Puppy Woes, Part One

Don’t let a bad day make you feel like you have a bad life. ~Author unknown

Do you ever feel you’re living under a dark cloud? One that’s constantly spewing forth a cold, hard, driving rain?

That’s been my life for two months now, and those who know me will realize it’s about the same time a new puppy came into it.

I’ve heard the caveats, so don’t bother repeating them:

  • Debbie, you’re 15 years older than the last time you got a puppy, and you’ve forgotten how HARD it is
  • Your previous dog was Mary Poppins (“practically perfect in every way”); no new puppy can live up to that standard
  • Into every life a bit of misery must fall

But somehow, I never expected the experience to be this challenging.

The first hurdle? Changing the pup’s name.

As an English major, I should have realized “Sully” means to soil, stain, tarnish, mar, defile.

Not a glowing legacy for a poor pup, huh?

And honestly, I never could remember to call him “Sully.” It just didn’t stick — for me or my mom.

So, since I’d been calling him My Little Monkey practically since he arrived, “Monkey” he became.

It fits him.

My Little Monkey

Next hurdle? House training.

I shouldn’t have started with Puppy Pee Pads. Nor should anyone try to house train a pup who’s too young to be able to hold his waste. Or when it’s 20 degrees outside. Or the wind is howling. Or the rain is coming down sideways.

Then there have been health challenges.

My Mom went to the hospital twice in March and is now living in a rehab place for who-knows-how long. Every time I go visit — after enduring the COVID-prevention protocols — she has a new complaint.

Don’t people realize that being disagreeable makes everybody around disagreeable, too?

And poor Monkey was diagnosed with a bladder infection when I realized I couldn’t house train a dog who peed constantly … all over the floor. A 10-day round of antibiotics cleared it but gave him diarrhea.

Thank Heaven for little Shelties who don’t have skirts yet!

Still, I found myself getting up every two hours through the night to rush him outdoors, and I spent days on my hands and knees cleaning up his messes.

I didn’t have time or energy for anything, much less blogging.

Could things get any worse?

Join me on Wednesday and see.

48 thoughts on “Puppy Woes, Part One

  1. Debbie, I am so sorry to hear about the challenges you’re going through at the moment. Times like this remind me of times in my own life when I thought of that saying, “When it rains it pours.” Things seem to happen at once, don’t they? But remember, things will eventually swing back the other way–the rain will stop and the sun will come out again.

    I like the name, Monkey! And you’re right, it suits him. Love the photo! He looks adorable and oh-so cuddly!

    And I can only imagine how hard it must be to go through the COVID prevention protocols, when it comes to healthcare facilities.

    Sending you MUCH love and positive energy, dear friend!

    And a BIG hug!

    X

    • Thanks for sympathizing, Ron. To say this has been a challenging two months would be an understatement. It’s been sheer misery! Not that there haven’t been some bright spots, of course, but looking at it overall, why, it’s more than one person should have to endure. (I know — Poor me! As if being Debbie should somehow exclude me from suffering, when so many are suffering worse.)

      Visiting my mom face to face is at least possible now. I shudder to imagine how HARD this would’ve been had it occurred last year, when all families could do was see their elderly loved ones through a window.

      Thanks for the positive wishes, my friend. Have a super week! xx

  2. Oh Debbie, so sorry for these challenges!! Your Little Monkey looks so adorable but what a handful! I will pray for your mom – hospitals & changes to routine can be so hard for our loved ones. Changes were hard for my mom… You are in my thoughts & prayers!! 🐶🙏✨🤗✨

    • Thanks, Virginia — prayers are always most welcome. We’re fortunate that we can now visit in person. I, of course, wear a mask and keep my distance (and all visitors must complete a COVID check in, detailing their travels, contact with infected others, and submit to temperature checks.) A small price to pay, I suppose, when it comes to the health and well-being of our senior population.

  3. Oh no. I’m so sorry about your mom. That’s a huge worry on top of puppy stress.
    And poor puppy with his bladder infection, no wonder he peed all the time! I’m sure he wants to be a good boy.
    I understand about mom always complaining. Aunt Vi was similar. She didn’t like anything, nor was she willing to try.

    Hugs!!

    • I didn’t realize Aunt Vi grumbled, too, Dawn. Nice to hear it’s not just peculiar to my mom (who must be the WORST patient ever!). There’s lots of things for the residents to do, but she refuses to participate, despite my reminder that we can make the best of a situation or the worst. I don’t suppose I’d be very happy in one of those places either.

      As for Monkey … well, at least we figured out why potty training was such an ordeal! Poor little guy couldn’t help himself.

  4. Well, that explains that! I’d always associated the name Sully with the hero airline pilot, but given your circumstances, I can see why you might not want that name for your baby! Given what you’ve been through, I’m a little nervous about your Wednesday post, but at least you’re still here with us!

    I’m really sorry about your mom’s need to a rehab facility. I think people in rehab tend to be grumpier than those in hospitals. If you’re really sick, you’re happy to be tended to by nurses and doctors. If you’re recovering/in rehab, and feel a little better, it’s easier to become impatient, etc.

    Between Monkey and your mom, you’ve had your hands full. I hope you’re still healthy — if a little grumpy!

    • Thanks so much, Linda. Mom isn’t a good patient under the best of circumstances and now, she just wants to come home. They can’t let her, of course, until she’s stronger and not as likely to fall. Our house has so many stairs, and a fall at her age could be fatal.

      This is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to Monkey, sad to say. It’s hard to realize he’s not even six months old yet, when he’s got such a “wizened” look in his eyes. I’m trying to be patient, but pups need to know somebody is in charge (and that “somebody” isn’t him, ha!)

  5. I’m sorry about your mom. Older grumpy’s have to be taken with a grain of salt. They aren’t personal and certainly not your fault. We kids always forget that when it comes to parents. I feel your pain on the pup. Twiggy was a hand full. Hopeing for the best.

    • Thanks so much, John. This is her first stint in rehab (not that she shouldn’t have been in one on previous occasions). Maybe the newness is confusing. She’s also not very “social,” so she won’t avail herself of the available activities. I keep reminding her I’m not the entertainment committee!

      I guess I didn’t realize Twiggy’s was a challenging puppyhood, too. You survived, and that gives me hope I will, too — thanks!

  6. ‘Monkey’ sounds like an apt name (I, too, let pets ‘name themselves’ through their personality and behavior). Training a puppy is not for sissies, for sure. 😉 Probably why I’ll never have another, ha!
    ‘This too, shall pass,’ as they say, and one day it’ll all be behind you and you’ll have a wonderful canine companion. Keep your chin up!

    • Having never been a dog, it’s difficult for me to think like one; however, that’s just what’s necessary in a situation like this. I have to be the “pack leader,” the “Alpha,” and Monkey for sure doesn’t want any correcting or boundaries. It’s like he’s suddenly become a 13-year-old spoiled brat! I hope I’m up to persevering — he’s such a beautiful pup, and he deserves a chance at happiness. Thanks for your encouragement!

    • Ah, you understand — crying, indeed. Wish I had a nickel for every tear I’ve shed over this situation. I’m no stranger to dogs, having had one practically my entire life. How sorry I feel for those poor folks who got their first puppy during the pandemic and are now trying to figure out what to do with it.

        • “Tasmanian devil”? Good description, Laurie! I’ve often wondered where the “good dog” goes when 3 p.m. arrives and the demon takes over!

        • When our Liam was young, Clif would take him for a two-mile walk in the morning, and I would do a similar thing in the afternoon. Plus he had a fenced in backyard in which to race around. And race, beating down a circular path with his paws. A friend dubbed it the “Liam 500.” One thing, Liam never had to have his nails clipped. All that running wore them down naturally. 😉

        • Oh, dear. And I thought Monkey’s daily zoomies were because I was doing something wrong! Would that he’d wear those sharp puppy nails down though, as he won’t let me near them.

        • Shelties are very energetic dogs. After all, they were bred to race through the fields, herding sheep. I bet sometimes they would go thirty miles a day. With dogs like that, when they are young, lots of exercise is essential. I looked at this way: When Liam was getting exercise, so was I. 😉

  7. May things start improving soon for you and Monkey — the new name does seem to fit him. I’ve been through several dark cloud periods in my life so you have my sympathy without admonitions. Sorry about your mom. My father was in and out of rehab for the longest time, every time he fell and broke a bone or two. You must be exhausted. Thinking of you and wishing you a brighter springtime!

    • Thanks, Barbara. My mom did fall (but thankfully, didn’t break anything); they just figured she needed to get stronger to stay at home. I’m sorry about your dad — rehab isn’t for the faint-of-heart.

  8. Oh, Debbie, poor you! Haha, I remember when I got T&T and was so excited at the thought of kittens – I’d so enjoyed my previous cats’ kittenhood! But I’d been twenty years younger then, and somehow they’d seemed so easy and fun. These two! Well, let’s just say I sympathise with the weeks of cleaning piddle and poo! Not to mention that Tommy seemed to have a death wish – twice I had to fish him out of the toilet before he drowned – “lid down” is still a cast-iron rule in this house. And then there was Tuppence’s hernia… Oh dear! I promise it gets better. 😂 So sorry to hear about your mom – I hope she gets better soon.

    • FF, thank you for assuring me that kitties, too, have issues. I’d thought it was only puppies that gave their owners fits! Twenty years does make a bit of a difference, doesn’t it? And honestly, my mind is probably just glossing over Dallas’s puppyhood, recreating it as blissful. Domer regularly reminds me of things I’d completely forgotten! Thanks for your sympathy. Poor Tommy — fishing in the toilet? *shudders*

  9. Oh, I’m so sorry, Debbie! This has been a serious challenge and I can’t blame you for feeling down and defeated. I’m sure it will get better, but this puppy stage takes time, I know.

    I’m so sorry about your mom’s health issues and her stay in a rehab facility. That’s a tough situation in good times. Factor in COVID restrictions and I’m sure it’s much more frustrating. I hope she’ll be able to come home soon!

    • Thanks very much for sympathizing, Tee. Mom and I actually are blessed she didn’t have to go into rehab last year, when I wouldn’t have been able to visit her at all. She says her therapist tells her she’s doing better and just might be able to return home before too much time passes. That’s a win! As for Monkey, well, we’re hanging in there, but I think my next puppy will be stuffed!!

  10. The consistent work is so worth it! Keep you cool, redirect when you don’t like a behavior or action and give praise and it treats when you find the pup doing a good thing. It gets better, but it will take being consistent for six months.

      • You got this. The nights you want to kill her are the ones lead to the breakthroughs. Just stay consistent.

        I make lots of Kongs filled with plain yogurt, pulverized blueberries and a few dog treats in the freezer. I use them or some type of “chew” to buy myself some sanity. I’ll post my “dog ice cream” Kong recipe in a day or two for you. Order the Kings now from Amazon- at least 2.

  11. Oh, you poor thing! Monkey’s troubles would be enough to cope with, but your mother’s health added on means a truly overwhelming situation. Personally, the only thing that I find helps in times like these is (trying to) remember that the hard times don’t last forever. Monkey will eventually be house-trained, and you will find a new normal for your Mom’s situation. Meanwhile, cut yourself as much slack as you can in every other area of your life!

    • Oh, Ann, I’m certainly trying to … cut myself some slack, that is. That’s one reason I haven’t been around the blogosphere much of late. I’ve missed everybody, but there are only so many hours in a day, and I’m using them to keep my head above water! I agree that hard times don’t last forever, but while they’re happening, it sure feels like forever, ha! Thanks for your support.

  12. Holy moly, Debbie, last time I was here you were having doggie challenges. SO sorry to hear they are continuing and the struggles you are having with your Mom. Don’t even get me going on how humans are being treated by the world at large and medicine as well. Hopefully soon, things will look up for not only you but for all of us. God be with you!! xo

      • Hang on. This period of time is bringing very difficult situations to everyone’s lives. They are far from easy, Debbie, but they are intended to teach us to walk into our own power and to fear no-thing or no-one. Love is where we are all heading. But first, we have to attend to those things that prevent us from getting there. You’ve got this. I do not speak too often of my travails but take my word for it, I’ve been through many hells in the past year. I got through them all as you will too. BIG SMILE~!!! xo

        • Lovely, hope-filled words, my friend — thank you! I’m trying to keep my head above water … and wishing my usual optimism would return!

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