We got a puppy!!! Hello Jax 🙂
I love him so much and life feels very full right now.
There’s no sugar coating the challenges – crappier sleep, peeing in the house, SO MUCH BITING and attempts to destroy things including our skin, sanity, etc – but wow he brings so many moments of joy and happiness. I love when he curls up on me to sleep, when he learns a new command, and watching him gallop all gangly and puppylike across the backyard.
On 2/10/18 Dan and I drove 5 hours each way through a snowstorm to Craig, Colorado to pick our pup. I didn’t sleep well the night before in anticipation of our life CHANGING FOREVER. Which made white knuckling through 6 inches of snow coating windy mountain roads that much more dramatic.
When the breeder opened the gate leading to the 7 little black lab males, it was a puppy tornado. I was in heaven.
We researched how to pick a puppy and the two main things I gathered were a) it’s probably a crap shoot and b) pick a middle of the road guy energy-wise. Early on we both noticed Jax (green collar) as a front runner, but since we had ~45 minutes to play with the puppies we wanted to do a more thorough process of elimination.
As a side note, the breeder sent several pictures a week before pickup and when I got to the below picture I told Dan I loved the green collar guy…. I forgot about the picture when we went for pickup, but looking back I was like OMG I just KNEW from the photo he was The One. Heh.
After the puppies got out their initial rush of insanity we could better differentiate between them. There was one guy who was way too energetic with so much biting and jumping so we put him back. There was one guy who had no interest in us so back he went. Then there were two more guys who were each one notch from either end of the spectrum so back they went. We were left with three.
I was sitting on the futon and Jax was up on the couch with me. Another puppy started biting my leg so I focused my attention on him, and too late turned back to Jax launching off the futon, flipping in the air and landing on his head with an audible crack against the concrete floor. He looked stunned, cowered away and laid down. I started crying because I thought I not only broke a puppy but broke our favorite puppy. I consoled him for a few minutes, and within ten minutes he seemed to be out of the active concussion state. We had a serious discussion of “do we take the broken puppy?”… we still chose him with hopes that the brain damage would be minimal.
The drive home consisted of Jax sleeping on our laps as we traded shifts driving.
When we got home he sniffed a small part of the house and slept most of the day away. We got ready for bed and put him in his crate…commence 45 minutes of crying/howling/screaming. This was distressing. He woke up every hour crying. We carried him outside to pee every time, and I questioned if we made a terrible life decision.
We got Jax at 7 weeks – which I think is too early but that’s what the vet breeder said was their standard – and he is now 10 weeks old. Sleeping has improved a lot – at this point he just gets up once a night to pee. From the first day he seemed well-accustomed to using the pee pads, and since then has learned to go outside. He still has accidents (pee) 1-2 times a day, which is normal I think?
When he’s not super distracted he knows sit, stay, come, and lay down. Training is one of my favorite things to do with him because he seems like an eager pupil. Must be because labs are super food driven? He’s also getting better at fetch. That was actually part of the deciding factor between him and the other finalist in our puppy picking day. The breeder threw a toy around and Jax played fetch over and over and other dog had no interest in it.
Here is a slew of pictures.
Our biggest challenge is the fact that puppies are sharks and delicate skin is their ambrosia. There was one really bad day – which followed multiple days of snow and ~10 degree highs =/= not much outside time – and I went into work super dejected thinking we must have broken him. I employed my high level Googling skills with a good ole “how to stop puppy biting” and came across Reddit’s Puppy 101. Thank God. Just what I needed. At least the puppy isn’t eating poop [yet]. So between a combo of having him outside a ton to burn his energy, redirecting him to toys when he gets a little bitey, and putting him in “time out” (X-Pen) when he gets super ultra crazy, the biting has improved.
Anyways, that’s the main event of our lives right now. I am now consistently waking up at 6:30 AM on the weekends and allowing him to lick me on my mouth (notice I said on, not in…I still have [low] standards). When I used to see people do that I felt disgust and loathing rise up like bile. So all said and done I’m a changed woman.
Other life things…we went home for a weekend in late January to visit family and celebrate a delayed Christmas. And our friends flew out in early February for a long ski weekend at Copper Mountain. We had a blast, and tried to live it up knowing it would be our only ski weekend this year.
I haven’t run very much because it’s winter and stuff, and because of said sleep deprivation. But now that we’re ~3 months away from 14er season I’m trying to make more of an effort to get in shape so that I don’t die trying to keep up with Dan. We’re also hoping to make a trip in April or May to Utah for some beloved canyoneering.
And I applied to grad school! I finally made up my mind and just completed the application last week, so we’ll see how that goes.