Elsa Tails {The Newborn}

It’s been a week since we picked up little Elsa and I thought I’d share a very real, uncensored report of her homecoming :-)

And it’s been harder than I ever could have dreamed!!  I know this is “normal”, but I only had cats my whole life until last week so I really didn’t get it.  She’s the most darling, sweetest little thing in the world, but she’s a lot of work for a tiny six pound pup! I’ve somewhat jokingly said many times this week “I can’t because of my newborn…”, “I’m so tired because my newborn stayed up all night…” and “We have to get home because we can’t be away from the newborn…” But in many ways, she IS like having a newborn.  It’s been challenging trying to figure out how to take care of her with all of our other commitments – feeding her at the right time so that she can use the potty before we have to leave, not being able to run that last errand because she has been in her crate too long, etc.
Judge me by my size, do you?  {Our Star Wars Yoda Pup}
The littles found this shirt for $2 and dressed her up :-)
As far as potty training, perhaps some would argue that I’m too helicopter mom, but that’s just who I am.  She tee-teed on one too many rugs the first two days and so we started taking her out ever fifteen minutes.  You read that right.  Every FIFTEEN minutes.  From 6:30AM – 10PM.  Ahhhhh!!!!!!  Towards the end of the week we got to know her better and can see little “tells” when she needs to go.  She’ll get up of stop what she’s doing and start sniffing the floor, usually bee-lining for a rug.  And so we scoop her up, put her leash on and carry her out to the pine straw to take care of business.  We’re still taking her out every 30 minutes or so if she’s awake.  But it’s working!
We are also crate training and we made great strides this week!  She started off acting like she was going to kill herself trying to claw her way out.  Oh, and she barked and whined ALL night.  Poor little baby.  We learned after just one night that we needed to relocate the crate to our bedroom, and that solved it immediately.  Also, thanks to all of your tips on Instagram, we have put in the divider to make the crate a more appropriate size, covered the crate with a sheet, put one of Honey’s shirts inside (she adores him), got a little Kong with a treat to keep her busy when she first goes in, and we play a Georgia Tech lullaby CD (that was the only thing I could dig up) when we leave. I was scared to leave her the first few days, which made me batty being cooped up here all day.  But, we ventured out on Wednesday, put her in her crate and it felt good to leave.  And what do you know? She was just fine when we got home :-)
The littles have been absolutely wonderful with helping take her out.  I knew they would love on her and play with her, but I have been very pleasantly surprised with their willingness to do the dirty work too.  When we went to her first vet checkup this week, I got a little chuckle out of their questions.
John: (who is so obviously my child) Can we get any diseases from dogs?
The vet provided wonderful and informative information about illness in dogs and that most can not be transmitted to humans.  She also let us know that we should be very careful of parasites in their poop.
Whit: Are you going to do anything that hurts our puppy?  Sometimes going to the doctor hurts.
The vet assured him that they wouldn’t do anything to hurt Elsa.  In the next breath she said she needed to have a booster on one of her shots and Whit was quick to call her out and say that SHOTS HURT!  :-)
So, one week in we’ve had some accidents, we’ve had some meltdowns (yours truly), we’ve learned that people are more opinionated and vocal on how to take care of a dog than they are about a kid, and we’ve felt like giving up.  But, also in that one week, the boys have fallen in love, we’ve started to figure out what works best for our family and Elsa, and we are positive that Elsa is going to fit right in!  Welcome home, Elsa!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

29 thoughts on “Elsa Tails {The Newborn}

  1. I had to chuckle at your post Amanda. We had a puppy one time…and I remember feeling the same way you felt. I grew up on a farm so all our dogs were outside dogs and I did not have a clue about taking care of an inside dog. I found out that I am just not a pet person, cats or dogs. I like to be on the go and when I had to take Taffy to be boarded, I felt like a terrible person for going on vacation. We had our cocker for about six years and then we found a family who wanted an older dog and we gave her to them. She went happily as they had a little daughter who just adored Taffy! It sounds as if Whit and John are going to be great with Elsa so you have backup!! She is a cutie.

  2. She is precious! And they ARE a lot of work (that doesn't necessarily end when they're grown). BUT – they also give huge amounts of love and companionship. Before long, she will be a seamless part of the family & you'll wonder what took you so long to get a dog! ;-)

  3. We are fostering our little Lillie, our daughters Yorkie. She is a little Diva! Elsa is adorable, but I know what you mean about how time consuming potty time can be. Have a great weekend! :)Dazee

  4. We have been dog-sitting our granddogter, a chihuahua, who is 15+ years old. When dogs get that old they are like aging humans and it is much the same as caring for a new-born baby. We love her very dearly and have kept her many times in the past, but this time was a little more trying. Poor little thing has "accidents." Her eyesight is very poor and she suffers from arthiritis. She has recently begun to have seizures and is on meds for that and the arthritis. I had just about run out of creative ways to get her to take her meds and was worn to a frazzel watching her to try and keep her from wee-weeing on the floor because of her from tee-teeing on the floor. My husband gets up week day mornings at 2:00 a.m. to get ready to go to his retirement job and took her out before he left the house. She does not move fast now and cannot see well enough to get out of the way..He was standing in the kitchen and didn't know she had walked near his feet. He twisted his ankle and fell quite hard on the floor. Fortunately, he didn't hurt her but it left him pretty bruised up and sore. We were afraid she was going to pass away or get hurt while they were gone and were relieved when they picked her up after 10 days at WDW!

  5. I had two Golden Retriever puppies at the same time and I so understand. It get easier with time.She is learning so accidents are part of the deal. You know this wont last forever and you will end up with a wonderful, loving adult dog. Hang in there! You are doing great.Ti will be so worth it.

  6. She's just adorable!! You are living through the hardest part right now but your persistence will pay off and be so worth it. :)

  7. Elsa is darling and the boys look like they are being great big brothers. I grew up with dogs but my husband did not so we didn't have them while raising our two sons. So my oldest while out of state at grad school decided it was time for a dog…he and his fiancé chose a gorgeous German Shepherd not small by any means. But a sweetheart and yes you guessed it my husband is his best friend:) Love when they visit…remember his puppy days and the time I was babysitting and walked in on him chewing the leg of my leather ottoman in the family room. I have chosen to leave the marks because it reminds me of him…silly huh?!

    Enjoy…it gets easier…you will look back just like you have with your boys pics and be amazed at how fast she will grow up.

  8. She is SO cute and I promise you, things will get easier! I just checked my weekly Rosie 'pupdates' to see when things started to get easier for me. Not that things were "easier" at week 3, but that was the week I suddenly felt closer to her – probably because she had a bladder infection and my maternal instincts kicked in. But it still took a few weeks before I started to see the light at the end of the tunnel. Oh, I remember those sleepless nights and that early morning barking…ugh! It really is like having a newborn! Hang in there and keep doing what you are doing!

  9. You are on the right track taking her out often. Start allowing a little longer between times. Also, hang a bell on the door you use to take her out. Swat bell on the way out and talk to her. I know training is difficult but it will get easier. i've trained several wonderful puppies and it does get better.Puppies were trained by a week or two after brought them home. One was trained by 7 weejs, I've slept on the floor beside our bed leashed to the puppy to take the sweet baby out if necessary. My dogs never would adapt to crating. Vet said if they don't adapt by time permanent teeth come in to stop.

  10. I may have to quit looking at Elsa posts. She is so completely adorable that you're making me want one! The memories made with all of Elsa's funny and loving antics will be well worth the difficulties of the first six months of puppy parenthood. You will be completely amazed by how much company she will be when the boys go back to school. Best of luck getting used to having a newborn, again.

  11. You are doing such a good job and it is hard but hang in there. Once she is out of the newborn stage you will miss it just like you miss the baby stage of your kiddos. She is adorable and I love seeing the pics of your boys with her. She will forever be their biggest fan, most loyal friend, treasured secret keeper and greatest joy. Nothing like a family dog. Our golden is now 9 and when he grunts though his arthritis to still maintain his faithfulness to all of us I am reminded of what unconditional love looks like!?

  12. It does get easier. You are doing all the right things and being consistent. I thing God makes puppies so adorable because they are a lot of work at first. I didn't grow up with dogs and now I can't imagine life without one.

  13. Our "Pippa" has been with us for about 6 weeks now. The 1st 2 weeks she was a quiet little lamb..well, she woke up! She is a holy terror to say the least. She's great with the potty, sleeps from 10-7 in her crate but then it's game on!! We do a long a.m. walk and tons of play time in the yard to keep her occupied. It seems to be helping. We've always adopted older dogs so the whole puppy thing has been an eye-opener for us. (love her but, never again) By the way…she's a 3lb. Chihuahua mix! :)

  14. Aww so cute! It does get easier when they learn the right spots. Take them back to the same place outside. I have always used a cue word and now my dog will go on cue. I say "outside" a lot, When we are going and then when we get outside and she is going I say it over and over right when she is going. And then I take her right inside after going and give a cookie. You could give her one right when she goes, too. My puppy loves the Milkbone Trail Mix, they are little. Good luck!

  15. If you haven't gotten any yet, go get some nature's miracle and spray it where she has her accidents… it keeps her from re-peeing on the same spot! It also gets rid of the smell. :)

  16. This stage passes quickly. It's perfect that you got her in the summer. The other not-so-fun part is teething, you will find yourself being nibbled on constantly! Make sure to use a firm, commanding, and loud " ow !! " as it startles them into stopping, and used regularly, they realize their people are not for biting!

  17. It's ruff work raising a dawg! Try using a bell on the door and train her to ring it to let you know when she needs to go out to potty. It works like a charm and very quickly! Any bell will do, but you might like to read more here: http://poochie-pets.net/

  18. Oh my word – that face!!! Our pup is 7 months old now, and hasn't had an accident in months. Keep doing what you're doing, and remember that while she is only part of your life, you and your family are her WHOLE life! :)

  19. She is just the cutest dog and it will get better. We did crate training and while it took some time it was wonderful. Now when we leave I just say the word "crate" and our dog trots up the stairs and hops right down. When she is really tired she goes in there herself to get a break from the humans. However the best thing someone told me about was bell training. We hung a bell by our backdoor where we take our dog out. Every time we took her out we used her paw and tapped the bell. She eventually learned tapping the bell means we open the door and she goes outside. Now she just rings the bell and lets us know when we go outside. If we travel with her we take the bell and hang it and there is never a question. If and when she needs to go out. Takes some time in training but best thing we did.

  20. We have a 6 month old miniature golden doodle boy that looks almost identical to your Elsa. Hang in there, we experienced the same challenges when we first brought him home in early March. We wondered what we were thinking getting a puppy! We were also taking him out every 15 minutes and had to teach him who was the boss. It took 2 months, he is now fantastic! He is laid back in the house, active outside and has not had an accident in months. Yours will be the same way! We regularly take him to Atlanta to visit family and he blends right in and is so well behaved and relaxed. I think this breed is so impressive. Good luck!

  21. One more thing, we used the floorless folding playpen from Walmart for several months, which was VERY helpful. It was in the family room with us, we ignored him when he was in there and acted very nonchalant about it. It had his toys and bed and we gave him a special treat upon entering it. He slept in his crate in our bedroom at night, still does.

  22. After raising several dogs from puppyhood on, I have learned the secret to a good puppy. A good puppy is a TIRED puppy. Make sure you not only walk sweet Elsa several times a day, let her run some of her energy out. Every. Single. Day. Also try taking a puppy class with her.
    Sarah in San Francisco

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