Yes, you read it correctly, we have added a puppy to the mix! Meet Clodagh (rhymes with Yoda).
Clodagh is a fox red/yellow labrador, and she is currently 9 weeks old.
Hubby spent months researching before applying for a puppy from extremely successful lineage. He then bought just about every puppy book, training book, and labrador book on the market and instructed us all to read them so we didn’t make any training mistakes. I read some with the kids. However, having 1 hubby, 4 kids, 1 cat, 4 chickens, 2 rescue dwarf Russian hamsters, and a part time job as a high court litigation lawyer, I confess that I didn’t really get beyond the first chapter or two of the ‘Happy Puppy’ book I got for Christmas!
Having raised 4 kids to the ripe old ages of 6, 4 and twins aged 2, I reckoned that a puppy was unlikely to pose too much of a challenge. When I say she came so much better trained than my kids, I am not joking. At 9 weeks old, she is house trained, wee’s on command (none of this I don’t need to go, then 5 minutes later I need to go NOW! *wees in supermarket trolley* malarky), and answers to her own name rather than pretending she didn’t hear me.
So why oh why did we get a puppy. Well, we love outdoor activities like gardening, camping, fishing sailing and shooting. I have to say that I find it ever so slightly ironic that we have been granted ownership of this pedigree pup, who had a waiting list longer than a human pregnancy, while our 4 kids are virtually ferral. However, animals teach kids responsibility, caring and loving. We believe we can offer a stable, loving and active home to this little puppy. Whether or not ambitions to field trial her will come to fruition remains to be seen (I guess I should probably read the training books).
1 Week in – how are we doing?
That depends on who you ask! As far as Clodagh and the kids are concerned, life is ace. As far as Purcy cat is concerned, the meaning of life is being reconsidered. The current status quo is roughly as follows:
- Hubby spent weeks reviewing food to determine the best one for pup. He settled on Orijen which he ordered in advance along with special real fish bites. Today the puppy dined exclusively on gourmet pearl cat food, the cat dined exclusively on the home-made steak hache I did for the kids, the older kids ate cheese on toast, and the twins ate Orijen dog biscuits.
- The ‘puppy must be carried up and down steps’ rule may have been amended to carry the puppy up the steps, you know, if you get there before her (unlikely).
- The ‘no dogs on the sofa’ rule lasted a whole 3 hours.
- The dog pen is a kids fort, and the dog sleeps on the kids beds.
- Having specially bought a squeaky pheasant and other appropriate toys, the kids are flying the squeaky pheasant while the puppy chews on the child friendly interactive toadstool from the unicorn set (it flashes colours and makes a magical fairy tune when she bites it).
- Having not yet read the puppy training books. I am following the general child training programme. Clodagh took her first toddler dance class totally in her stride. She really loved the bubble session and the goodbye song.
In summary, it has been a rocky start. We love Clodagh, and have no doubt she will feature in future blogs (or even gourmet pearl catfood adds!).
Thanks for reading. x