Ivy the puppy – a baptism of fire

Welcome to our world 1

Life with a new puppy… where to begin? There are quite a few things you need to get used to when you welcome a new puppy into your life, most of which you simply will not have anticipated!

Obsessive photo taking

Anyone would have thought we were gunning for a place in the 2019 edition of the Guinness Book of Records for the most photos taken in one day! She’s sitting – snap. She’s standing – snap. She’s running  – snap. She’s sleeping – She’s done a poo – ok, we did draw a line there, but that first poo did not go unremarked upon! And I must admit to having taken a picture of one of her poos, because it looked like a Stonehenge statue, but I have been expressly forbidden by the whole family to share it, even tho’ I know you might be desperate to see it!

 

Sudden popularity

Seriously! You’d think there was a sudden world caffeine shortage, the number of friends who suddenly wanted to ‘pop over for a coffee’ – more than ever wanted to come and see our offspring when they were born! I guess watching a new puppy bombing round the garden and generally being adorable is a bit more interesting than watching a baby sleep, but still!

 

Complete chaos

By day two or three, our kitchen began to resemble a crêche. Brightly coloured balls and toys scattered all over the floor. A wire pen surrounding her night time cage. Paw prints on the glass doors and floor. Wee mats, like so many discarded diapers. Just mess everywhere!

 

Poop and wee

E.V.E.R.Y.W.H.E.R.E! Yes we knew this was going to happen, but seriously how many times a day can one small furry creature empty its bladder and bowels!

 

Who spilled the super glue?

Someone has definitely applied superglue to our new puppy. Wherever we are, so is she. If you move, she needs to know where you are going. When you leave the room, she follows. When I am making supper, if I stand still more than five seconds, she comes and lies on my feet, ever hopeful I won’t move and she can fall asleep! And don’t talk to me about trying to go for a wee alone!

 

Cuteness overload

Ivy is undoubtedly gorgeous. A whirling bundle of fur who just wants to have fun and cuddles. Every morning she greets us as if we have been parted for months – I don’t think we have ever been showered with such unbridled affection!

 

We are all in love!

 

Bringing home Ivy

Picking up Ivy - with mum and breeder.jpgDylan and Ivy, with breeder Louise and Ivy’s mummy.

The day has arrived! Dylan and I are the chosen ones. At 11am one Saturday morning the two of us head off to pick up our new bundle of joy. We are beyond excited and more than a little nervous. Will she like us? Will she cry? How’s her mum going to feel? Will she pee in the car? When will she first eat? You get the picture!

I should point out at this stage that none of us have ever owned a dog. Yes, we had done a lot of research and reading around. Yes, we have lots of friends who have dogs. And yes, we feel well and truly prepared. But as anyone who has ever brought home an 8 week old puppy will know – we did not know what was about to hit us!

We turned up at the farm and were met by the lovely breeder Louise. We stayed for coffee while she gave us some tips, the best one being “Don’t overthink it!“. A bit late for that, but as I was about to learn, there really is no point in overthinking because you just don’t know what you’re going to get. Yes, certain breeds have particular traits, but every puppy is different and every puppy develops at a different rate. Fooling yourself into thinking that you can be totally in control is simply not worth it.

Once we had everything we needed, including some food Ivy was used to eating, we got in the car and drove off. It’s hard to describe the feeling. I think ‘vulnerable’ probably does the job. We suddenly felt so protective of this little bundle of fluff who was not only being separated from her mum, but also her three siblings. And she was now 100% dependent on us. Gulp!

When we got her home, we put her into the garden and she did her first wee! That’s potty training nailed then… NOT!!

She had a lot of visitors on the first day. On the one hand I was a little nervous it might be too much for her, but on the other, the most prominent advice for those first few days and weeks was making sure she was well socialised. Well, we definitely ticked that box.

And so, the sun set on our first day with Ivy and our first night loomed.

I had set up her crate in the sitting room for the first night and put a pen around it so she could go in and out to pee and poo, but not roam. My plan was to ‘sleep’ on the sofa to keep her company (I shall just wait for the laughter to die down before I proceed). I turned out the light and the crying commenced. Poor little Ivy was not happy. To be fair, she settled after about 20 minutes, but every time she needed to go to the toilet, it began again.

Suffice to say, not a lot of sleep was had and by 6 in the morning I was sitting in the garden with a cup of tea wrapped in a blanket while she pottered around. I sat there thinking that there’s something very special about being up and outside so early in the morning while everyone else is asleep. Not so special that I wouldn’t have rather been tucked up in bed catching up on some sleep, but watching Ivy diddle around our garden did make me truly happy.

And so the first 24 hours had passed. Ivy seemed happy and our confidence was already growing. This was going to be a breeze!

Stocking filler ideas for pet owners!

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Stuck for stocking filler ideas this Christmas? Well, if you’re shopping for the pet lover in your life, we might have just the idea!


Magic Inkless Pet Print Kit  £10

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Capture a moment in time, make a unique gift, and have fun . . . all at the same time! With our “Magic Inkless Pet Print Kit”, you can create an impression of your petʼs paw print to either frame and display, or return to us to turn into a precious silver keepsake. Itʼs so simple – just wipe, and press! We think it would also make the perfect Secret Santa gift for any pet owner.

Kit contains: 2 pieces of “magic” paper, 2 inkless wipe towelettes, instructions.

 


Personalised pet storybook – from £19.99

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What’s better than a storybook? A storybook starring your beloved pet! One for the younger generation, Petlandia create unique personalised storybooks featuring your dog, cat or rabbit, including details down to owner name, location and collar colour! They also sell a number of personalised gifts to match your new book, such as wrapping paper, mugs, and t shirts featuring your pet! Oh, and if you have two pets, they’ve got you covered. Granted, this gift might be more suitable if your pet is fairly standard looking – this was the best match we could find for Ivy! We also found this more traditionally illustrated version on Etsy.


Sterling silver paw print decorations  from £55

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Capture a miniature replica of your furry friendʼs paw print, to hang on your tree this year and every year! Choose from a star, tree, angel, snowman or bell shape, engraved with your petʼs name. Your decoration will come beautfiully packaged, complete with a care card and polishing cloth. Use our Magic Inkless Print Kit to get the perfect print! Just remember to get your prints to us by the 14th of December in order to get your keepsake in time for Christmas.

Dog psychology books – from £6

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One for the book lover! Do you ever find your self slightly perplexed by the weird stuff your dog does? These books might answer a few of your questions! Perfect for new dog owners getting to grips with their new pooch. There are loads of books out there, but The Dog’s Mind and Think Dog come up top in searches and have been very well reviewed. There are also some for cats!

For a more lighthearted, funny read, we’ve heard great things about How to Tell If Your Cat Is Plotting to Kill You and think it would make a great Secret Santa gift!

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Silver Pet Prints gift card – from £10

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Canʼt quite decide on what to buy them, or left things a little late? Our gift cards are the perfect option! Choose from a physical, credit card-sized card presented in a card and envelope that you can add to a stocking, or, if you’ve left it literally to the last minute – a customisable eGift card that can be delivered straight to your recipient’s inbox!

 


Doggy mince pies – £4.50

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Ok, so maybe this is more a gift for your pet, but how could you let your beloved pup miss out on these festive treats? Now your pet can join in the next time you have a mince pie and mulled wine (well, maybe skip the mulled wine part!). They’d make a great stocking filler for a mince pie-loving dog owner!


 

Follow our Christmas board on Pinterest for even more stocking filler and secret Santa ideas we’ve found, as well as cute Christmas DIY ideas!

 

Preparing for our new bundle of joy!

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We couldn’t be more excited about the arrival of our new puppy. Obviously we can’t wait to get our hands on her little fluffy body, but the prospect of going out and buying all the necessaties is also pretty exciting. Exciting, interesting and downright mind boggling. It will also, I am now beginning to realise, be an exercise in extreme self control!

Apart from the obvious practical items such as a bed, food bowls and so on, there’s a baffling and tempting array of items we could buy… but perhaps shouldn’t! Obviously I want everything – she’s our new baby – and who doesn’t like to shop? Oh wait! Both my sons and my husband hate shopping. It’s all up to me then! Yay!

As I browse the puppy shelves in our local pet store, I keep hoping someone will come – not least because I just want to shout to the world we are getting a puppy. It was with great reluctance I put back the pink diamante collar and lead I had chosen – first because it was ludicrously expensive and secondly because I anticipate the flat refusal of Dylan (17) and Noah (14) to walk the dog sporting bright pink bling, no matter how gorgeous I think she looks! Fair! Likewise the pink puffa coat went back on the shelf.. sigh.

“I just want to shout to the world we are getting a puppy.”

I do, however, get a bright pink shiny dog tag for her collar with our surname, phone number engraved on one side and the fact that she is micro-chipped on the other. The shop assistant helpfully stops me from putting her name on there too – apparently it makes them easier to steal, which makes sense.

Next stop, toy shelf! Wow! Most of these toys are better than those my kids had as toddlers! And I suspect many will be as readily ignored! Still, she’s really going to need that squeaky donut and you can’t go wrong with a few balls either. Someone once told me puppies like to have a soft toy to cuddle. I remember snorting with disbelief at the time, but I now find myself fondling a particularly soft and cuddly bear. Just in time I remind myself of the number of once previously loved and now discarded soft toys we have gathering dust at home and put it back. I am soooooo strong!

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And so with a basket full of goodies – food, snacks, chews, balls, toys, collar, lead, bed and the rest – I make my way to the checkout and try to ignore the groaning of my credit card as I cough up the best part of £150! And I have no doubt, in the words of the great Arnold Schwarzenegger, “I’ll be back!”

 

 

 

Name that dawg!

Name that dog 1

 

 

 

 

 

 

Oh the minefield that is choosing name for our new puppy! Even before we had picked our new family member, we began thinking of names and it soon became clear that coming up with one that all of us felt comfortable with was NOT going to be easy.

Still, we were confident we could come up with something more inventive than Simon Cowell’s Squiddly and Diddly and numerous discussions ensued. And talking of Simon Cowell, celebrity choices seemed to be a good place to start. Kelly Osborne’s dog is called Noodles – we decided that that would make us hungry. Britney Spear’s dog is called Lucky – given her run of bad luck in years gone by, that didn’t work out too well for her!

Noah fancied ‘Mookie’ for a boy or a girl (right fielder for the Boston Red Sox – long story but we lived in the US for a few years). We all tried it out a few times and realised we would feel a bit stupid shouting that out loud, so we put the kibosh on that. What’s more, we already have Coco (named after Coco Crisp of Oakland A’s fame!). Dylan wasn’t bothered, but wanted a girl so he could liberally sprinkle his conversation with the word ‘bitch’ and then smile sweetly and ask “What’s the problem?!”. Teenagers! We went round and round in circles and then realised we’d better wait until we knew if we were getting a girl or boy.

Girl it is! We then looked at the most popular dog names for last year:

  • Bella
  • Lucy
  • Daisy
  • Luna
  • Lola
  • Sadie
  • Molly
  • Maggie
  • Bailey
  • Sophie

Some nice ones there, but actually do we really want to choose a name that everyone else has thought of? That said, it could be worse. This next list of names is one we compiled ourselves – I kid you not, there are actually people shouting these names out loud in public parks around the country:

  • Fire
  • Taxi
  • Tripod (someone had a three-legged dog!)
  • Chow Mein
  • Fuzz Butt
  • Stinkabell
  • Stinky Baby
  • Squiddly and Diddly (I know . . . I have mentioned them before, but frankly they deserve to be on this list!)

I mean, you’d steer clear wouldn’t you?! Still, it could be worse, we could be trying to name a baby and coming up with ideas like Apple, Prince Michael II, Sage Moonblood or Fifi Trixibelle (not a bad name for a dog as it happens!), but believe it or not, there are already four youngsters out there who have already been ‘blessed’ with these names.

But as we fell about laughing at some of the ridiculous names celebrities have come up with for their unsuspecting offspring, one lingered in our minds… Blue Ivy. Well, not the ‘Blue’ bit, just the ‘Ivy’ bit. Short, sweet, fun and when we said it and looked at her picture, it felt… right! I am pretty sure that’s how it goes. All of a sudden you stumble across a name and it just feels right. Though I continue to struggle with Squiddly and Diddly, neither of which names have the X Factor!

Ivy it is!