You Only Live Once, This Is How I'm Doing It!

Tag: housebreaking

Dogs can train people too

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.

The one where you say “Aw!”

In mid December the temperatures dropped well below zero (-20 for you Celsius people). It was cold. It was too cold for me, much less our tiny little five pound puppy. She was not impressed with standing out in the cold to do her business, especially when there was perfectly good carpet to pee on in a warm apartment. That made me less than impressed. In order to make the cold more bearable for Phoebe (and life more bearable for me) we went out and bought her this little getup.

Those boots are a size XXXS by the way. They’re as small as they come and they’re still a little big on her. *giggle*

After she got used to walking in her little outfit she went back to peeing outside and I stopped looking for a new home for her. I’ve gotten a little flack for dressing up my dog like this but if it’s between being teased and cleaning up puddles on my carpet a couple times a day it’s not a hard choice.

Thankfully the temperatures have stayed in the bearable range (Above zero. Wow, when did that become bearable? *shakes head*) but we’ve gotten a lot of snow. It’s funny watching Phoebe in it now that she’s more used to it.

She likes to stick her nose in it. I don’t know if she likes the feeling or if she eats it. Either way it’s kind of funny seeing her with her little snow beard.

Look how deep it is on her. It’s actually even deeper than it looks here but she’s so light she doesn’t sink all the way to the ground. And yes, we did throw her in a deeper part of snow to see how she’d do. We’re big meanies but she lived.

This is the look she gives us when she’s all done doing her business. It means “Take me back in the warm house as fast as possible please.”

This I have only included because she looks like a little bitty puppy model with that far off look and hair blowing in the breeze. Isn’t she pretty?

Alright, I have enough cute pictures of Phoebe in the snow. How many days until it’s finally spring?

My Baby Girl

No, I don’t have any announcements that include morning sickness and weight gain. Joel and I got a little baby girl this past May. She weighed just an itty bitty 2lbs when we brought her home. She soft and furry and the cuddliest little thing you’ve ever met. Introducing…

Miss Phoebe Lou

Phoebe six weeks

Here she is at about 5 weeks old.

When we went to the breeder (Country Pups in Durand, Il) to look at the litter there were four female puppies. One was already spoken for so we had our choice of the other three. They were of course adorable, as all puppies are, and we took them out of their box to play with them to see if we felt a special connection with any one of them. After awhile, one by one the puppies got sleepy and whined and scratched at their box to get back in. Except Phoebe that is. She crawled into Joel’s lap and curled up and fell asleep. Just like that we were both in love. So while we may like to think we chose her, I think it’s much more fair to say that she chose us.

At eight weeks we brought her home.

bringing her home

So tiny!

It’s a two hour drive from the breeder’s to where we live but she was a good little girl and didn’t even pee on me!

Here are a few highlights over the past few months.


Her first bath. She hated it, lol.


She seriously is the most cuddly puppy I’ve ever met.

phoebe out for a walk

She loves going for walks. She has finally stopped eating ev.ery.thing. in sight.

sweet puppy

Look at that sweet face!

She’s now almost eight months old. I can’t believe how fast she’s grown and turned into this sweet little dog! She’s still super tiny, my best guess is she’s about 3 1/2 – 4 lbs. However, she’s not one of those obnoxious, yappy little dogs. In fact, she barely barks at all. Everyone who meets her loves her, even people who don’t like little dogs.

Her only fault is she’s not 100% reliably housebroken. I blame us for that since we tried to litter box train her at first. Yeah… she’s a dog… that was a bad idea. Anyway, at about 20 weeks we stopped that and are still retraining her. She’s pretty good about going outside but she’s not good at telling us she has to go out. *sigh* If anyone has any advise we’re more than open to it!

Other than that I couldn’t ask for a more loving, well behaved little baby dog. I’m sure you’ll be hearing more about her in the future since she goes with us anywhere she’s allowed. So now you’ve been introduced and I hope you grow to love her as much as we do. She’s our baby and we’re super lucky she chose us.

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