In March of this year, unfortunately my sixteen year old, best friend and Shetland Sheepdog, Laddie, passed away. It wasn’t unexpected, after all, he’d outlived his life expectancy by several years. Still, it was hard. I decided to wait a couple of months before getting a new dog, to let my heart heal and to find the perfect new friend. I knew I wanted a toy Australian Shepherd. They were similar dogs to my Sheltie and small enough to make traveling easier.
Best laid plans. The next day, yes barely twenty-four hours after Laddie passed, my daughter found the perfect puppy online. He was the right size, cost, and less than two hours from my home. Yep, we jumped in the car and came home a few hours later with Merlin, the magic puppy, an adorable eight week old toy Aussie. He was a very sweet little ball of fluff those first few days–content to lay in my arms and sleep most of the day.
And then he woke up. I’m happy to report that almost three months later, he is happy, healthy, the love of my life, AND a lot of work. A whole lot of work. I’d forgotten what it was like to have a new puppy, since I hadn’t had one in sixteen years. The last couple of years Laddie slept approximately 23 hours per day.
Not so with Merlin. He has times each day when he goes absolutely crazy, running around the house getting into everything he can reach. He chews on everything! Including me, and let me tell you those puppy teeth are razor sharp. For several weeks my arms were solid puncture wounds. And then there’s housebreaking. One day he’s a star not having a single accident. Yes, he’s getting it. The next day he squats and pees on the carpet right in front of me. It’s a ongoing challenge. And then there’s the high pitched yip that he lets out when he wants something. It can pierce your eardrums.
I’m learning coping mechanisms. Long walks. Several times daily to wear him out (well sorta) Play dates with my daughter’s dogs are good, but even they get annoyed after awhile with his energy. I’ve learned to take him outside a lot. Every couple hours is a must. All this is good, I’m getting in better physical shape than I’ve been in for years!
Anyway, it’s an adjustment. It’s a good thing he’s so darned cute. I can forgive him almost anything. And when he snuggles up next to me and falls asleep, you can’t beat that. Some day those wicked baby teeth will fall out, and he’ll be the best behaved dog on the planet. Pray for me that day comes soon 🙂