Chandler

In my last post, I explained a bit about how I arrived at the decision to get a puppy. Here’s the fun stuff: what our first few weeks have been like together!

When I got him home he immediately found a favorite spot in my house… Underneath the kitchen table (a.k.a. the toughest spot to try to pick him up from). I learned quickly that he loves squeaky chew toys, that gross fake spray cheese (string cheese too), and was not a fan of “walks”. We had a fun first few days, but I truly had underestimated the amount of attention he would need. Thank god he’s cute.

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Over the first few weeks, I really learned a lot about his personality. He’s really not super food motivated, but he LOVES belly rubs. This makes him lots of fun to cuddle with, but a terrible student for obedience school. He just started to LOVE going up and down the stairs which is lots of fun for me to witness… but I don’t have the same amount of energy he does to always keep up with him! He loves to chew and thankfully he pretty much only chews his own toys and steers clear of furniture, carpet, etc.

I also feel like I hit the JACKPOT with him because he has been really easy to potty train. I’ve been diligently crate training him. Sadly for me, this means no dog sleeping at the end of the bed. Chandler spends the night in his crate. And he does a great job with it! During the first three nights he woke up around 4:00 am and got my attention to go outside. Ever since then he’s slept great through the night with ZERO overnight accidents in his crate. The only times he’s gone in the house are when 1) I’m too preoccupied to take him out the moment he gives me a warning sign, or 2) I’ve left him during the day for longer than a few hours in his crate. It’s the little things, people.

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Other things of note:

  • He was NOT a fan of walks at first. I think he hated the collar pulling around his neck. I quickly decided to get him a harness, and so far that’s working so much better. Now he loves when we take a stroll around the neighborhood or the park.
  • Chandler is great at bath time! He stands still and wasn’t scared at all on his first visit to the groomer either, and his groomer commented that he’s got a great temperament. Another score.
  • So far he’s been pretty quiet. He’s barked a small bit when he hears something really loud outside, but mostly he’s just a super sweet guy. If you meet him, be ready for him to jump up to give you a kiss!
  • Last week he passed the behavior exam at Doggy Daycare. Yahtzee! This means he played well with the other puppies and can come back anytime he wants to. I plan to take him at least weekly for now to get him socialized and to help him expend some extra energy.

It has been an absolute blast having Chandler. I’ve got lots more that I’ve learned about being a first-time dog dad and can’t wait to use this space to share it.

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So, I Got a Puppy

Last month, I adopted a puppy. The decision as a little spur of the moment… I knew I wanted a dog, but I wasn’t sure of exactly when to pull the trigger. I’ve been ready for some companionship around my place, and I’m feeling really settled into my career and my home. Although I have been researching breeds for a few years and talking about getting a puppy semi-seriously since I bought my condo last May, the final decision to bring home my dog was made during the third quarter of the Super Bowl. By noon on Monday, I was driving home with my puppy in the back seat.

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Moments after picking him up!

Let me back up a bit and overshare a bit about my allergies. I’m allergic to pretty much every animal there is. I’ve found that cats and horses tend to be the worst. We’re talking eyes swelled shut, nose running like a faucet, funky rashy skin, chest so congested I can’t breathe kind of allergies. Some dogs get me there too. But, I’ve noticed more and more in recent years that my allergies do pretty well with “hypo-allergenic” dogs. Not 100% perfect – I need to be diligent about washing my hands, keeping my place vacuumed/dusted, etc. and I take a daily allergy pill just to keep things in-check. I overshare all of this information to tell you: I can’t have just any animal in my home.

Also, I wanted to be picky about what type of breed I wanted to get. Something too small just didn’t feel right for me. I also live in a >1,000 sq. ft. condo, so a giant dog wasn’t a good call either because I don’t have a big house or yard. Because of my allergies (and because I’d rather not have to vacuum every single day), it was important to find a dog with hair instead of fur to cut down on excessive shedding. I also wanted a dog who I could train without an insane amount of effort, because I refuse to let my condo smell like pee. It’s the little things, people.

Somehow I settled on a Wheaten Terrier. They’re terriers, so they’ve got some character flaws (diggers, runners, barkers) – but they also fit every piece of criteria I listed above. I’m 100% for the #AdoptDontShop movement, but sadly I couldn’t guarantee a forever home to a dog that didn’t mesh well with my allergies. [Note: so far so good on the allergy front with Chandler. Score!]

What I learned that it’s HARD to find Wheaten Terriers near where I live. Seriously! I’ve been casually looking since last summer and had a few moments of weakness where I almost drove 10 hours to New Jersey or Southwestern Missouri to pick one up. Then, during the Super Bowl after only a few beers and two bowls of Doritos, I found Wheaten Terrier puppies in Plymouth, MI. That’s only two hours from me!

Like a crazy person, I texted the breeder at 10 pm. She texted back right away, we exchanged some pictures and information, and I made tentative plans to just visit and look on Monday morning. At 11 pm I was in the car on the way to Meijer to buy chew toys, a dog bed, a crate, treats, a collar, leashes, training pads, and waste bags. I thought the Falcons had the game under control (wrong), Lady Gaga had already jumped off the roof (crazy), and I just couldn’t wait. I knew I was bringing him home with me the next day.

When I met the breeder, there were three adorable puppies there. I wanted a boy, and she brought up two boys and a girl just to show me who was there. The second boy was adorable, but about two weeks younger than the little guy I decided to take home. I felt like it made more sense for him to get a bit more time with his mama to grow and learn before someone took him home. Lucky for me, I picked up Chandler.

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Looking forward to sharing more about our first month together in an upcoming post! Also, if you read this far then special treat for you: I’ve been keeping up a separate Instagram for Chandler’s adventures. Check it out here.