Learning Curves and Lessons from a Dog Mom

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.


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3 Responses to “Learning Curves and Lessons from a Dog Mom”

  1. Barbara July 30, 2008 at 12:16 am #

    Rocky is a very sweet looking puppy. You must be very pleased with your new baby puppy. There is a lot to learn to look after a puppy, especially if it is your first time. I have raised 7 Golden Retriever Puppies over the years and it is a full time job.

    That is why I am putting in this comment. This is the most important tip that I can give you as a new dog parent. Getting an invisible dog fence is probably one of the very best things you can do for yourself and your new dog ( best to wait till he is at least 4 to 6 months). It gives both you and your dog freedom and safety. I can not say enough to express how wonderful it has been for the dogs and us as dog parents.

    We have an invisible dog fence or they also called electric dog fence, electronic dog fence, underground dog fence, in ground dog fence, radio fence, hidden fence or perimeter dog fence and other names. They have many names but all basically work on the same idea. To keep you dog enclosed in an area that you determine by using an under ground wire connected to a transmitter and a dog collar that connects to it by radio waves. It does not hurt the dog as you train him to stay away form the warning sound not the correction at the wire. As I said we have one and have for 7 years and it has worked fabulously. We have kept our 3 Big Golden Retrievers safe inside a 5 acre area and they have never ventured out. They have freedom and are safe from cars and wandering off which Golden Retriever’s tend to do.

    In the past we had a Golden that got lost for 2 days, when our sons went out an did not close the front door and he just wandered off investigating things. I guess when he had stopped investigating things he was so far away he did not know how to get back. Some nice person found him 2 miles away and called us. We were frantic. This has not happened since we have had our invisible fence.

    The electric dog fence has given us tremendous freedom from worry, without having an unsightly wooden or chain link fence around our property. They are portable too, we take it with us when we travel with our dogs. We would RECOMMEND THEM HIGHLY to everyone with a dog.

  2. Erin July 30, 2008 at 9:06 am #

    Barbara- thank you so much for your helpful comment! We are definitely in the market for an electric fence. We plan on installing one in the beginning of the fall. We want to ensure Rocky has enough time outside to run and play as the weather gets colder and we don’t want to be outside. Thanks again for the advice!!

  3. trampol November 15, 2008 at 9:17 am #

    I recently discovered this blog. I’ve had a similiar idea to your rewriting the ten commandments for some time now.