Our Week

Monday

People aren’t kidding when they say having a puppy is like having a new baby! I am exhausted and overwhelmed by this experience so far. Because I work from home, he is with me all day long. And he generally wants to be where I am in the evening too, even if Joe or Michael is around.

We still can’t seem to get into a routine for potty breaks either. Today I started writing down what time I took him out and what he did. That made me feel a little more in control and we didn’t have any accidents in the house today.

I had forgotten how stressed out I was when I was a new mom, but this is definitely reminding me of that time in my life.

Tuesday

My friend Kim brought over her 8 month old Husky Ninja today to play with Baxter. They played almost non-stop for 3 hours and seemed to have a great time. After they left, Baxter collapsed for about a 3 hour nap to recover!!

I felt much better today, not as stressed out with him. I also have gotten a lot of work done the last two days, so that helps with my overall stress level as well.

Wednesday

Baxter was a bit whiny today and was barking like crazy during my conference call and I couldn’t mute him because I had to participate in the conversation. I think we are going to hit the dog park when I’m done with work. That way he can get some energy out before he has to go in the crate while we go to play D&D.

Thursday

We were supposed to have trick or treat tonight but it was rescheduled for tomorrow due to the weather. I couldn’t believe how hard it was raining. Baxter didn’t want to go out in it and ended up going in the house. Other than that it was a peaceful evening.

Friday

Lots of barking and hyperness today. Cold and windy today but thankfully no more rain. Trick or treat was tonight. Baxter seemed confused that we kept opening the door for people but no one came in and we didn’t go out!

Saturday

We had our final puppy class today. He’s really good at Sit and Down and Touch. Everything else is still a work in progress. He does okay on the leash for a regular walk but pulls like crazy when we walk around PetSmart. There are some other commands we learned that I haven’t practiced enough with him. I would like to take the intermediate class but I want to work on the things we learned in this class some more first. I’m thinking maybe we’ll do it in January.

Thanks for reading!

Eventful Days

It’s been an eventful couple of weeks since I last posted. Baxter was really not feeling well one night and had me super worried. His eyes were all red and he barely ate any dinner. Then he peed on the dining room floor and slumped to the floor a few minutes later. He also had two loose stools. By the next morning, he was doing somewhat better but I still took him to the vet to get him checked out.

The vet figured that he must have gotten into something in the yard that gave him an upset stomach. She wasn’t too worried because he was eating again and had more energy. She did find a yeast infection in his ears, though, so we had to put drops in twice a day for a week.

Puppy class last week was good. We started working on coming when his name is called. We had taken him to the dog park before class so he had expended some energy and was definitely better behaved during class. He is still one of the more hyper ones, but after seeing him so out of it just a couple of nights earlier, I can’t complain about his energy!

We’ve been to the dog park several times. They have two sides, for dogs under and over 30 lbs. Baxter is currently about 20 lbs, so we go in the smallest side usually. Once when our side was empty, the two people on the other side invited us over so he got to play with the big dogs. It’s great to see him running around with the other dogs.

I noticed this week that he is definitely growing. He is taller than when we brought him home and he is filling out. He still has a ways to go to grow into those paws though!

Puppy Training – It’s All About the Treats!

There’s a great article at PupBox on when to tackle different skills when training a puppy that I found very helpful. They also sent me this graphic with some helpful tips about using treats during training.

your-new-puppy-training-guide-when-to-tackle-each-skill

I have definitely found that I have to switch things up when training Baxter. I can use low value treats or even dog food when training at home, but for puppy class, I need high value treats that are only available during that time.

So different from my cat, who just gets treats once a day, at bedtime, and prefers the same ones all the time. If I give him a different treat, he will usually throw them up!

One Month with Baxter

Tomorrow will be one month since we got Baxter, our boxer puppy, and today he is 17 weeks old. We took him for his last set of vaccinations today, so he is good on those for a year. After that, we took him to the dog park. It was drizzling outside but I really wanted to go so we did. One other dog came while we were there, a 3 year old who wasn’t really interested in playing with him, but he tried mightily to get her interest!

When we got home, Baxter ate his lunch and promptly passed out from all the activity.

Yesterday was our third puppy class. Last week we worked on walking with us on the leash. He didn’t do too well in class because he was more interested in the other dogs. This week went better; we learned leave it, drop it, wait, and take it. My biggest problem in class is finding high enough value treats that will keep his attention. Today I bought a couple new ones that he will only get at class, and I am really hopeful they will be good enough.

Potty training is still being worked on. He peed on the floor at the vet today, so that was fun. Things are good during the day when I’m working because he is in the office with me and we are in a routine of going outside. But it’s harder to control when we are in other parts of the house. I originally was going to use potty bells, but he was ringing them often, sometimes just a few minutes after coming inside. On the other hand, it did give him an easy way to communicate, so I’m wondering if I should try again. I’m really curious how other dog owners handled this.

Thanks for reading! Leave me your best tips on potty training or any other puppy issues you encountered.

Two Weeks In

So it’s been two weeks since we brought our new puppy Baxter home. It certainly feels like longer! He is a sweetheart but a lot of work for sure. Tomorrow he will be 15 weeks old.

The biggest thing is potty training. During the day we are taking him out every two hours. Even with that, he has still had a few accidents inside. At night we take him out every 4 hours, which seems to work well.

Baxter and Peanut Butter (our cat) are still getting to know each other. Baxter wants to play but PB isn’t really up for that. We got a cat tree so PB has some place to go besides behind the couch and under the bed.

Today was our first puppy class. We got a clicker and worked on sit, look, and touch. I really like the trainer; she was so good with him and very helpful to us.

It has certainly been a life-changer having a puppy. I had a couple of dogs as a kid but my mom handled the training and I just got the fun part of playing with them. I’m not sure I would want to do it again in the future. Once is probably going to be enough for me!

Our Newest Addition

I posted back in May 2018 that we were thinking about getting a dog. Well, we finally did it! Just yesterday, we got Baxter, a 12 week old Boxer.

Originally we were planning to adopt a rescue dog, and we even applied to the boxer rescue in our area, but they never got back to us. Then we started looking at puppies and decided we would be just as happy going that route.

So far he is a total sweetheart. Of course, he sleeps a lot, but he is eating good and seems to enjoy the toys we got him. The cat (who is six years old) has been coming around to check him out but not letting the puppy get closer than a foot or two before hissing or backing away.


My biggest problem is feeding the cat. We have always left his food out, but we can’t risk the puppy eating it so I moved it up on the desk in the kitchen. Unfortunately, he doesn’t seem too keen on jumping up there to eat. I’m hoping he’ll come around soon.

The thing I was the most nervous about was potty training. It’s going okay so far though. We’ve been taking him out after each nap and after he eats. Last night I got up at 2am and took him out, and then my husband took him out at 6am. I had lot of trouble getting back to sleep after the middle of the night trip outside, so that has been the worst part. I did get some floor cleaner just in case we need it at some point.

Today we took him for his twelve week shots and also got him microchipped. He did great! We have to wait a week to give him a bath so that will be our project next weekend.

Michael (my 17 year old son) was with his dad this weekend, so I sent him pictures and he ended up stopping by to get some medication he forgot and got to meet the puppy briefly. He’ll be back tonight and will get to spend some time getting to know him then. I’m hoping having a dog in the family will be good for him.

I’m sure I will share more about our adventures as dog owners, but that’s it for now. Do you have any furry, or non-furry, members of the family?

Illinois Trip, Part 2

We arrived in Chicago and got settled into our next Airbnb. This time we had a room with two beds and shared the bathroom, kitchen, and living and dining rooms with the other guests. Not as nice as our first rental, but it worked out well in the end.

Wednesday we took the L (metro) and a bus to the Shedd Aquarium. We especially liked the show that had Beluga whales, dolphins, and a sea lion. The displays on the Amazon rainforest were pretty cool as well.

After that, we walked down to the Adler Planetarium. Our admission included two shows, so we saw one that covered the stars in the Chicago night sky and another one about the search for a new ninth planet. Joe liked the first show better, and Michael looked the second. I thought they were equally good in different ways.

Next we walked down to the Field Museum. We only had about 90 minutes left before they closed, but we wanted to see it while we were there. My favorite section is the hall of gemstones so we made sure to go there. We also saw a special exhibit on wildlife photography that was really good.

One bus and a train later, we made it back to our room. Just in time for a thunderstorm to roll in actually!

Thursday morning we headed back into the city to the Museum of Science and Industry. The special exhibit Wired to Wear was pretty neat – it was all about different wearable technology. Lots of cool stuff! Joe also took a special tour inside a WWII submarine.

I attempted to splurge on an overpriced sweatshirt but their network was down and I couldn’t use my credit card. Instead we splurged on a taxi ride to our next location instead of taking two different buses to get there. It was so worth it and only half the cost!

Our second stop was Skydeck, which is the top floor of the Willis Tower, formerly known as the Sears Tower. Although I am not fond of heights, I didn’t mind being up there. I did not, however, take a turn out on the ledge.

Having used up our CityPass, we took the train back to our room and just chilled the rest of the afternoon and evening.

Friday we drove from Chicago home to Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. It was a long day as we stopped for meals and other breaks, but we wanted to get home and have the weekend still to enjoy.

We are thinking next time we go to the Quad-Cities that we will make our side trip be St. Louis. Neither Joe nor Michael has ever been there, and it seems like there are lots of neat things to see and do. But that’s probably going to be another four years, so we’ve got lots of time to think about it!

What fun places are you visiting this year?