Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Upon Questioning My Sanity

Our beloved dog, Toby, of eleven faithful years had to be put down one month ago. Cancer. Bone cancer. It was an awful thing to watch and once we found out it was cancer, we couldn't let him suffer.

I knew it would be hard on our children. But I didn't realize how hard it would be on me (and hubs too). Eleven years is a long time. He basically grew up with our children. Our youngest was 2, going on 3, when Toby came into our family.

Guess what is happening in a few short days. We will be adding a ten month old yellow lab puppy into our lives. I'm really starting to question my sanity at the moment. I'm really going to be doing the majority of training. Yikes! It is like having a baby again. My baby is 13, soon to be 14. Did I say, "Yikes"?

It was a difficult decision to make. We called multiple family meetings. Discovered the older two children are too busy and want nothing to do with the training process. But our son is still young enough to want a buddy to play with in the yard. Toss a chew toy or two. Run and play with the puppy. BUT he is in baseball now and again in the summer. Again, I am questioning my sanity.

Chewing, digging, messes on the floor, trying to train so no messes on the floor (he'll be allowed in the basement during inclement weather), training with the underground dog fence, chewing, digging, being a puppy kind of things......I think I'll go pull my hair out right now and get it over with!

But puppies/dogs can bring such joy into our lives. (and some....well, that is another story) They are so much fun at time. And how can you say no to a boy and his dog?

Anyone have any training tips or "do's" and "don'ts"? I'm all ears and am standing by for your great comments and advice!


  1. First off, I'm so sorry about your dog. :( It is so painful to lose a dog when they have been part of the family all along. :(

    Training tips? Hmm... when our Australian Cattle Dog/Border Collie was a puppy, she loved jumping. One way to solve that is to either knee them in the stomach or wack them on the nose with a newspaper. Those methods sound so cruel, but they really do work!

    To get rid of excess energy, we would take a broom and swing it around in a circle. She would keep running around and around and around... it was a very time efficient way to get rid of energy fast!

    When our German Shepherd was a puppy, we lived up on a mountain and it was pretty much impossible to just let him outside to go the bathroom, or he would run away. So we bought some "pee pads" (lovely name, huh? ;) like these-
    You put them around the house and they are attracted to them so they go to the bathroom on them, saving you the work of cleaning up a big bathroom mess!

    Start training them to sit, stay, lie down etc. early so they grow up knowing who's in charge- never let them control you, show 'em who's boss!

    I hope these help! :) Have fun with your puppy!

  2. Awww, thanks, Julia.

    I never thought of the broom suggestion. That would release a lot of energy, wouldn't it.

    We used puppy pee pads for Toby and they seemed to work ok. I was just afraid this one might rip them up since he is older. I'll have to rethink that one. We did look at them at Wmart yesterday though.

    Thanks again for the great tips!