One more sleep! Tomorrow we pick up our pup. Am I ready? I don’t think so. But ready or not, the countdown calendar says tomorrow’s the day we bring home a puppy named Carter.
We were recently on vacation in Florida (and yes the weather was PERFECT every single day), and being the baseball-crazed family that we are, we went to the Blue Jays spring training game last Friday in Dunedin, Florida.
As I chatted with perfect strangers sitting near by, the topic of our Carter came up. And we chatted about the baseball meaning of his name of course. In no time, my iPhone was out and I was showing people Carter’s photo. Who did I become, and where did this pride come from, I thought?
Before I knew it, my phone was passed around, up and down the rows. I also showed them Carter’s Blue Jays’ tag and collar. Between cheering for the Jays, sipping cold beer, and not complaining about the heat, there were a lot of “aw so cute” and “aw so sweet” comments uttered. The Jays beat the Orioles by the way. And my my younger son snagged Marcus Stroman’s autograph, so it was a fun afternoon for all.
While in Florida we went out for St. Paddy’s day, and the bar we were at had many funny sayings on the walls. This one caught my eye and I had to snap a photo of it.
“Sometimes you’re the dog. Sometimes you’re the hydrant.”
I know this is a saying you can apply to life, but it made me chuckle. I think over the next few weeks, with our 8-week old puppy, we will have to be patient and accept that sometimes (or many times) we will be Carter’s hydrant!
So am I ready? Nope. I still have shoes left out and about my house!
We are one week away! What? Already? Time to get ready to bring puppy Carter home.
But before we do, there’s some shopping to do. Our breeder Catharine emailed a ‘bringing home puppy’ shopping list. As you’ll see, what was listed and what we ended up with doesn’t match up exactly. It’s a little hard not to go overboard. Just a little.
We went shopping as a family, and coming to an agreement on some items wasn’t easy. The hardest decision for us was agreeing on a leash and collar. But I think it paid off to shop around! Take a read, what do you think?
Catharine’s Puppy Shopping List vs Our Family’s Puppy Purchases
Crate – one that you can adjust the size as the puppy grows.
What we did:
I emailed my dog friends asking if they had a crate they no longer used or wanted. Success! A friend personally delivered a wire-adjustable-BIG-crate! My younger son fits in the crate very comfortably. I know because he’s gone in a few times, on his own, not because I put him in there!
My big issue with the big crate? Where do I put it in my house? I had to do what I avoided for a long time; tidy-up and purge the ‘dumping-room’ we all have in our homes. On-top of the crate is his big (and stylish) comfy bed-pillow.
2. An adjustable harnesses for rides in vehicles.
What we did: We did not make this purchase yet. I’m certain, my boys will be holding Carter on the way home.
3. Stainless steel dishes (for food and water)
What we did: We bought 2 ceramic dishes from HomeSense. They have a great pet section, and well priced too. That’s where we found his stylish big bed-pillow too.
4. Grooming supplies – a comb (brushes do not get right down to the skin), nail clippers (scissor style), scissors, dog shampoo.
What we did: We purchased all of the above.
5. Collar & Leash – a 4 foot (leather) leash was recommended and a nylon flat or rolled leather buckle collar (rolled leather will not break the fur). Sounds like a simple enough purchase, but take a look at this selection of collars and leashes at Pet Smart. Overwhelming. And not one collar or leash we could agree on.
We did finally agree on a collar and a most appropriate dog tag for Carter, don’t you think?
Toys! Fleecy toys, squeaky toys, stuffed toys. Again, you would think easy to choose a toy or two. Nope. The selection is again vast and it’s easy to get carried away. Here are some fancy-schmancy toys that we did not purchase. We didn’t think these were appropriate for a Golden, but were very clever!
What we bought: We ended up with a stuffed chicken, chewy bone, bouncy balls, tug-of-war rope, and a chewy toy that you can add treats or peanut butter to, and according to friends, keeps your pup busy and happy.
Bitter Apple spray – Used as a deterrent, it can be sprayed on plants, shoes, anything you don’t want puppy to chew. It’s kinder to spray and let the pup discover “ooh that tastes rotten”, than to constantly nag them. And a spray bottle full of vinegar….to spray where little accidents happen.
What we bought: Yes to both sprays!
7. We were advised to not buy treats as they will upset puppies little tummies. Instead use little pieces of brick cheese or save little bits of meat from your supper for rewards. But look at what’s out there for dogs? We found these fancy treats at one pet store.
What we did: We didn’t buy any puppy treats. I think we’ll try the cheese. But may have to buy some healthy treats if we need to help with training!
In the end, this is what our purchases look like. The additional items we bought includes: a blanket (a baby blanket on clearance from HomeSense), a food mat, a cute basket to hold all his toys, a big comfy bed-pillow, poop bags and a blue bandana, because he’s going to be one cool and well dressed Golden!
One week to go! This is really happening. How hard can this puppy thing be!? Maybe I should start reading my ‘how to train your puppy’ book. This may be the most important purchase we made!