Apparently I can’t count.

So all along I have been counting the weeks incorrectly.  I made Keira one week older than she actually is.  In people years it makes no difference, but in dog years it definitely does, especially when comparing Keira’s seemingly tiny, squishy size on her homecoming day to how huge she seems today.

We started puppy kindergarten last week and socialization is well under way.  I feel as though I am now part of the Society of Dog People.  Friends have come out of the woodwork to invite us for puppy playdates.  Our perceived likability has gone up a few notches, so it seems.

Even the first couple of weeks with Keira were a slight challenge, it seems we have eased into a routine that works.  We probably sleep a little less, maybe nap a little more, rush home a little faster when we are away, and turn down social invitations.  All for this new addition to our family who has sniffed her way into all of our hearts, even that of the older Teenager, who apparently is now over the nose-biting incident.

 

Ah, so many adventures!

I finally have a moment to sit and write about the latest Keira shenanigans.  We just returned from the Teenage Boy’s first soccer game, which was Keira’s first time going somewhere with lots of sights and sounds.  So far she associates car rides with trips to the vet, so I’m trying to make the car experience a positive one so she can go with us to as many places as possible.

As a new dog person, I’m quickly learning:

Bully sticks.  Keira loves them.  They are the ultimate treat when we need to leave her at home in the crate and they provide a good positive distraction for car rides.

The vet.  Keira’s last visit started off full of curiosity and exploration. Then the vet walked in and she peed everywhere.  I guess I don’t blame her.  However, at 26 pounds, three of us had to assist in keeping her calm during her quick exam.  I’m not sure how she will be when she doubles in size because now she seems huge to me.

Carrots and apples are the bomb.  No more accidents in the house.  She earns her treats well.

Kiddos.  She loves them.  Especially the Tween, who can play silly little games with her for what seems like hours.  Keira is extra tired when the Tween is able to spend extra time with her.

Puppy kindergarten starts on Thursday.  I have a feeling she is going to be one of the big kids.

Almost 7 weeks old.

During the basketball banquet for the Teenager last night (where she was recognized as Most Improved Player for the second year in a row, yay!), we received recent puppy photos from Fabrizius Farm.  As the the little fur balls approach 7 weeks in age, they’ve grown significantly HUGE since the last time we saw them.

keira-almost-7-weeks

Tomorrow we plan to purchase gates in order to establish some “puppy free” zones, amid much protest from the kids, especially the Youngest who is on an unsuccessful campaign to reserve the extra twin bed in her room for the dog.   However, since they have no idea what it’s like to have a little human or animal in the house, both of which would try to ingest every little thing left on the floor, be it a Lego piece, ear buds, or bobby pins, we decided it’s best to be safe than sorry while simultaneously preserving our sanity.

I’ve successfully blocked out the challenging and not-so-fun parts of the Toddler Years with each child, but if I think hard enough I seem to remember the ongoing diligence when the Teenager was 3 and the Boy was brand new, and then when the Boy was 22 months old and the Youngest was brand new.  I was elated when I bought the last box of Pampers at Costco.  And Preschool was met with a celebratory Pumpkin Spiced latté from Starbucks, which I sipped for a total of 30 minutes on a park bench before my quiet time was up.

But admittedly, the sweet squishiness is what I miss the most.  Seemingly overnight the Youngest cringes when I try to give her a hug.  Hence, the need for a puppy.  Or at least that’s my overarching reason for what will likely be some trying months ahead of us.  I know my husband is much more realistic about this new endeavor since he grew up with dogs.  But I will continue to live in this puppy fantasy land full of slobbery kisses and unconditional love until the first chewed up shoe or first pee accident on the living room rug that will require Herculean strength to remove.

(Note to self: Consider removing that rug this weekend.)

Sixteen more days!

Not so tiny.

Late Sunday afternoon we made our way out to Fabrizius Farm to visit Keira and her siblings.  The Teenager stayed home with Lola Lou while Antman and Izzy accompanied us.  I was surprised at how much the puppies had grown in just a few short weeks, though I have to remember she is still very tiny compared to her expected size as a full grown lab.

Needless to say, we are all smitten.  Judy Fabrizius cautioned us to commit to our puppy in 5 weeks when we return for the big homecoming, for they will start to develop individual personalities.  I have a feeling we already made our choice.