Erica Lucke Dean

"Making the world a better place, one book at a time."

um…wasn’t there supposed to be a manual with this new puppy?

Chapter One: Are you ready for a puppy?

I bought a guide to raising the perfect puppy and read it from cover to cover.  Ok, so I skimmed chapter one.  I knew I was ready for a puppy.  I didn’t need someone whispering to me all the reasons NOT to get a puppy.  Or all the problems involved with owning a puppy.  I wasn’t born yesterday.  I’ve had puppies before, and I’ve successfully (so far) raised a few human children as well.  Although, at this moment in time, I will admit that I’m unsure which one is harder.  I certainly don’t remember my children attempting to chew the Persian rugs at a few weeks of age.  They may have attempted to set fire to them much later, but I was at least given some time to adjust to them before they became destructive. 

The puppy gave me exactly 24 hours before he decided that all bets were off and the house was his to do with what he liked.  First on my do to list tomorrow is a trip to the pet store for some bitter apple for the furniture and the rugs. 

Thankfully, his tirade only lasted a few minutes.  It was as if he had multiple personality disorder and he was channeling the yellow Labrador from that movie.  He’s back to being the sweet puppy I brought home yesterday, but I’m waiting for that crazy puppy to come back at any time.  I can’t let my guard down.  I need to sleep with one eye open.

Or stay awake all night—which is sort of what I did last night.  I was so pleased that the puppy went straight to his bed at eleven when Mike and I were ready to retire for the night that it never occurred to me that he would wake up promptly at four AM ready to party and to pee. 

Not necessarily in that order. 

So I walked the dark yard in my nightgown and my flip flops, certain that I was going to run across something in the dark that would freak me out far more than being outside in my pajamas.  After ten minutes amongst the mosquitoes and night crawlers, the puppy went potty in the grass.  Yay Indy!

I was ready to climb right back into bed.  So were the older dogs, who despite the early hour were perfectly willing to make an unexpected trip to the yard, but headed straight back to bed when they were done.   

Indy had other things in mind. 

Already I was a failure as a new mother.  My puppy did not sleep through the night.  He wanted to drink some water.  And play with a ball.  And drink some more water.  And play with a stuffed chicken.  And drool water into my lap. 

Thirty minutes later I noticed my puppy losing steam. 

I scooped him up and took him back to his bed.  He willingly climbed in and went straight to sleep. 

Apparently, my puppy snores…almost as loud as my husband.  And I was officially wide awake and it wasn’t even five o’clock in the morning yet.  I tried to fall asleep, and maybe I even did, but I had the sort of dreams that make you feel like you’re awake even when you’re not.  And then I was awake again.  It was six-thirty, and puppy was ready to get up. 

Another trip to the yard in my nightgown. 

This time without my flip flops because I couldn’t remember where I left them at four-thirty.  The sky wasn’t quite as dark this time.  It did have that eerie early morning look that I don’t recall seeing in quite some time.  Morning has never been my friend, especially THAT early in the morning. 

I think the puppy peed in the yard again, and I was happy to scoop him back up and take him back to bed.  He was less happy to go back to bed than I was to have him there.  His sleep schedule was quite obviously not in tuned with mine…or the other dogs for that matter.  They chose to skip the six-thirty yard run as the novelty of the nighttime trips had worn off two hours earlier.  They stayed in the comfort of their own beds, and I longed to stay with them. 

I did manage to get the puppy to go back to bed but it was short lived.  At seven-thirty he was hungry, and the sun was fully up this time, so the other dogs were more than happy to eat some food if I was willing to dish it up. 

It was a beautiful morning.  It wasn’t even that hot at seven-thirty.  I was so taken by the way the sky looked at that hour that I grabbed a rake and raked a few weeds and leaves while I was out there.  This must be what it’s like for real farmers on real farms…getting up early to feed the chickens…and milk the cows.  I don’t know…my husband might just be on to something after all.

Until the next time…I’ll be sleeping in shifts!

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