Bringing Home Puppy


Eleven days ago our family of three headed to the airport to pickup our newest family member, a furry one, named Valentine Lollipop! She was an 11 week old, ten pound, white standard poodle that came all the way to us from Las Vegas to make us a family of four. It was love at first sight & it was quite obvious her soul was a gentle one. Yesterday she turned 12 weeks weighing in at 10.6 pounds. We think she's going to be on the smaller side.


Before getting Valentine we did our research & had a visit with an allergist to get a better understanding of childhood dog dander allergies. Magnolia had blood work drawn & the allergist felt that she'd do okay with a poodle since they don't shed fur & dander throughout the home. The first week with Valentine was rough. Magnolia expressed a range in emotions I'd never seen before. She was happier than ever with her very own puppy, laughing & playing & excited, but she was also crying & throwing tantrums like never before as well. Valentine was jumping on her & knocking her down to cover her in puppy kisses straight to the eyes, ears & mouth. Magnolia was covered in puffy scratches, sneezing/coughing with itchy eyes. I was in tears thinking we'd made a big mistake. My dream of having a puppy for Magnolia to grow up with had turned into a terrible guilt trip. I felt like the worst mom ever. It didn't help that Ryan had to leave for a business trip that was NOT part of the "Bringing Home Puppy Plan!"




The tears came often & I really feared that my dream was over. I prayed & I prayed & all I wanted was to know that I had made the right decision for our family. My sister came over one night to meet our Valentine & to help out with Magnolia so I could spend some time working with the puppy. Just having an extra set of hands to watch Magnolia while I took Valentine potty was a huge help. I started to calm down knowing that as soon as Ryan got home I'd have this same help again. Before my sister & the girls left, I took Valentine out to potty & there was a beautiful rainbow right above her. I felt it was a sign to just hold on & give it time.



I took a lot of advice from other standard poodle owners from a Facebook group & the best advice of all was to keep her on a leash while at home. The leash made it possible for me to work with her on not jumping on Magnolia & it was crazy how fast she learned to stop jumping. Her intelligence is impressive. She is a very gentle & laid back puppy & started to respond to our amateur directions right away. We have plans to get her into obedience training very soon.


I've started to clean Magnolia's hands through out the day & by keeping Valentine out of her face, I'm already seeing a big improvement in Magnolia's allergy symptoms. At this time Valentine is not allowed in the bedroom, just so we can have a dog free zone for Magnolia.


With this long Labor Day weekend we made some fun memories with our Valentine. Thanks to our puppy we spent way more time outside than we normally would. Magnolia & her puppy ran through the yard playing in the green grass all day long Saturday & Sunday. We've taken little walks & she does great on a leash already. She learned how to go down the stairs & she was so proud of her newest accomplishment she had to do it over & over again for us to see.



She's already had two baths in the kitchen sink with a full blow out on the back deck. She does great getting prettied up & smells like vanilla coconut!


She's had her first vet visit & got a shot without even crying.


Magnolia & Valentine are inseparable. Wherever one goes the other must follow & that was my dream for these two! The tears have stopped & the love, bond, and joy is growing each day.





People told me I was "crazy, brave, & foolish" for getting a puppy with a toddler. And I believed that to be true those first few days. It was really hard getting into the groove of things, especially not knowing if things were going to get better or worse. We still have a lot of growing & learning & training ahead of us, but after this past weekend I can say that things are so much better. All the dreams I had for Magnolia & her puppy feel real again & we're in love with our newest family member.


I hope you all had a lovely Labor Day weekend.

xo
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Wendy Correen Smith
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