take care of it!  Yeah, right!

Change #3:
I now have two sons deployed with the National Guard.  Travis left January 16, 2012.

Heading out for a 14 month deployment
"Wait," you ask,  "I thought he brought a puppy home just a couple of weeks earlier, didn't he know he was deploying?"  Oh yes, my dear friends, those are some very good questions which may be the topic of another post another day.  Which brings us to the biggest, most life-changing and unforeseen change of all...

Change #4...  I am now the foster parent of an 11-week old goldendoodle puppy named T-Rex.

There is no doubt about it, T-Rex is an adorable, very smart and basically very good puppy.

He is snuggly and soft and makes cute puppy noises and he is playful and tries so very hard to please.

However, he is still very much a PUPPY and it has been a HUGE adjustment.  It is like suddenly having a new baby in the house and I am wiped out.

The title of this blog, Going Cuckoo,  is so fitting now!  There are times I feel like that's what's happening!  I hope to keep the blog up-to-date on both T-Rex's progress as well as mine.  I am pleased to report, I have gained back a little of my equilibrium.  For a while there my world was spinning out of control!  I totally relate to mothers of little children again.  I find myself eating because of stress and  I am once again fighting the desire to medicate myself with Dr. Pepper!

Some updates:

1.  Rex had a very bad week two weeks ago.  He was like a crazy dog!  It got so bad I finally called the vet to see if it could be food related.  They invited me to bring Rex in for an exam and we went as much for Rex as for me!  I was totally overwhelmed!

The Vet's findings and recommendations:
 - Turns out Rex had a urinary tract infection.  They put him on some medicine and he has been like a different puppy ever since.
-  Rex has very dry skin and they gave me some medicated shampoo to try to help relieve that.
-  Dr. Kara empowered me with some coaching and encouragement on potty and crate training
-  Dr. Kara also recommended that I get Rex enrolled in a Doggie Daycare a couple of days a week, to give him some socialization, give our other dog a break as his wrestling partner and personal chew toy and give me some breathing room.

Happily I can report that things have improved immensely.
I am still overwhelmed.
I still don't feel like I have a solid block of time to do much of anything with.
But, Rex is sweet and I am becoming a doting grandma!
This blog, at least for the next year or so, will chronicle The Good, The Bad and The Goofy times of life with T-Rex the Goldendoodle!

What changes are you experiencing this year?