I saw pictures of her straight after her birth, visited her several times as she grew and finally two weeks ago Molly came home. As birthday presents go this was an unusual one but for some reason my girls seem to think its a good idea as Bobcat arrived the same way 8 years ago.
We knew we were getting Molly and hubby and I had spent the 6 weeks since her birth discussing it, ok in reality he said 'no' and I spent 6 weeks persuading him.
So Molly duly arrived and became part of our family. I had spoken to lots of people, got advice, brushed up on my puppy raising skills on line and then all of a sudden this tiny bundle of brown and white fur was sitting in her cage in her new ( chosen by hubby) furry bed looking at me.
Oh cripes! Were our other dogs ever this small? This fragile? This needy?
Along side the instant love and that need to mother feeling that a lot of you will recognise came the doubts and apprehension.
Could I cope with such a young puppy?
In our more serious discussions hubby had come to understand that the only way I could have this pup is if he helped look after her, he would have to do the tasks I can no longer do and without his input it would be impossible for me to care for her.
So Molly came on the Monday and on the Tuesday Trevor came down with 'man flu' not a common Cold or even normal flu, oh no it was definitely man flu. How do I know? Because with a cold or even with flu you may well be ill but you are not dying and he was dying! By the end of Tuesday I think if I had heard him say 'oh dear' in that pain racked voice once more I would have put him out of his misery myself.
Monday night we duly put her to bed in her new bed in her cage, she will be no problem Sarah had said, turn the light out and close the door. Great, and that is exactly what we did, both of us were tired, it was about 11 o'clock as we headed to our bed. We settled, Trevor coughed a few times for effect, moaned a bit about not being able to breath (so I removed the pillow from over his face!)
And we drifted off to sleep. 1am the most pitiful crying came from the direction of the living room, we ignored it, the crying got steadily louder, we live in a block of flats and I have always been very aware of how noise travels, mostly because we are regularly disturbed by neighbours who either aren't aware or don't care about how much noise travels. Anyway I do care so it was obvious we couldn't let the crying escalate any further, I looked at Trevor, he coughed again for effect and sighed heavily and turned his back on me! No help coming from that direction then. Up I got, due to my condition getting in and out of bed takes a while and my body stiffens after just a few hours of inactivity so I must have looked like a little old lady making my way down the hall to comfort the puppy but when her little face looked at me and her tail wagged so hard I was sure it would fall off in her pleasure at seeing me I couldn't be cross with her. I let her out for a cuddle, a toilet break, a little play and then back to bed. We repeated this process every hour until I finally decided to stay up at 5am.
After a couple of nights like this I was on my knees, of course I couldn't expect my sick husband to take a turn with her during the night but I had got to the sleepwalking stage as I got her out and went through the same routine only to repeat it again an hour or so later.
On the fourth night I threw all the 'how to train your puppy' books out the window and took her into our bedroom in a big cardboard box she couldn't get out of and slept with my arm dangling over the box every time she got restless, we slept that night until 5.30..... I had cracked it.
Unfortunately not, next night we were back to hourly crying, have you heard the noise a puppy can make scratching on a cardboard box in the early hours?
'keep her awake for 3 hours before bedtime' was the advice I was getting, have you ever tried keeping a puppy awake when she wanted to sleep? She doesn't care where she sleeps, on the floor, in her bed, on your foot, literally anywhere, if she wants to sleep she sleeps.
Can't tell you I have the night times completely Sussed yet but she now comes down to our bedroom and sleeps in a pet carrier, it's smaller than her cage and the box and she seems happier in it, Friday night she went from 10.30 to 6.20. Woo hoo!
For the first couple of days i wanted to keep the cat and the puppy apart, I expected the cat to be put out, jealous and maybe even violent towards her as he considers himself king pin here and will not be usurped by anything.
I remember when we were on holiday last year we were phoned up by our friend who was cat/house sitting to tell us a kitten had followed Bobcat in through the window and Bobcat had gone for it with such vigour the poor thing had hidden in the back of the fridge/freezer and wouldn't come out!
So it would need careful handling introducing a small puppy. Trevor is not as cautious as me, he believed that just leaving them to it was the way to go and so it was that although I was always very careful opening and closing the door between the room where Molly was and the rest of the flat where Bobcat was he was not so careful and Bobcat followed him in on the Monday afternoon, Molly was in her cage, the cat walked right up to it and sniffed, Molly moved and the look on the cats face was 'what the heck is that?'
Over the days we let them 'chance across' each other more and more, it seemed Bobcat was going to be tolerant of this young pup if only she would stop flying at him every chance she got and realised his tail was not a toy.
I am beginning to think I have the only pup in the world who has no idea what the word no means, it doesn't seem to
Matter how often I say it, what tone I use she continues merrily on doing what she's doing..... Pulling wires, trying to dismantle and eat my sofa from the underneath upwards, chewing anything that doesn't move, actually scrub that, Molly will chew it even if it is moving!
It was so pointless telling her to 'leave' the cat every time he came into her proximity that he decided he would have to teach her who is boss himself and so a new game was born.... Dodge the cats paws when he tries to hit you on the head because you are being annoying!
Oh what fun that is proving, cat lifts paw ready to swipe and just at the very moment it swings in her direction she flings herself out of the way, bark once or twice and repeat. Hours of amusement!
Toilet training- being in a flat I can't just open the door and let puppy out into a garden, we have a communal garden but it is not accessible directly from my flat and so puppy training pads were the order of the day. Simple idea, you put them where you want pup to do her stuff, encourage her to use them, praise like mad and in a day or two ( or 30 or 40) she will use only them. oh how many training pads I have got through in these two weeks is amazing, it's now at a ratio of 6/1 that's 1 on said pad and 6 under the table, behind the chair, in the hall, by the side of the pad, in the place where the pad was because she has dragged it elsewhere to play with.
You must have got the picture by now.
Perseverance is the name of the game!!
Friday afternoon Claire popped in with my grandson Morgan (16 months) and he and Molly became firm friends, watching the two of them racing up and down the hall, playing tug of war with my towel, and lying side by side on the floor was delightful.
So my friends, after Two weeks of having Molly do I regret anything? Would I be able to go back to not having her?
The answer is a resounding no, she is part of my family now and will hopefully have a happy life here with us.....
Can I please have some sleep now?
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