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Our 1st month as a family of 4!

Written by: Kate

The holiday season is a crazy time for pretty much everyone. But our craziness continued even after the new year began. A few days after Christmas (December 30), we applied to adopt Aurora. My family was in town at the time and also when we got the call about a week later that we were being considered to adopt Aurora. Well, a day after they left town we got the call that we were chosen to adopt her (my sister was not happy that I was getting a puppy 2 days after she left). On January 7th, we brought Aurora home. This past month has been a little crazy but we wouldn’t change it for the world.

So how has our 1st month been? Honestly, a little crazy but full of love. The 1st week was the toughest. We had to stay on top of potty breaks, teach her basic commands, help Lexi adjust, and get Aurora used to being crated at night and while we were gone. Luckily, she is a smart cookie and she knew sit and lay down in the her first 2 days home with our verbal commands and even with no verbal cues and just our hand gestures. Lexi really enjoyed all of the extra treats she got when she followed mommy and daddy’s commands too. Paw was the next command she learned thanks to Lexi’s help. Aurora was struggling with learning paw on her own, so I did it with Lexi a few times and gave Lexi treats afterwards and within 10 minutes Aurora learned paw. Aurora is lucky to have a smart big sister to show her the ropes. Come and stay took the whole 1st week and are still a work in progress. She will do both every time, but won’t stay for too long. She is a curious pup.

Our biggest struggle was the crate training. Aurora hated the crate at first. She would whine and cry for what felt like forever when she would first go in. She probably cried until she cried herself to sleep honestly. But we discovered by reading the package on her Kong toy that it helps with separation anxiety and crate training. We thought it may have been separation anxiety since we were in the room and so was Lexi but she was the only one not right with everyone else. So we decided to start putting her in the crate with her Kong and Kong spray or treat to keep her occupied and associate her crate with a good thing. That did the trick. No more whining, no more crying, and we had a happy crated puppy, except when Lexi would go over and look at her through the crate door. The first week we were up 1 to 3 times a night for potty breaks, which was not fun. But, after a few days of that we started pulling up her water bowl an hour or 2 before bed and just like that no more middle of the night potty breaks. We now have a dog that sleeps happily through the night.

How has Lexi adjusted? The first few days Lexi was not sure and probably was wondering when this puppy mom and dad were watching would leave. But over the past month they have bonded so much. There is this blanket that we have from Target that both dogs love. In the mornings (on the weekends), I use this blanket and sit on the floor with them and they both cuddle up with me and each other on this blanket. That was our first big bonding moment, sharing and cuddling together on the blanket. Then last week, bonding moment #2 happened. Aurora was in the dog bed sleeping and Lexi walked over and curled up in the bed with her. Usually, they would try to bully each other out of the bed so the other one could have it. But this time, they shared it. This weekend we had two bonding moments. First, Lexi and Aurora were drinking water out of the same bowl at the same time. Lexi would usually growl at her but she is letting her drink out of the same bowl now (more than once this weekend too). Next, Lexi gave Aurora kisses. Lexi only does this to dogs she likes so that was a big step.

 

To reward Lexi for being a great big sister, we took her to a local restaurant in St Pete that lets you bring your dogs and eat out on the patio with them, it’s called Three Birds Tavern. Check it out if you are ever in the area, it’s great and so dog friendly (Three Birds Tavern). We went with our friend Leigh and her dog Daisy (pictured on the right), who Lexi loves. Leigh also has a blog that you can check out (Leigh’s blog). Lexi and Daisy had a great time hanging out and getting lots of attention from the waiters. It was nice to give Lexi a special outing with mom and dad and no puppy antics for a bit.

So how was our first month? Amazing. Aurora learned so much so quickly and it’s great watching her grow and watching her and Lexi bond. We are so glad we adopted her and we adjusted to being a two dog family so quickly. It just felt natural. Both dogs are happy, healthy, and loving life and mom and dad are loving every minute of it. Check back next week for another post featuring some crazy aspect of our lives as crazy dog parents.

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