First Weekend With Parker The Puppy Tom March 19, 2013 True Life We picked up Peter Parker (Parker for short) this past Saturday about 2.5 hours away from our home. He is a Cockapoo which is a mix between a cocker spaniel and a miniature poodle. The drive up was uneventful except for the fact that we were given the wrong address and our cell phones didn’t work… but we eventually figured it out. The breeder was very nice and explained everything we needed to know and what to expect for the first couple days/weeks. We weren’t there very long before we jumped back in the car and started making our trek back to Chicago. Everything seemed to be going smoothly, we had the crate in the back of the car, but decided we were going to hold him and comfort him for the car ride… possibly a mistake. About 45 minutes int our drive he decided he didn’t like the car ride and threw up all over the blanket he was sitting on. Thankfully none of it got on my wife, but it was still a sight to see. We pulled off the highway and cleaned everything up, let him walk around a bit to get his bearings and calm down a bit, then jumped back in the car. About 20 minutes later he threw up again… on the blanket again. At this point, even though we cleaned off most of it, the blanket was pretty disgusting and could no longer sit on my wife’s lap, so we decided to switch spots. She drove the rest of the way home, while I held Parker and prayed he didn’t puke again because he was now just sitting on my lap… but of course he did. Thankfully we had a roll of paper towels and I was able to catch him before his stomach contents ended up in my lap. After throwing up for the 3rd time he made the rest of the trip without incident, but as soon as we made it to my parents house he peed on the floor, but it no worries, it was on the hardwood. So clearly he didn’t have to pee anymore, but we took him in the backyard to finish the rest of his business, which he did without incident. Back inside, he quickly bonded with my dad and perched up on his shoulder like a parrot as they relaxed on the couch together. It’s good that they took a liking to each other because my dad’s going to be watching him during the day a couple times a week while my wife and I are at work. So after a little bit of bonding it was time to head home for a few hours. We live on the 4th floor of a condo building so we knew that house breaking was going to be a bit of a struggle considering we’d have to take him out every couple hours, but at least we have an elevator. There were a few accidents when we first got home, but that was to be expected. We took him to see my in-laws for a couple hours and while we were there he did great, no accidents, and just slept on the floor while we ate and talked. I think he was tired out from the long day. The first night at our home went well. We put him in his crate around 10:30, I laid next to him for a few minutes until he stopped crying and fell asleep, then I went into the bedroom. I set my alarm for 1:30am so I could wake up and let him out whether he was whining or not, just so that he didn’t have an accident in his crate. To my surprise he wasn’t crying at all when I got up to take him out, but he did go to the bathroom. I put him back down and didn’t hear from him until 6 am when we all woke up for the day. Day 2 was uneventful in terms of anything really exciting happening. He had a few accidents in the house, but nothing I wasn’t expecting. I took him out every couple of hours and tried to get him to stay in his crate without whining for longer than 3 minutes without much success, but he’ll get better. Night 2 was even better than night 1. We put him down at about 10:30 and I set my alarm for 3am to repeat the same process as the night before. He wasn’t whining when I got up, and fell asleep quickly when we came in, and didn’t wake back up until 6 the next morning. Day 3 was our first visit to the vet for a check up just to make sure everything was good… which it was. The vet gave him an oral vaccination against Kennel Cough, a new toy, and a clean bill of health. The vet seems like a great guy and Parker seemed to like him. We have to go back next week to get his second round of vaccinations (breeder took care of the 1st), but other than that, everything checked out well. The rest of the day was spent playing and going outside. There were only 2 accidents in the house which is a huge improvement over the previous days, so things are looking up (or I’m just realizing when he needs to go out better). He’s also extremely afraid of his own reflection, which is quite amusing to watch, and has all of a sudden started humping my arm constantly… Night #3 (last night) was a bit harder than the previous nights. I think he’s starting to really come out of his shell so in addition to humping my arm any chance he got, he was a pain to get to sleep. He doesn’t want to go in his cage anymore, even though he loved it the day before, which made bedtime a bit of a pain. I got him to lay down around 10pm and laid next to him in his crate until he fell asleep. He made it about an hour before he started whining again so I got up and took him out. He then made it until about 4am at which point he started whining again, but seeing as how I was getting up at 515-530 anyways, I didn’t want to let him out of the crate just yet. I took my pillow and slept for an hour near his crate so he would stop whining, but still learn he had to hold his pee. We both woke up around 5:30 and went outside to take care of business. After that it was back in the crate for a few minutes while I showered and got ready to go, then it was off to my parents house for a fun filled day with my dad. My wife and I both work, so while we get him acclimated to everything he’s going to be spending a few days with my dad (who’s retired) and a few days with a dog sitter, and possibly friends in the area when we need them. So he’ll always have people around when we’re not there. So after a few days I have a new found respect for my mom who raised 3 small children while also training a puppy. We got our dog Kody, a golden retriever, when I was 11 years old, which would have made my brothers 9 and 6…. that’s a handful. Kody is no longer with us, but he was an amazing dog. So I definitely have a new found respect for my mom when it comes to raising the puppy, I’m just glad we’ll be doing the puppy before the kids come…. but those are definitely next on the list; this is the warm-up.