My blogging has slowed down for a bit, because the dog-owning dream finally came true! Ethan and I brought home little 10-week old Cedric the Boston terrier last Friday.
First things first, yes, he is the most adorable thing I’ve ever owned. He’s soft, cuddly, warm, and playful. His eyes are so expressive, and even his little grunts, snorts, and snores are endearing. He loves us and we love him. Few could deny that the sight of a puppy bounding happily toward you is an instant mood booster.
When I was getting the apartment ready for Cedric’s arrival, was I expecting there would be a lot of work ahead, taking care of a new pup? Yes. Regardless, I’m tired after just 5 days of Cedric.
There’s one main cause of the stress of taking care of Cedric: a 10 week old puppy is at constant risk of peeing and pooping inside. They just can’t hold it for more than an hour or so, maybe longer if asleep. We were lucky that the breeder paper trained him, so he tends to go on the newspaper we’ve laid out for him if he’s nearby. That training has not prevented him from having several accidents on the carpet, though. We try to keep a diligent eye on him when he’s allowed to roam the apartment, analyzing whether his sniffing means he needs to go or not, and constantly bringing him outside where he will hopefully relieve himself. Treats have helped to encourage him to go potty outside. In general, though, he enjoys being outside for the opportunity to eat grass, pebbles, pinecones, leaves, insects, and anthills.
The good thing is, unlike a new baby, he will be fully potty trained in a matter of months, and then we can relax a bit. His chewing on our stuff may get worse as he starts teething, so I will be using my homemade anti-chew spray of apple cider vinegar and white vinegar to deter him.
Another positive is that he sleeps often. It seems like he sleeps at least 16 hours a day, often tiring out after a meal or playtime. We’re able to leave him at home in his baby gated area for a full work day, with a dog watcher letting him out at lunchtime for a potty break.
I’m fully convinced that Bostons are a good apartment breed, and the lack of barking is a main positive. We’ve learned to trust that when Cedric barks, something is probably wrong. He probably needs to go potty, or you stepped on him (I’m looking at you, Ethan). Other than that, we’ve only heard him whine a lot when he’s locked behind the baby gate and we’re ignoring him.
Owning a puppy is not a one person job, so I’m glad I’m not in this alone. Cedric demands nearly constant attention while he’s awake. When he plays, he’s a maniac. He wriggles, nips, jumps, and runs around like a rabbit. Tasks that were no problem during pre-puppy life – cooking dinner, taking a shower, doing laundry – can easily become challenging without someone else to keep an eye on him and keep him out of trouble.
We still have a way to go on training Cedric. We taught him to climb down stairs and he comes when called about half of the time, but he doesn’t consistently walk well on a leash, he hates baths and nail clipping, and other basic commands are beyond him. One step at a time.
Caring for a puppy seems like scaled back practice for caring for a baby. At least you can put a diaper on a baby, though. We’ll be proud dog parents when we no longer have to clean urine from the carpets.