The last couple of weeks have been a bit of a whirlwind. I was kind of amazed to look at the date this morning and see that we’re already a full week into March. March! Are you kidding me? It felt like February would never end, but now here we are less than a week from Daylight Savings time and only two weeks away from actual spring.
Weekend before last was a very full one. I spent Saturday, which is normally my sabbath/rest/be lazy as all get-out day, cleaning, going over my accounting and doing our taxes while Matt was out at an all-day thing. Then on Sunday we both went to another all-day thing with our new friends. It was a very long and full day and by the end of it I was completely introverted out, but I was also covered in tiny paw prints and slobber from our friends’ two adorable Chihuahuas, and that filled my heart in a way that it hadn’t been filled for too long. I also got to pet goats and pigs and got a lesson in gardening, so it was a day well spent.
I took Monday off to recover. Which mostly involved lazing around and watching YouTube and reading, but also a perusal of a certain section of Craigslist, which led to a decision made on Tuesday to do a certain other thing. Prior to that, my plan was to spend the rest of the week getting back into a writing routine for my novel and this here blog, but the rest of the week ended up being all about prepping for said thing instead.
And then on Friday, we went and did the thing.
Guys, meet Dixie.
At seven weeks and ten pounds, her favorite things are sleeping, belly rubs, chewing everything she can get her mouth on, and playing in the leaves.
We’ve had her now for roughly 76 hours but it feels like much longer. This probably has a lot to do with the fact that we barely slept the first night. We followed all of the YouTube trainers’ instructions on getting them to sleep quietly in their crate overnight, and those instructions did not work at ALL. I ended up caving and pulling her out of there around 1 AM and letting her sleep with me on the couch so we could get some sleep. That’s pretty much been the arrangement every night so far, and we’re very tired.
But otherwise, things are going well. She’s incredibly bright and has already learned a ton, and we’ve established a routine that basically goes like wake up, potty and eat and/or get a drink, play/train/exercise until she passes out, get stuff done while she’s asleep, repeat throughout the day until time for bed. Have I mentioned that we’re very tired?
Tired, but full. Her gotcha day was full of mixed emotions–we’re both still not over Pete, nor will we ever be, and it still feels a bit too soon for this. But at the same time, she’s already starting to fit in and feel like family. We’re all falling in love and learning and building trust, and I must say, it’s pretty amazing. And it’s a very different experience, too. For one thing, she’s the youngest puppy either of us has ever had, so the learning curve there is really high. For another, at seven weeks she’s already more than twice the size of Pete and growing fast (I think she might already have put on a pound or two since we brought her home). Although she’s tiny for a German shepherd, after him she feels huge.
Right now, at this stage, she enjoys a certain amount of lap cuddles, and we’re both trying to take advantage of that as much as we can while she’s still small enough for them. There’s that part of us that can’t wait for her to grow into an actual dog and not be such a handful to manage, but we’re trying to enjoy this stage, knowing how nostalgic we’ll be for this time a year from now when she’s five to ten times the size she is now. I don’t think she’ll get huge — her parents are both about mid-sized, as far as GSD’s go — but she’s a definite change from the tiny little puppers we’re used to.
Today we achieved a major victory — getting her to hang out by herself in her crate with the door closed without acting like she’s dying. Tomorrow, we’ll take some of the chicken wire we picked up for our eventual chicken tractor and see if we can rig up some kind of exercise/emergency potty pen around the front of the crate, and then we’ll work on getting her to sleep in the crate overnight with the door open into the pen, and work on getting me back into my own bed.
As I’m writing this, she’s sacked out on the floor next to my feet. Before long it will be time for another trip outside and another round of play and exercise until she’s ready to pass out again. We’re going to be in such great shape because of this dog, y’all. Don’t bother with a gym membership — just get a large breed puppy, and you’ll never miss a day of exercise.
But you will miss some sleep.
In other news, I signed on with another content marketing client — I’ll be helping out with a breed profile project for Chewy’s blog. And my steadiest client, the one who informed me early last month that they were slowing article production, is going to have me writing infographic copy instead, which comes with a significant pay raise. So things are looking way, way up in freelance writing land. Which means I can stop spending all my time and energy trying to find work and start focusing back on my novel and blog again… once we get this whole puppy sleep situation sorted out and my brain is functional for something more challenging than a stream-of-consciousness blog post.
This was indeed a long, dark winter, but spring is nearly here, and things are looking so much brighter. And in a few more weeks, we’ll get our chickens! Squee!