Thursday, May 3, 2012

New Family Member

Yes, that's a puppy. And our newest family member. Isn't he cute? And yes, I believe I have lost my mind. 
About three weeks ago, I decided to finally take the plunge and get our family a new puppy. We had a dog for 12 years, and he passed away about two years ago. I didn't miss the mess, or the poop, or being tied down to another creature. The freedom when he was gone was so easy to get used to. And caring for an elderly, sick dog is no fun. Especially when you have so many other bodies to look after. The care and love you put in is not reciprocated as much as it once was. It was hard to justify in my mind why I was doing it. I came to resent him for his illness, and his dependence. That wasn't fair to either of us. 
So I was very hesitant to get another dog. I knew that I would be mainly responsible for the little guy, for cleaning up after him, for feeding him and making his various appointments. And there's always the financial side of it too. 
But lately, I started to wonder if getting a dog would help L. He dearly misses Vader, our old pooch. He cries over him once in a while, and gets sad when we talk about him. And there was that part in my mind that has read so many stories of how dogs are great therapy for many different issues, including autism, depression, etc, etc. I wondered if having a puppy would bring some lightness into his life. 
It was a hard decision to make. What if it didn't help? What if I resented this creature like I did our old dog? What if the boys reneged on their promises to ever help out with him? We can't send him back. 
I decided that we would go visit the breeder of these puppies. I wanted this breed, a wheaten/schnauzer cross, and we knew someone through a friend of DH that bred them. I figured that if we went to see them, we could talk about it, and perhaps get a puppy when she had another litter. But once we arrived at the breeder's house, several things happened: we all fell in love with these cute, roly-poly teddy bears, and the woman told us this was the last litter she'd be breeding. This particular mix is hard to find. Especially in such close proximity to us! (Only a half hour drive!) So the decision was made. In retrospect, I'm glad we did it now. I had forgotten just how much I'd have to be outside with him, in all kinds of weather and times of day (and night). Being outside at 3 in the morning is much easier to take in the spring than in the dead of winter,or even the cold chill of fall. 
He is now eleven weeks old. Training is.....slow. I never realized what a fantastic, amazing dog our Vader was! He was practically trained when we got him. And it didn't hurt that he went to my MIL's every day while we were at work. She had an older dog that helped I his training. 
This puppy had accidents CONSTANTLY. And I am trying to stick to a schedule and trying to make sure that he goes outside with every change in routine. I'm making sure I "project a calm-assertive energy" with him (as the great Cesar Milan) would say, and not dwell on negative vibes when he has accidents. 
But man......
It's so HARD! 
He'll have these really great days (or maybe that's WE have), and then some days it's like ten accidents. The there's the whole peeing-on-the-deck thing. Sometimes he just goes out, and instead of going to the grass,he just goes on the deck. Which I don't really want, but I'm just so damn happy it's not on my carpet, and too damn busy getting dinner/looking after children/making lunches/whatever that I can't be bothered to go outside with him each. and. every. time. 
But who can be upset with that face? It's just so darn cute!
Oh, and BTW, he's named Jasper. That was my pick. I figured I should get to name him since I'm the main cleaner-upper. And yes, it's from Twilight, because Jasper was one of my favorite characters, and the actor who played him was sexy as hell,and the character in the books is described as having blonde, curly hair,which is likely what this guy will have. Well, I know for sure he'll be blonde at least. The kids wanted to keep his breeder name, Gizmo, but I really don't love that movie, the kids haven't seen it, and my sister's cat is named that. He was almost Wicket, which really would have suited him since he does resemble an Ewok, and would have been in keeping with the Star Wars theme. But it's too cutesy for me, and I was still stuck on the Twilight theme, ha ha. (The kids definitely wouldn't go for Edward!) 

That's how he likes to sleep in his bed. Weird dog.