Some people get a dog as a trial run for kids. I don’t like the thought of comparing a dog to a child. I love my dog…like A LOT… but my human child will always be my first priority!
That said, this little dude is super sweet and super full of playfulness. He will make an awesome FUR-brother!
For the first 4 months of his life, he was caged. He never knew the feel of grass between his toes. He never got to play outside. He just laid in a cage while other dogs used him as a pillow. When I was able to rescue him, he needed a lot of TLC. He had no confidence and he was so scared at every little thing. Thankfully, he quickly learned that his momma would always be there for him and little by little was more confident about doing normal dog stuff- like playing in the back yard by himself. (BTW. We have a HUGE back yard that is completely enclosed for safety).
In addition to confidence building, there are lots of similar phases that a puppy goes through that a child does as well.
First, lets talk about 3 am feedings. Yep. Oliver will soon be 2. Last night, he woke me up at 3 am. He was hungry and wouldn’t go to sleep until he got a snack. I rotate between cottage cheese, greek yogurt and string cheese. High protein healthy snacks help put him back to sleep. I’m really good at researching ideas for helping life go smoothly.
Second, lets talk about potty-training. Patience is a virtue. Shih Tzu puppies are known for their stubbornness in this area. With positive reinforcement training, he’s doing wonderfully now. I helped potty train my nephew using fruit loops and skittles in the potty chair. I’m 99% sure that was an easier task. I’m happy about my potty training adventure being slightly more containable—although blow-outs happen…lol.
Not to get political, but Third, Oliver taught me that vaccinations on littles can be rough on the systems. He was allergic to his rabies vaccines. I know there are a lot of theories about vaccinations of every kind and side effects. I do believe that vaccines are necessary to protect littles from horrible illnesses, but I don’t believe that vaccinating in one office visit to save time is wise either. My job will be to raise this baby with their best interest in mind always!!! In speaking with many parents that I know with newborns, I’m happy that my chosen pediatrics office will work with parents about concerns and spread the vaccines out. I’d rather take extra time to build up the baby’s immunity that have the baby suffer adverse side effects.
Fourth, and finally, having a dog keeps you grounded. Immediately after graduating college, I got my first dog, Oreo. I couldn’t make plans after work without first taking responsibility for Oreo’s needs. He needed a walk, he needed food and fresh water, he needed quality time. Oreo passed over the rainbow bridge after a well-lived and well-loved 15 years with me. Oliver has filled a giant part of that hole left in my heart and the hole left in my time. I am under no delusions that a child will be less work than the dog…but I’m grounded. I have a lifestyle that supports me being available for school plays, soccer games and play-dates.
Up until now, this post hasn’t really been about meeting Oliver…so lets talk about a few of his favorite things:
- He LOVES my shoes. My aunt recently visited and said that she would swear that a one-legged person lived there because shoes had no matches.
- I haven’t exactly figured out his relationship with the bunnies and birds in the back yard…but I think they enjoy running after them, but the chase is ALWAYS friendly and no one gets hurt.
- His favorite meal is baked chicken from Wal-Mart.
- His best friend is a close tie between my mom’s dog Sophie and my aunt.
- His favorite toy is Lamb Chop.
- He’s so focused when he watches TV, particularly shows with animals and lots of music. Beauty and the Beast gets his attention every time.
- He is Super Cute at any time, but when he gets all snuggly, it just melts my heart.