Well, we have a new addition to the My Pet Matters family!
He is the most adorable (but we are biased) black Labrador named George. He was born on 6th April 2020, the first born of an extremely healthy litter of 9! We had been expecting him a few days later, so were very excited when we got the news that he had arrived.
We finally got to collect him on June 4th, but the forty-five-minute journey home wasn’t without its challenges – George didn’t like the car. Much whining and crying ensued (mostly from the puppy), but half-way home he settled down and slept all the way back.
Once back home he settled in straight away. After an hour or two of investigating every inch of the house and garden he was completely at home – you would have thought he’d been with us for months!
Despite our weeks of preparation, we then re-started the task of puppy-proofing house and garden as we discovered all the nooks and crannies we had previously thought would be safe from prying puppy noses (and teeth).
Next on the agenda – puppy training!
If you’ve ever owned a new puppy, you’ll know that the first few nights are the worst. Your little bundle of joy really wants to snuggle up in bed with you. It’s tough and exhausting to deny him this luxury, but if you can steel yourself against the whining and the crying, you’ll reap the rewards. We fed George in his crate from his very first meal at home and he’s very happy in it – it’s a safe haven for him.
Toilet training, what can I say? It’s a work in progress. Our first attempt with puppy pads was a disaster – he treated them as new toys for him to rip up. We rarely have any overnight accidents which is a blessing and otherwise, well let’s just say we’re getting there!
Not being allowed out for walks before his final vaccinations was difficult (for us) but he was happy to career around the garden and luckily the weather was on our side. We took him out in the car as often as possible, something he didn’t much like at first, but now he’s quite happy to snuggle down and sleep.
The next challenge – the big wide world!
Vaccinated and now weighing a healthy 8.5 kg – it’s time for walkies! A whole world of new sights, sounds, smells and experiences. Not to mention all those new dogs and people to meet. George was in his element, taking a short walk could take hours as he investigated every pavement, every doorstep, every bush, every leaf and every lamppost.
We invited all our dog owning friends and family to visit George in his own garden to begin with so that he wasn’t too overwhelmed (they weren’t all invited at the same time of course!). He loved them all, although some of our more elderly canines weren’t too impressed with the energy of this energetic young whippersnapper. They soon put him politely in his place. He would spend hours running around the garden playing chase which wore him out, so we had some very peaceful evenings (apart from the very cute snoring).
Next was his first night away from home (with us of course). It was time to meet the grandparents. He had a whole weekend of exploring a new house, meeting two new pals and chasing balls in several acres of land – absolute bliss!
It was with some trepidation that we packed the tent and set off for George’s first camping trip. We chose a campsite quite near to home that we know very well. Although he is now very well socialised with other people and other dogs, we weren’t sure how well behaved he would be, especially at night in alien surroundings. We didn’t need to worry, he was perfectly civilised and slept all night in his favourite bed.
He was rather keen to join in the various ball games going on in the field, but the occasional juicy bone kept him occupied.
We had only booked two nights in anticipation of possible whining and/or barking, but we needn’t have worried, he loved it!
A trip to the coast
For his second foray into the world of sleeping under canvas we decided that it would be great to introduce George to the seaside. Unfortunately, this meant quite a long journey in the car, which he wasn’t too keen on (we didn’t let him know in advance or we may have had a rebellion on our hands!). Again, the odd treat did help keep him occupied (briefly).
Our campsite of choice was virtually deserted when we arrived, so George had the run of the field, great for chasing crows and seagulls in. He settled in very quickly and again, slept through the night. It wasn’t until the second morning that we discovered he was able to open the zips on the door of the tent all by himself.
I found myself running across a very dewy field in bare feet, to retrieve a puppy who was very helpfully trying to assist a young couple while they were packing up, including cleaning out their used pots and pans for them.
Next…to the sea!