A month with Rocky and we’ve come a long way… There is A LOT to learn when taking on a new responsibility like a puppy. I have learned a ton (mostly from my mistakes) and after a few weeks of getting used to this whole dog-Mom thing, I think we are in good shape. Here are the top 5 lessons I’ve learned. (which, funny enough, are quite similar to some new-mom lessons my friends have learned recently!)
Lesson #1 - Take him out as soon as he has to go! Rocky was trying to notify me that he needed to go outside while I was painting my toes. I continued to finish my pedicure, telling Rocky “Wait two minutes until I’m finished, Rock.” You can probably figure out how that turned out. Rocky didn’t wait two minutes and I ended up messing up my pedicure while running around in a frenzy trying to clean up after Rocky’s accident. Lesson learned – take him out as soon as he gives me the heads up that he’s gotta go!
Lesson #2- Always make sure his collar is tight enough and he is not able to slip out (duh, right?). Rocky slipped out of his collar and ran away. After 4 hours of searching in the woods and 50 fliers around the neighborhood later, we found our pup. We made a new hole in the collar and adjusted it so this will never happen again. This was quite a scare. Poor Rocky has not been let off his leash while outside since. The photo below is from when Rocky returned home- after his bath he voluntarily went into his crate and fell right asleep. It makes me wonder what he was doing for 4 hours to make him so tired???
Lesson # 3 - Like babies, if puppies sleep all afternoon and into the evening, chances are they will not sleep through the night and cry until the wee hours of the morning. Enough said. That was a good dose of reality!
Lesson # 4- Bigger dogs are scary (to me and to Rocky). Avoid certain routes around the neighborhood if Patrick is not with us to prevent complete embarrassment (I’ll paint a picture for ya- first encounter with a large dog, the 2 dogs start barking, I run away like a scared little girl carrying a squeamish, heavy Rocky, tripping over the dragging leash-I didn’t realize the big dog was not going anywhere- electric fence!) Better safe than sorry, we don’t walk that way anymore.
Lesson # 5- A long evening walk is a must. This helps Mommy and Daddy Rocky walk off dinner. More importantly this is a great way to socialize Rocky. He meets tons of other dogs on our walks and it’s great for Patrick and I as the “new neighbors” to meet people as well!
At this point Rocky is still getting used to his new routine and life. He seems very happy- his tail has finally ventured out from between his legs and now he wags it like crazy! Rocky loves to cuddle and play on the living room floor with his stuffed turtle. He’s not quite fetching anything yet, but we are getting there (I have a 30 minute fetching lesson after his 5:45 walk everyday during TMZ-I mentioned we have a routine, right? ). Dad has been taking Rocky swimming in the pond a lot, which means that he has gotten many, many baths from Mom. Each day Rocky is getting more comfortable with us and he shows more and more personality as time goes by. It’s so much fun having him around! Oh and FYI- I have given the bandannas a little rest since these photos were taken (after much mockery). Now Rocky only gets “dressed up” on Sunday’s or special occasions.