It’s been almost a month now since Mark and I drove from Michigan to Pennsylvania to look at the puppy Mark fell for that we named Winston . . .
. . . and also came home with a pal for Winston that we named Snickers.
I’ve never had two puppies at one time. Here’s 10 Things I’ve learned:
- Puppies can’t tell time. Mark is often up between 3:00 and 4:30 a.m. letting the pups out because at some point in the wee hours of the night, Snickers whines to let us know he or Winston has to go out. I, of course, go back to bed. See, Mark’s a guy, and it’s safer for a guy to be outside in the middle of the night, and I have to work most days. It works out quite well. Unless you’re Mark.
- Puppies need special food. When we first got the pups home, we set off to buy one of the best puppy foods available. At one of the four local pet stores we frequent most weekends, we were greeted by a lady with a coupon for Dr. Gary’s Best Breed puppy food which we later found at http://www.bestbreed.com. It’s all natural food with no preservatives or anything else that’s scary. We took a bag home and the pups liked it.
- Some puppies need really special food. Snickers has an underbite and once we fed him some of the new puppy food , we realized that it took a while for him to eat a hard kibble. So we now take some of Dr. Gary’s Pure Breed puppy food, add warm water and some Pet Milk and let it soak. Once the food is all soft, we spoon out several spoonfuls, add some cooked hamburger, microwave the mixed mess, let it cool and put it on the floor for the pups. Snickers has no problem chewing this yummy food.
- Puppies need lots of exercise. Snickers and Winston will wrestle and play together a lot and we also play with them. But a nice walk outside gives them more exercise, allows us to interact with them and practice our leadership skills, and it gets them used to being on a leash and walking properly. Our pups love these walks because they love to sniff and explore.
- Two puppies are better than one . . . mostly. The only downside of having two pups is that you can’t always figure out who caused the trouble–who pulled the roll of toilet paper off the roll in the bathroom, who brought the underwear down from the back room into the living room, and who led the effort to chew up the Ono card game. Just look at these faces? Who’s guilty of the latest crime? I can’t tell.
- Puppies need lots to chew on. So there I was writing at the table, when I felt this strange vibration from the bottom of the table. I looked down and saw Winston gnawing on the table leg. I gave him a stern “No!!” got up and found his Kong ball (a rubber gadget with dog treats stuffed inside).
- Puppies will explore, cautiously. Winston and Snickers came from a farm in Pennsylvania where there were no cars, no people walking by, no skateboards, no kids. We live in a suburban area and every new sound sent the pups scampering back to the front door. Inside, they ran away from the dishwasher, barked at people on TV and, my personal favorite, barked at Stepkid #2 as she Skyped from Germany. Slowly, but surely, though, they are getting used to the noises and their yard.
- Puppies can be expensive. Our first trip to the vet with Winston and Snickers cost us $519. It included two examinations, two rabies shots, one eye dye treatment to make sure the scratch Snickers had on his eye did not affect his cornea, two one-year supplies of heart-worm treatment and two one-year supplies of flea prevention. An hour after the visit, while I was suffering a heart attack due to the money I’d just spent, Winston starting running around rubbing his nose in the carpet and on pillows. I looked him over and discovered his face was all chubby, his lip all leathery and puffed up. We rushed off to the MSU Small Animal Clinic and $129 and a shot of Benedryl later, Winston’s reaction to the rabies shot was under control. On tap in the next month or so: the need to get the pups neutered and groomed.
- Having pals is a good way to go. Winston and Snickers are very protective of each other and seldom more than a few feet apart. Yet they’re also great pals for Mark and me.
- It’ll take lots of time and patience to train puppies–house training, getting them used to leashes, and riding in the car. Mark works with the pups while I’m at work, and we both work with them in the evening. It’s amazing the time it takes, but it’ll be worth it when they are fully trained. In fact, everything about our pups is worth it if you ask me!