That was the very first moment that I met Bleu. Adorable? Check. Had to have her? Check. Ready for her? Absolutely not! That didn’t mean that Betty and I (mostly me) were ready to embark on having a dog as part of our family.
Raising a puppy wasn’t easy. Could we have been more prepared? Of course! But the opportunity to get Bleu came up thanks to Pete… and I didn’t want to miss out. We had started researching dogs maybe a month before and had visited the pound once or twice to see if any of the ones we met there would be a good fit.
Taking home a puppy is tough. We got Bleu exactly at 8 weeks and in retrospect, wish we would have left her with her parents for a little bit longer. She had a bad case of separation anxiety from her family and cried for almost a whole week throughout the night. Our biggest mistake was tending to her every time she did cry. I think we were over worried that something was wrong or if she was in pain or too cold or etc…
Here are some other tips that I learned in the first 6 months:
- Luckily, I live close to home, so going home at lunch for a walk and some play time is a must
- Routine, routine, routine – a solid routine and schedule will get your puppy behaving sooner than you believe! Especially when it comes to potty training
- Potty training… if you must use the pee pad, ween him/her off ASAP! We didn’t, and that was the hardest part of her training
- Be stern with your training and be the boss. No means no and constantly reinforce good behavior while shunning bad behaviors. Do this EVERY SINGLE DAY
- Exercise them daily! Long walks, running around a grass field, the dog park, going to new places, etc… If not, dogs can get pent up energy and be destructive, develop bad habits or worse!
Finally, as she’s grown up, she’s developed her own personality. She loves to perch on top of the couch like a cat. She loves to lick the sweat off my arms. Sunbathing is a must even if there’s only a sliver of light. And she loves eating pretty much anything. Enjoy the last pic of her giving us a little sassy eye. Happy bday Bleu!