So, regular readers might have noticed I’ve not been posting regularly so far this year, and the reason for that is little Neville the Cocker Spaniel, who bounded into our lives just under a fortnight ago. Join me in a coffee and some puppy pictures?
This week I am drinking a coffee from Dear Green roasters. The Kayon Mountain from Ethiopia has tasting notes of lime, apricot and jasmine. It could only taste better right now if it were gin. Neville is also drinking this because he has no respect for my personal boundaries.
If you follow me on Twitter or Instagram, then you’ll know we recently acquired a puppy. I recently posted a photo of Neville with an apology for not writing reviews recently. It got more likes than every book tweet I’ve ever sent put together. So that’s nice. I thought given how popular he’s been (and because Louise and Amy asked for it), I’d write a little bit about having a puppy.
At Somewhere HQ, we’re not new to dogs: we have a 4 year old Cocker Spaniel called Dexter, who is biologically Neville‘s uncle (do dogs have that kind of family structure? I do not know). We adopted Dexter when he was 17 months old, so we have never had a puppy. Puppies are hard work people. Hard. Work.
In fact, having a puppy is a lot like having an unruly toddler. They cry when you want them to go to sleep, they cry because they’re tired and they need to go to sleep but they really Do Not want to sleep because they might miss something Very Important; they cry a lot for no obvious reason. Some days they eat everything in sight, including random crap from the floor, other days they look at you like you’ve laced their bowl with cyanide and food is the work of the devil. They have a really bad habit of deciding to empty their bowels in the most awkward spots at the most awkward moment possible (in the middle of the living room floor whilst I ran an hour long webinar. Thanks dog. No, really). The toileting has definitely been the hardest thing although (fingers crossed) we’ve only had once accident in the last 4 days, but the day where he purposely came inside to pee in the living room was a bit much.
They’re also bloody cute. Look at that face. This is his “Big Dog won’t play with me so I am sulking” face. Neville adores Dexter. Dexter took a solid 24 hours to realise Neville was a dog. The moment he realised was hilarious: he did a double take, and then ran around us all as if to say HUMANS. EXCUSE ME? ARE YOU AWARE THERE IS A DOG IN THIS HOUSE? Yes mate. We brought him here. You were here when it happened. You should not be surprised. There were some teething problems; Dexter does not share food (fair) or tennis balls (bit weird), but they haven’t lasted too long and now they are best friends.
My top tips for settling in a puppy (based on my very vast experience of a whole 10 days) are: take some time off work (I didn’t and working from home with them has been pretty tough); be patient (there will be a lot of accidents and getting stressed only makes it worse); invest in a snuffle mats (they’re like a fancy rag rug, which you hide food in and they have to hunt for it -keeps them entertained and tires them out).
Also… gin. Many gin. Much chocolate.
And if you have any top tips for surviving early days with a puppy, please let me know in the comments because, frankly, I need all the help I can get.