In August, during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, I got puppies. Tiny little squirmy (and bald I might add), hairless Chinese Crested puppies.
I truly wish I was actively blogging during their tiny, puppy months, but, if you so desire, you can follow their early (and current) adventures on Instagram @CleoandPunkChineseCresteds.
When I got them, Punk weighed under 3 pounds and Cleo was under 2 pounds. Today they are fully-grown and as sassy and ornery as you might expect two spoiled-during-the-pandemic puppies.
Here are a few tips I’ve garnered along the way when dealing with pandemic (or any new) pups.
Remember, they are PUPPIES. When we picked the pups up in Oklahoma City (we live in central Kansas) we had the ultimate goal of litter box training them. (Yes, it’s a thing and we’ve had success with our previous dogs). We bought the dog litter and everything. Laughable. We still haven’t used it. They eat EVERYTHING still.
Buy a small, plastic pool. Thankfully, these were still in season. And they were a lifesaver when we got them home. They ate, drank, played and, of course peed and pooped in the pool. Get you one! But, be warned, they will grow. Ours hopped out in a week, but it did give us the necessary time to secure alternatives.
Get them into the vet ASAP. Our puppies, being so young, had not had any vaccines, but they still were in need of a check-up. They both have eye issues and Cleo came with an eye ulcer. The conditions are well under control now, with daily medications, but if we had waited, Cleo probably would have gone blind in her right eye. Get them into the vet I’d suggest within the first week!
Set early boundaries. Don’t want them on the couch? Set that boundary early. Room off limits? Let them know early. Puppies need boundaries. Mine pretty much had none…my bad. But they are learning quite nicely.
Do things with them early. Due to the pandemic, this one went by the wayside for us. BUT, in normal circumstances, make sure you take them in the car for rides (if that’s what you’re planning on doing), take them to the pet store to pick out treats, etc.
Bottom line, enjoy your new babies. They won’t be babies for long. Below is a photo of mine when they were tiny!
As I walked across campus to my car earlier this week I was filled with gratitude. I looked at the changing leaves, listened to them crunch under my feet — and realized as I was walking that I don’t have the life I had always dreamt of — I have the life I never DARED to dream of.
I have an amazing life filled with so many things to be grateful for (and in no particular order):
Love. There are so many people in my life who I adore to the moon and back. Most of these people don’t even know how truly amazing they are. (I must tell them more often).
Career. I’ve had an incredible career, which, over the years, has afforded me the opportunity to meet so many of the above stated incredible people and be involved in my community. In March I changed jobs — and I’m loving this job so much!
Adventures. So. Many. Adventures. I have traveled so much more in my life that I ever thought I could. I’ve seen many amazing places and made incredible memories. I can’t wait to see what adventures lie ahead!!
Wealth. I’m not talking monetary wealth here. I am not “wealthy” by any means, but I have enough. ENOUGH. And I know that alone, makes me wealthy.
Kindness. This is a big one. Not only do I strive to be kind, I have met so many kind people. Even the simplest act of kindness can change a life.
Health. Another big one. I treasure my health. Because it can be ripped away in a second.
I could go on and on with the list above, but in the interest of brevity, I’ll move on with my thought process. With all the above said, 2016 hasn’t been all roses. And without getting too intensely personal (which I rarely do on my blog posts), a few people in my life decided to head for the exit sign and I have also chosen that path with a few friendships that had become toxic. I’m talking people you never think you’d ever have leave your life. Not easy. But, again, I have some really amazing people in my life that were right there, helping me put the pieces back together. (And this portion of the post makes me teary-eyed). For all those who listened to me, texted and consoled. Thank you.
Last night I set an actual alarm (one that wasn’t on my phone) for the first time in nearly seven weeks.
The time it read was 4:58 a.m. before I changed it. It made me a bit sad — because that 4:58 a.m. was a life-changing moment/day/time for me.
On the morning of July 14 I got up at 4:58 a.m. to go have a surgery. Today I’m happy, healthy and feeling like I’m ready to jump into life with both feet. It’s amazing when how good you feel when you fix the problem.
It did make me a bit sad to change the clock and in the end, honestly, I didn’t use it. I’ve become used to my phone waking me up — and most of the time now I wake myself up and don’t even have to hear the phone go off.
I feel blessed to have my health — I truly have a wonderful life filled with many wonderful people and I wouldn’t trade it for the world.