The Chronicles of Moxie || Episode One

COMEp1

I have a confession to make.

It took me five weeks to fall in love with my puppy.

It then took me another two weeks to work up the brain power to actually get on the internet to tell you about it. Although, that’s a bit of an overstatement since I will just be quoting an update I wrote a few weeks back for the litter’s Facebook group. It’s a start, right? I’m easing myself back into the world wide web after being MIA for what seems like a millennia.

I don’t really have a long-winded explanation of why I’ve been gone, it can be summarised as follows: puppyhood is damn hard. Seriously. 

That and part of me was a little nervous to come here and admit that. I mean, it is the internet and I didn’t fancy having the metaphorical tomato thrown in my face with quips of “well, didn’t you do your research, you plonker”. I did. A butt-tonne of it. And that still did not prepare me for the realities of puppyhood.

You know what did help though, unsolicited dog advice and descriptions of Moxie’s breed characteristics from strangers. That really helped.

Not. 

I digress. Let’s get to the photos and a little update that I put together a while back detailing our time between Moxie’s arrival in our lives until around 11 weeks of age. Trust me, she is so much bigger now!

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The Chronicles of Moxie :: Episode One

We have achieved quite a bit in the last week or so – well, I think we have, but feel free to let me know if I am behind in my doggy training).

We have met, what feels like, all the people, including creepy drunk dudes, children who appear out of nowhere to pat us on the butt (Moxie’s butt, not mine) and well, pretty much anyone who goes past because they are all potential friends in the making according to Dog-Face. For dogs, it’s the same. Every new doggy is a friend-to-be. Dog-Face is yet to be deterred by the looks of dismay and mutters of “uh, kids these days” from elder dogs who just want to walk peacefully to the park on a Sunday afternoon and not engage with today’s youths.

Leaves are the best. thing. ever. Especially when blowing in the wind. We must investigate and carry around leaves and branches at all times. No compromise. The bigger the better.

We have already started going to the dog school to attend their Cubs Class and so far, so good, even if she got told off for trying to wrestle a giant 11-week-old Labrador into playing with her. Turns out, “knock it off” sounds the same in all languages. You know what they say, little ones have spongy brains, they just soak everything up. I, on the other hand, just hope no-one calls on me to answer a question or go first before I have had a chance to watch someone else do it first so I have a vague sense of what’s going on.

We are also getting better at riding the bus. A little crying to start, then once we’re comfortable, we are good to go. We’re still working on the bike trailer, so far, we are doing laps around the garage like a pro, but we’ve yet to venture out into the big wide world. Slow and steady is how we are rolling.

What else is there to report: we ride in the elevator fine, we played in a giant pile of loud plastic that other day and we even went out to play in the rain and thunder too. All that left me with was a very wet puppy who’s only goal in life was to wrestle the poor towel to death.

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The stuffed Kong has become my best friend. Every time we need to do something which needs her to hold still/be in something (the trailer, brushing… etc) out comes the Kong. Failing that, we do everything over mealtimes, because who doesn’t enjoy a constant stream of kibble when they are doing good things!

Things we have worked on this week: getting comfortable with being handled with lots of meal times spent having our ears, teeth and toes checked, our tail wiggled, our hair ruffled and just about anything else that might happen should we meet anymore strange people. It’s a good job, since we have already come across more than one person whose idea of “petting” is to just pat her on the head likes she’s a hairy basketball.

Other things include: Eye contact with her name (getting there!), a bit of sitting, some down (and then extending the time), some waiting for things like toys/food. A bit of this and that. She really seems to enjoy a working lunch and already looks expectantly at me when I have the tub of food and the clicker. I have a sneaking suspicion though that the toy is far for motivating to her though, so that adds a little more fun to playing.

If we aren’t brain training, we like to eat dinner out of the food-ball. Now that we’ve worked out that paws help get the food out, it’s a lot more fun!

Our vaccinations were a success, she even left with a compliment from the vet for being so easy to handle.

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We are enjoying her alter ego as The Kraken. When playtime is over, or we have to go to bed, oh there are tantrums. My girl can tantrum like the most experienced toddler. Slowly she is realising that it gets her nowhere, but for two/three days, I was 100% sure I had accidentally released Hyde into the world.

Oh, and let’s not forget the alter ego The Piranha too. We are slowly learning to play with our mouth shut.

Slowly.

I consider myself grateful that she has yet to chew anything she shouldn’t. Probably because everything is hidden in cupboards and up in places even I can’t get to, but I am still considering that a success. I’ve only lost a book, a pair of jeans and my boots.

Puppyhood is difficult and challenging. We are learning everyday. Even if The Kraken did bring me to tears one evening – full on weeping into my hamster about how easy and simple he is to take care of and did he have any idea what I had gotten myself into (spoiler alert: he didn’t really care) – the next day she brings me to tears of laughter. It’s an emotional rollercoaster and I suspect there might be a grey hair or two under my hair dye.

Things to work on this week and next: fewer tantrums. Always the house training (we are still hoping for a sign that says “hey! I gotta go pee pee”) and maybe a visit to the lake to see the ducks. Oh and consistently getting the collar back on without Moxie thinking it’s a new form of playtime.

Here’s to another week or so of poo bags, preventing her eating dead frogs, playtime, nap time (for both of us!) and with any luck, no more riding the bus to dog school!

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I know this isn’t a real blog post as such, but I hope you enjoyed it all the same. Maybe I have over shared, maybe it is taboo to tell you all about our doggy-dilemmas, but hey, if it brings a chuckle to your day, I’m game for sharing. Do share all your puppyhood success and pain with me! 

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  • I’m so glad you posted the reality of puppyhood. I think you know my mam has tried twice to have a puppy and she also struggled to fall in love with them. In the end they both went to new loving homes. My mam knew it would be hard but I don’t think she made as strong a connection with them as she hoped. Dobby was and apparently still is an absolute rascal! They look like butter wouldn’t melt but they’re like naughty chewy toddlers! Well done for getting through it so far, that’s a huge achievement! It’s interesting you say she’s more interested in toy training than food, I watched a puppy training video recently (preparing for the very distant future) and it said dogs are either motivated by food or play and finding out which one makes training a lot easier, I never knew that before!

    I’m looking forward to more Moxie updates, she is adorable. Does she have her own instagram account yet? 😉

    • I most definitely didn’t love her to begin with. Really, sometimes I hated her. Even now, there are days when I’m at least not that fond of her. But I think it was the same for her as well. Now we’re on the same page (most of the time) and we’re becoming a bit of a team.

      I even told someone she was “my girl” at some point, so I guess we’re good now.

      We definitely weren’t going to give up on her, I read many times that most people didn’t fall in love with their puppies until four months and up so I was determined to give it a chance. We only had one discussion about returning her, just the one and then we laughed at the fact that we were actually considering quitting and giving in. We were not going to be defeated by a puppy! haha!

      She really enjoys her toys and is quite motivated by them. She’s a lot more food motivated now than she was at the start. Also some of it is also yourself as well. She’s more motivated to work for something if you are motivated to do the training, if that makes sense. That and their attention span is about 30 seconds at this age.

      Haha, no Instagram account, she’ll just go on mine. I’m too lazy for multiple accounts.

  • caroline reay

    Sounds like you are doing a great job, just right. I’m impressed, keep at it!

  • Really enjoyed it and I can almost feel your pain through it lol. It would be hard. We’re thinking of getting a puppy soon and I don’t know if I’m ready mentally for all this haha

    • Haha, as long as people enjoy my pain, it’s worth it.

      Haha… I felt ready, but I was not. Not even a little bit. It has kicked my arse (mentally and physically) but I see her improve and change everyday and it really has become worth it.

      Now she’s four months and she’s nothing like the piranha I brought home with me.

  • Cat

    She is GORGEOUS!!! Lovely to have you back posting again too, especially with puppy pictures! C x

    • I aim to please! And I aim to update my blog regularly again.

  • Ahh, love her ❤️ I just think pups will be pups – none of it will last 🙂 my dog chewed and mouthed on us terribly but it was only because, like a baby, she was exploring the world and teething. She grew out of it and in the meantime the odd mouthful of snow seemed to help.

    • That’s what I kept saying to myself. I just had to remind myself over and over that she’s just a puppy and she just needs to explore the world. It was just a shame that world was also my hands and face!

      Damn, I wish we had snow. I just ram a toy in there when she’s being particularly bite-y.

  • She’s adorable. Dog-babies are the best. Right now it’s difficult, but it will be sooo worth it and you’ll have a best friend for life.

    • That’s what I kept telling myself during this time!

  • So glad to see you! Wow having a puppy is a huge lifestyle change. She is gorgeous and I hope you keep us updated. Good luck!

    • Oh it is. Just the responsibility along is crippling at times. But, every day she gets better so I can’t complain too much.

  • Lorna Davie

    Glad you are back 🙂

  • Oooh, girl. Puppyhood is SO hard. You’ve definitely got to be 110% committed to the little stink-pot 🙂 But fortunately puppies are just so darn cute! I’m glad to hear things are mostly going well!! She’s so dang adorable! It sounds like you guys are really working on her and helping her learn!

    • The stupid thing was, I was under no illusions that it would be hard, but damn, it’s hard. Harder than hard.

      And comparison-itis kills you inside.

      Half of me might regret being so open and honest about our puppyhood, but, I’m only human and I’m trying my best. Broken foot and all… haha.

  • Mate, she is beautiful but puppyhood IS REALLY HARD. And it’s just fine to admit that. Glad it’s all getting a bit easier though and that she’s learning to keep those gnashers tucked away – puppy teeth are fecking sharp!
    Also, that picture of her sleeping may have made me weep openly. Too cute.
    Welcome back, we missed you. Well, I did. Can’t talk for the rest of them.
    M x

    • Once I admitted it up there, it’s been pretty easy to keep admitting it. Episode Two admits it more. But, Episode Three, that’s going to be my favourite to put together this weekend.

      A couple of weeks back she had a sudden realisation that maybe I didn’t like all the biting and just sort of stopped (with the occasional mistake…). It was a glorious day indeed.

      My Girl can sleep. That she does like a pro.

  • She is utterly, utterly gorgeous – and totally worth the occasion chaos 🙂

  • Your post brings back wonderful memories. Festus was quite big when we got him, 3 months old and 15 kg, but he missed his brothers a lot and he was chasing the cat. No matter how much time you spend learning before getting the pup, it’s still very hard and they have so much energy. Hugs xx

    • Woah, 15kg at 3 months! She’s about 10kg now and will probably max out at 20kg. That’s enough dog for me!

      The energy I could deal with, she has a pretty good off switch, but just the responsibility and the “oh my gosh please don’t die in the night” concerns, they killed me.