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The Highs and Lows of a New Puppy

Ok, I’ll be honest from the start…I never particularly wanted a puppy.

Every time the topic was raised, I’d always managed to bat it away with a combination of excuses, ranging from busy work schedules to my wife’s borderline OCD. When this wasn’t enough the “Who’s going to walk it in January when it’s snowing?” card was played. By in large, this strategy had worked and I’d reached the ripe old age of 45 puppy-less.

By last summer the previously occasional and half-hearted requests for a puppy were becoming thunderous demands and I found myself increasingly being cast as a latter day, male version of Cruella Deville. In August 2019, backed into a corner and having taken over my father’s pet food business, I finally relented.

Meet Our New Puppy
Rogen, an eight week old Golden Retriever/Irish Red Setter cross (or Golden Irish if you prefer) came bounding in to our lives and our living room. He was the first little bundle of fluff to come greet us when we arrived at the owner’s house, the darkest of the litter and the most playful. He was duly picked and off we went to prepare for the new arrival in a fortnights time.
Why did we call him Rogen? Well, that was my 15-year-old son’s idea who named him after his favourite actor, Seth Rogen. Of course with 2 other kids in the house there were the inevitable naming debates but somehow we kept coming back to Rogen. The matter was finally settled when our son sneakily ordered the name tag online emblazoned with the name on it! That said, we all quite liked the name. It was short and quite punchy, and let’s be honest, you don’t want to be standing in the local park calling out for “Peanut Wigglebutt” to come to heel.

How to Prepare for a New Puppy
Being prepared is what my wife does best. It’s her thing. Quickly our house began to fill with puppy pads, bowls, leads, toys, a kennel, a crate, dog beds, you name it, we had it! And at this point I should stress how important, and indeed how expensive being prepared is. Getting a dog for the first time is, and should be, a big deal, and the more prepared you are the better for everyone.
The first days of a new puppy are of course exciting. Fights raged over who would feed him, who would get the next cuddle, who would walk him. Everyone wanted a piece of the action and with our new puppy on a 4 times a day feeding plan everyone got a job. We selected a Puppy / Junior, small Kibble Nut, which delivered a hefty 28% protein – ideal for our rapidly growing new arrival. Full of good intentions, we tried to stay clear of wet puppy food until, quite by accident, he got his little paws on a tray of Naturo wet puppy food which he just seemed to love, and it helped the nuts go down that bit better.

Toilet Training A New Puppy
Soon after Rogan’s arrival, little yellow puddles began to appear on the oak floor. Just a cute little accident to start with, easily sorted with stockpiled kitchen roll, but then growing in frequency until this little golden bundle of fun began resembling a four-legged Niagara Falls. The good news is that it passes and as winter turned to spring, we found ourselves slap bang in the middle of a worldwide shutdown with the most adorable dog just crying out to be walked….timing is everything eh?.
Having Rogen during such stressful and unprecedented times was a huge slice of luck and his daily walks gave us all a break from the barrage of bad news that seemed to engulf the world. Those endless summer evenings spent with him in the forest behind our home as he sniffed and foraged his way through his new world will live long in our memories.

Puppies will test your patience. After a long day, when you finally plop into your favourite chair (having searched for 5 minutes for the remote control) cleaning up after a puppy can be challenging. But my advice is to persevere, it’s worth it and it passes. Admittedly, there may be an odd chewed cushion on the settee, a few scrapes on the floor that weren’t there 12 months ago and some dog bed remnants stuck in my hedge, but what the hell, the good has far outweighed the bad.

Getting A New Puppy – My Advice

  1. Do your research: Find the dog that best suits you and your family’s lifestyle. If TV and takeaways are your thing, maybe best to give an energetic dog a wide berth. However, if you like pulling the wellies on and getting out there, then there’s a world of possibilities.
  2. Be patient: Shouting at your new puppy will not achieve anything. You simply have to spend time with them – the more you put in the more you will get out. A session with a dog trainer can be a great investment, not just for your puppy but for you also!
  3. Don’t beat yourself up: We all make mistakes on the puppy journey, but learn from them.
  4. Enjoy your puppy: With any luck you’ve just got a loyal, loving companion to share the next 10+ years of your life with. Be grateful for it.
  5. And finally, think long and hard before you let a five-year-old name your new puppy. Don’t believe me? Just ask the owners of Mister Buddy Pickles then.