In four short days, we return to central Pennsylvania to retrieve our puppy and bring him home. We finally settled on his name the other night, which will be revealed when he crosses the threshold of our house on his own four paws. It is a name that everyone liked and one that my husband, ironically enough, suggested. Ironic because he is not particularly keen on bringing a four-legged animal into the family. But with the baptism, he’s now bound to the dog in a way that Chloe, Sophie and I will never be.
After many online orders and trips to the pet store, we have everything we need to get the little guy off to a good start. The trainer comes to the house next week for the first of three puppy housebreaking and socialization sessions. I am determined to make our dog’s integration into this family as seamless and as mess-free as possible.
I realize that this obsession with the smooth introduction of the puppy into his new home will likely backfire on me. I already know that puppy-proofing will not be our strong suit (we never baby-proofed, either) and will likely result in one of the girls in tears over something precious that the little devil inadvertently mistakes for a chew toy. His insides might rebel at the transition to new foods. And I suspect that after a week or two of complete immersion into the life of their new pet, Chloe and Sophie will start resisting any request to contribute to his care, unless it involves cuddling with him.
All of my outside commitments (other than shuttling the girls to their activities) come to a screeching halt on Friday. Once the puppy is here, all socializing is off the table for me until he’s comfortable for a couple of hours at a time in his crate. Until then, my days will be spent helping him adapt to his new surroundings.
The upside to this puppy-imposed exile is that I might finally get some writing done. I have another idea for a book, and while it’s great to have all these ideas, they won’t count for much if I don’t do anything with them. Could it be that the little guy’s puppy neediness will serve as the shackles I need to put pen to paper while he’s resting at my feet? From my keyboard to his floppy ears, here’s hoping.