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.

At 13 weeks.

As a new puppy mom, I’m slowly learning the ropes of dog-rearing.  A simple carrot “treat” has successfully stopped pee accidents in the house and the bedtime routine has been established.  We’re usually in bed well before 10 p.m. due to an early morning for the hubby, but Keira has actually slept all the way until 4 a.m. a couple of nights.  Most nights, however, she wakes up once around 1 or 2 a.m. for a quick potty break, which isn’t too bad now that the weather is finally starting to warm up.

The hubby was successful in teaching Keira to go down the stairs, much to our relief because she is getting a little too big and bulky to carry down the stairs, especially down a dozen steps at 2 in the morning.  This required removing the gate from the kitchen to block off access to the Teen Boy cave, which was the original configuration, but so far it seems to work well.  The true test is when the kids come home, for Keira used to stare at them longingly from behind the gate during meal times.  Now she has full access to all the crumbs that make it to the floor.  Even with two teenagers and a tween, sometimes this is whole entire chunks of food.

Next we plan to register Keira for puppy kindergarten.  Along with her increase in size comes a substantial increase in energy, so much so that I’m not yet comfortable letting the kids walk her on a leash.  A leaf, a branch, a bird, a child – anything will trigger Keira to run in any given direction randomly, and sometimes with such unexpected power.  The only thing that will make her stop dead in her tracks is another dog.  For now it’s so that she can partake in a staring game.

Spoiled.

Well, it is indeed happening but cannot be helped.  This sweet furry face of love has burrowed deep within our hearts and is becoming totally spoiled with each and every day.

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She successfully made her way up onto the couch, which earned her the use of the Teen Boy’s old doggy flannel bedsheets.  It matches absolutely nothing and looks ridiculous amid the tropical Floridian-themed furniture I inherited from my parents.  But it works.  And Keira loves it.

Right now that’s what matters most as we attempt to navigate through the weeks of puppyhood, which oddly enough resembles the months of babyhood.  We find ourselves asking each other if she peed or if she pooped, when she ate, when she napped, and whether or not she slept through the night (which she has, yay Keira!).

Besides, this new comfy retreat encourages her mad napping skills and gives me some necessary downtime to tackle actual responsibilities (such as grad school).  Not to mention, the hubby and I are at that age when sitting on the floor for great lengths of time is beyond uncomfortable, even with a cute puppy to cuddle.

Next up:  Puppy training.  A.k.a the attempt to undo everything we are doing right now which we know we probably shouldn’t be doing.

That face.

Becoming a new puppy parent has had its share of challenges over the past couple of weeks, though some habits shared by the hubby and I are probably best broken, such as eating dinner on the coffee table while binge watching HGTV.  I was told puppy-raising is a lot of work, and it definitely has been, especially the hourly outdoor potty breaks and my need to put on layers of clothing so I don’t freeze in the process.

And sleep?  What’s that?

But just like with each of my three children, the frustrations are quickly forgotten when you look at that sweet innocent face.  It’s been a long time since I’ve had to endure the rigors of newborn babies, and thankfully this time around isn’t nearly as physically demanding.  Plus the hubby has been such a help, taking two weeks off of work to help us all acclimate, and providing some much-needed discipline for what otherwise might become a very spoiled dog.

Although from the looks of this photo, I wonder who actually does most of the spoiling.

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First snow.

We’ve had a relatively mild winter this year, hitting 70 degrees a few times, and misleading us into thinking we escaped a real midwestern winter.  While mid-20’s is pretty tame for a cold spell, it was cold enough to bring a bit of snow, probably the only significant snowfall we received season.

Keira was ever-curious, but thankfully kept the exploring during her potty breaks fairly short.KEIRAfirstsnowMarch2017-8

The vet!

Keira had her first vet visit today.  We had some trouble registering a consistent weight on their scale because she kept moving around, so they got 15-17 pounds, though the vet said he thinks she might be heavier.  When we got home we weighed her on our bathroom scale via the very precise and scientific method (note sarcasm) of calculating our combined weight minus my weight and we got 18.5 pounds.

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The vet wondered if Keira’s parents are big (dad is tall and muscular, mom is short and stocky) and also wondered if she was older than 9 weeks.  Needless to say, I think we will have a big dog on our hands.  More to snuggle!

The Homecoming

Yesterday we brought Keira home.  As we entered the barn, we were immediately met by two exuberant puppies, with their shy sister choosing to take us in from afar. Being the dog-owner newbie that I am, I was quite surprised at the variance in personalities these three sisters possessed.  Within minutes we knew which puppy would be the perfect match for our family.  My dog-owner friends were right, she really did choose us.

Here is my hubby with our breeder, Judy Fabrizius.  She is a ball-busting ball of energy and without a doubt will be our go-to in case we need any help with Keira.  And of course, she comes highly recommended.

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I have a feeling Keira has been a little spoiled by the vast acreage available to her as a farm pup, but she will be offered lots of love and attention in her new home.  What a gorgeous puppy she is, and of course so full of personality.

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