As the hubs likes to say: my wife wanted a puppy, but I didn’t think it was a good idea, so we talked about it and …
… now we have a puppy.
If you follow my Instagram posts, you’ll already know about that puppy: Matilda (or Tilly for short) is 15 weeks old and has already given us all a run for a our money.
What started out as a general inquiry to our other puppy’s breeder about the possibility of finding a playmate for our rambunctious one and a half year old dog very quickly turned into the puddle of pink-tummied cuteness who is currently asleep in my lap.
Puppies, as we know from recent experience, are a lot of work. They need attention, training, exercise and lots and lots of love. Did we really have the time and energy another puppy would require?
Plus our 8 month old baby is hardly self-sufficient. How would we juggle having not just one, but two babies in the house?
True enough on most evenings, we are exhausted from the endless rounds of activities with the human puppies, so adding another bundle of energy didn’t seem to be a sound plan.
There’s always a “but”.
In other respects the timing is good. I am going to have small children at home for quite some time, so I can be available for (another) a young animal.
The older boys are now big enough to help with walking, feeding, and caring for a puppy. I firmly believe it’s important to teach them responsibility and empathy in these early years.
While otherwise healthy, our eight year old Corgi, Ella, has neither the energy nor the inclination to play all that much. Yet our one and a half year-old Labrador, Marlowe, is desperate for a playmate who can in time match his considerable stamina and enthusiasm.
In the end, we dithered and debated whether to-puppy-or-not-to-puppy right up until the day she arrived at our door, all waggy-tailed and soulful eyed.
Marlowe and Matilda took to each other almost immediately. They have played together with the wild glory of abandon that only young animals — human ones included — seem to possess.
Despite their size difference – she is barely 10 lbs of fluff and pudge whereas he is a solid 80 lbs of muscle – they get along remarkably well. He rarely uses anything of his considerable power to deflect her needle-toothed onslaughts, instead nudging her good-naturedly as she clambers across his flanks like a tiny, furry mountaineer. More importantly, both Marlowe and his human brethren seem to be enjoying Tilly’s presence even more than I had hoped. They all initiate games and take her seemingly inexhaustible energy in their stride. To be fair, Marlowe has taken to sneaking away for surreptitious naps on our bed, and the boys frequently crumple in an exhausted heap by the end of a long day of play. But this just tells me that the theory of having a playmate to tire them out wasn’t (quite) as harebrained as the hubs thought.
So confidential to the hubs: maybe we should have just one more baby to tire out them all out even more !?