Honestly, when I started this whole “blogging as a thing I’m doing this year,” I had a feeling I’d fall off sooner or later. And, yeah, I did. At first, I fell off because I was heading into the dark place – that space is always a huge challenge for me. I don’t sew in the dark place, it’s pretty much all I can do to shower, eat, and maybe work out (which I did!). And then we went on vacation to Dubai, which was pretty amazing. I should do a full post on our trip, and I’ll get there.
And then…we got a puppy. And let me tell you, I haven’t had more than an hour to sew in the last 9.5 weeks because of it. If you follow on Instagram, you’ve met Winston. And he has his own Instagram account – winstonthestitchybulldog. But holy cow guys, even after a decade of discussing it with M, SEVERAL years of general research, and then a few months of intense research, I was not fully prepared for puppy parenthood.
So, before we get too far, yes – we went through a breeder. And we did our research. After all, M and I had been talking about an english bulldog named Winston for a decade – we were very aware of the health concerns with a brachycephalic pup, the predisposition for hip and knee issues, etc. We asked a LOT of questions, and we didn’t go with the first breeder who had a pup we fell in love with. In fact, as soon as I started asking the harder questions, that first breeder asked me if WE were breeders. Lol, no. We just wanted to make sure we get a puppy who has the absolute best chances. I ended the conversation after that because I was getting super weird vibes, and she told me that was best because I was pissing her off. We read the German Bulldog Club’s rules and regulations for breeders so that we could spot breeders who took it seriously vs those who were just claiming to be members without actually following the rules (first lady was one of those).
And then, we spotted Winston’s ad. And it was love at first sight. We were absolutely smitten, and when the family was able to answer all of our questions without getting irritated, and when we asked when they could go, they said no earlier than 10 weeks (big rule for the Club) and we were sold. I mean, LOOK AT THIS FACE.
And so we brought him home at 10.5 weeks because he lived a few hours away and we had to go on a Sunday with the whole no-car thing. And it has been 12.5 weeks of insanity, but we love our little nugget so very much. I missed a few memos though – no clean floors ever again (the drool, oh my god you guys, the drool), apparently I have to clean my doors also because he uses the bottom of his head to open them, and…drool, and I’m definitely not allowed to have nice things or moisturized hands (I also missed the memo on needing to wash my hands every 5 minutes, holy hell). Teething has been brutal, but he’s just lost his first canine and we’re hoping that we’re slowly coming towards the end of it. He is vocal, he is so very snuggly, he’s also a ball of energy. And, he’s actually doing really well with his training!
We’ve enrolled in puppy class, and the class uses a German method based on Anton Fichtlmeier. Apparently I missed that part of the website when I enrolled him, but it’s been okay. My biggest frustration has been that they’re anti-harness, but he can manage with a collar for a couple hours a week. They are big on non-verbal cues, which I don’t hate, and generally it seems to be working. We still go for walks with a harness because I have zero interest in putting that much pressure on his trachea, but he’s really getting it and I am a super proud puppy mom. We’re progressing super well! He struggles with his quiet time practice, but he’s exceptional at “sit,” pretty good at “stay” – and we’re working on this on an object rather than just wherever we are, and he’s gotten pretty good with his recall. We’re still working on corrections, but we’ve seen SO much progress over the last month.
And snacks. You guys, my parents have had 3 dogs. I KNOW about treats. I know they should be everywhere. I know that the best treats are low calorie. I DID NOT know that we were going to get a dog who loves the stinkiest treats of all time. This dog prefers stinky fish treats – shrimp, lobster, cod, Rotbarsch (ocean perch?), basically the fishier the better. We cannot eat sushi without him having the REALLY good stuff in a lick mat or a kong because he will lose his damn mind. We’ve switched over to an adult kibble for training treats, fish based (of course), and it smells terrible. We’re also in the process of changing his food over to a gluten free version because it’s been so stressful having to handle the gluten three times a day.
In other news, I might be able to go back to sewing. I’ve managed to quilt a runner that just needs to be bound at this point. But we MIGHT be finally turning a corner with potty training/general bladder size to where he can handle my ignoring him for a while. Hope springs eternal. I miss sewing.