Living With Animals: Puppy Love

By Hope Bidegainberry on April 3, 2019
Young woman playing with puppies on the carpet at home.

My column my rules, here’s another update on life with Lola, the world’s most adorable puppy. Six months old and just topping 8 pounds, I admit that I am smitten. Because of our family’s schedules, I get to put Lola to bed at night and am also the one with whom she starts her day. Nighttime is silly, sweet, simple. Lola is crate-trained. (You know the concept of crate-training, right? Dogs are by nature denning animals and a good-size crate or kennel, introduced gently and gradually, will become your pup’s safe and secure place. It’s also a great way to avoid a young dog’s destructive and pre-potty-trained behavior and, as such, avoid the drama and fear that results when humans punish an unattended dog for shredding/soiling the couch. Done right, with love and patience, a crate is great for both the living and the inanimate things in the home!) For Lola, “let’s go night-night” means a gleeful dash to our bedroom, happily leaping into the pillow-lined crate along with a soft toy, and that’s about it. Since her one speed most of the day is “on” it’s no surprise that her nightly “off” is long and uninterrupted: Lola is out cold for 6 or more hours, and that works for me too.

That crate is next to my side of the bed and me being a light sleeper (unlike my pup) her slightest stirring tends to get me up when she’s ready to start the day. I slip on old clogs and an extra layer and, as she’s decided is appropriate, I lay down on the floor, open the crate door, and reach inside. She’s ready to pee (and frankly I am too) but not before we spend a few minutes hugging. Eventually I scoop her up into my arms and carry her nose-licking little self out into our backyard, gently lowering her onto the ground. (Yes, her feet do touch the ground. Just not too soon!) A pee and a poop, and then it’s back inside where I plop her in bed beside Carolyn for their own morning rituals while I make coffee. Yep, life with the world’s most adorable puppy is pretty great.

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