I brought Hope home on a cold, snowy, icy, day in mid-January.
My dad was nervous about me driving in the potentially poor winter weather, but fortunately the roads were completely clear once I drove about 15 miles south of Bartlesville. I made it to her “old home” around 3:30 p.m., and eagerly knocked on the door with treats in hand. Little bit must have known something was off immediately, because she refused to even sniff the treats I brought and was altogether weary of my presence. I was given her vaccination records and a dewormer for the next day, then the adventure began! Hope was not excited about going in her new crate, even though I brought plenty of toys and blankets for her. Clearly, I had overestimated the power of treats and toys on a new puppy leaving home! All the same, I did my best to make the transition as seamless as possible for Hope in her vulnerable state.
When we got home, I brought her into the house and she just sat there looking rather shell-shocked. My brother and his family immediately FaceTimed me to meet the new addition to our family. They assured me that she is extremely cute (truth) and that the next few days may be rough for both Hope and me but to ride the wave (also truth). My dad came home shortly after that and we moved her crate into the house, attempted to get her to play, and fed her.
Funny story: my dad loves and owns multiple Persian rugs and he has never had a dog, so he was pretty apprehensive about the terror Hope could potentially raise on said rugs. In fact, everyone was surprised to hear that me getting Hope was actually my dad’s idea (thanks daddy 🙂 ). In preparation, he took up all of his prized rugs before Hope even came home, spent $20 on old sheets and towels at the Salvation Army, and turned our downstairs recreation room in to Hope space, meaning the carpet is completely covered with towels, sheets, and newspapers. We were prepared for her 🙂
Little Bit was exhausted and understandably apprehensive after the excitement of leaving the only home she had ever known. I sat her on the couch with me while I watched some basketball and she immediately fell asleep.
Despite my best intentions to crate train her, I caved the first night when she started to howl and let her sleep in the main room of our downstairs, which she had quickly claimed as her territory. I awakened to some accidents the next morning, but fortunately, she seemed to understand that she wasn’t supposed to go to the bathroom in the house, and I was able to successfully take her out the rest of the day with no additional accidents. When we were in the house, she was rather melancholy and detached. She still showed no interest in treats or playtime, which concerned me. Even so, she ate her dog food, which I took to be a good sign. It was 12 degrees that day, but even so, she showed signs of playfulness and happiness when she was outside, so I braved the cold and played with her in the snow (perk to recovery—the ability to withstand the cold!). We also went to the vet to get the last of her shots and have a microchip placed. Little Bit did not enjoy the outing, and immediately peed on her mama in the parking lot. Subsequently, the first thing the vet said to me was, “does she have a peeing problem?”
Hope barely reacted to the shots and microchip placement, and the vet assured me that nervous peeing and an adjustment period are all normal. My mom gave a brilliant suggestion to place some peanut butter on a dog treat and place it in her crate at night. This worked like a charm, and Hope had her first successful night in the crate!
Things began to look up from that point. She stopped having accidents in the house, began to show more affection to me, play like a normal puppy, and enjoy her treats. By the end of the week, the temperature had warmed and she was happily playing outside.
Hope and I have already had so many successes in the short week since I’ve had her- she immediately won over my mom and dad, two of my girlfriends visited and declared she looked like a “little lamb”, she was a star at the local dog park, and she is already learning “sit” and to walk on the leash.
Hope is scared of the mailman, big dogs, trucks, and the upstairs of our house. She loves her red bouncy Kong ball, peanut butter, sneaking into the next-door neighbor’s backyard, and naps.
I’m so glad I brought Hope home. Here’s to many adventures with little bit 🙂