I am a bit of an overachiever.* Before we got Phoebe I did a lot of research. I not only researched the type of dog that I wanted but I read many books about puppy training. A big part of why we were getting a dog was because I was home alone a lot and frankly bored. As a flight attendant I had a lot of time off and I wanted to spend that time doing something productive.
All the books I read said that one of the most important things in dog training was establishing who the “alpha dog” is. One of the big no-no’s was allowing your new dog to sleep in your bed. The books explained that, in dog world, the leader of the pack gets the best place to sleep. It made sense to me so we set Phoebe up in a little kennel next to our bed. Any of you who have gotten a puppy know that the first couple of nights are not fun. She was normal and whined all through the night and we were good puppy parents and stuck to our rules. When she whined the first time we took her outside and after that she had to cry it out.
The thing is, we have a very quiet puppy. At the time she never barked, she just softly whined. Sometimes it would wake us up but other times it wouldn’t. Everything I’ve ever read says dogs won’t potty where they sleep… well Phoebe clearly never read those books because no matter how small we made her sleeping space we would wake up to a puddle because I wouldn’t hear her whining soon enough. I tried setting an alarm for every couple hours but after a few nights of that I was a monster during the day from lack of sleep. Like I’ve said before, I need my sleep. Joel tried being the one to take her out every couple hours at night. Even though he does better than me with little sleep, after awhile he couldn’t keep getting up every several hours either.
At first it just started with the alarm going off and me pulling her out of her cage in a blur. I would pull her onto the bed and before I could either wake Joel up or take her outside myself I’d fall back asleep. The next morning I’d wake up and she would be sleeping in the crook of my arm, happy as can be. After a couple nights of this (and not waking up to a peed on bed) we knew she could hold it that long so we tried not setting an alarm. We woke up to a mess every single morning. It was so frustrating that after awhile I just started bringing her into bed with me. It went against the books but it worked.
And you know what? Other than the housebreaking thing (which was an issue no matter where she slept) we’ve not had any training problems with her. She’s incredibly well behaved. Even people who don’t like dogs think she’s a sweetheart.
Most of the time she snuggles with me but every once in awhile she wants to get a little snuggle time in with Joel too.
She’s being shy. It’s first thing in the morning so she hasn’t fixed her face yet.
These are seriously some of my favorite moments with her and I wouldn’t trade them for anything. I don’t care what the books say.
*That is probably definitely an understatement.