Thursday, July 16, 2009

Puppy parenting

Nearly one week into puppy parenthood, and I’m pooped.

Last night, I got up with Harvey at about 3 a.m. and 6 a.m. in the morning so that he could get out of his crate in our bedroom and have an outdoor pee. 6 a.m. was also the final wakeup call, for both Harvey and Owen. And this after I’d been out at Wal-mart until 11 at night, desperately picking up pet products that we hadn’t thought to acquire in our first round at Petsmart. These sleep-deprived nights feel eerily similar to have an infant in the house once again.

And my sanity is suffering. For each of the past three days, I’ve lost one of Harvey’s leashes for a significant lapse of time because I was so busy trying to figure out how to get reluctant pups and young boys inside or into cars while avoiding our potentially explosively jealous cat Frances that I abandoned the leash somewhere in the yard and forgot to return for it. And for each of the past three days, the boys and I have crossed the street for short walks and made it about a block and a half before Harvey decided to poop. I always realize at this moment that I’ve forgotten my poop scooping bag. So I keep having to trot across the street and return to the scene of the crime when I get a spare moment (often a few hours later) so I can hunt for the abandoned poop, pack it away, and ease my guilty conscience.

But I have hope that I will arrive at a more Zen-like state of puppy parenthood. Rob and I have been consulting books like Cesar Millan’s “Be the Pack Leader” and “The Art of Raising a Puppy” by the Monks of New Skete, that are giving us wonderful insight about how we could manage our pup if only we could carry it out as gracefully as it’s described. We are looking forward to delving into dog psychology, discovering our own inner dogs, and bonding more with Harvey – helping him join our pack.

I’ll share the full story of how we got Harvey and what it was like to bring him into our home in a Ledger-Enquirer column next Sunday. For now I’m packing for a trip to St. Augustine beach, where the boys and I are going with Rob’s dad and sister. I’m already dreading the idea of parting with Harvey, who will be staying home with Rob for a good chunk of the time.
Who knows, maybe I’ll even miss his 3 a.m. whimpers.

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