Friday, March 15, 2013

Making your home your dogs too

Me and my little guy

We can all agree we want our new dog to feel at home but we need to realize this doesn't happen over night.

Your brand new puppy isn't going to feel safe and secure those first few nights away from his mom but that doesn't mean it needs to stay that way.

As Neph's new parents, Derek and I took it upon ourselves to make our home, Neph's too.

Neph's room

We wanted him to feel comfortable and welcome ( and selfishly I wanted him to forget about his old life!)

Derek made him his own little play pen with a bed and his food dishes and a blanket. 

We got him a basket bed so he could curl up whenever he was tired.
He has a play area in our living room filled with his toys.
And a spot to sleep on our bed whenever he likes.

In his basket bed
But that is what being in our family means! 

Derek also took it upon himself to make Neph a nice set of stairs to get up on our bed.
It really is impressive!

I think what we have done is totally incorporated Neph into our lives.
It is so important that your new dog feels like he is apart of your family.

His new stairs
You need to take the time in the beginning to develop that close bond with him and ensure he knows he will be part of your family forever.

Friday, March 8, 2013

Common Cure for when your pup catches the "Separation Anxiety" cold

Well it actually turns out there isn't one.
Neph is now 4 months old.
It's safe to say he is part of the family.
So I guess that means letting his alter ego take over whenever he has to be away from his beloved pack.
And who is in this "wolf pack"?
I imagine Neph looking like this as he breaks down the gate!
Derek and I.
"Oh don't worry Neph, we don't ever need to leave the house."
And leaving the house isn't just the issue anymore.
His separation anxiety goes to a whole new level sometimes.
It's the washroom, the shower or even downstairs.
Keep in mind Neph went all The Incredible Hulk last time we left and smashed down his doggy gate in order to get to us faster when we got home. What a complete Norman!

Anywhere Neph doesn't have a direct view of us and its like "Welcome to crazy, emotionally damaged, will never be the same" town, population Neph."
We are trying our best to leave Neph on his own more, as we started to notice how upset Neph gets when we leave. I blame Derek being home everyday (Haha!).
Neph has not really had to be on his own which is lucky for most dogs, but it (and he) may end up biting us in the behind for it.
We have started to try new tricks on Neph to show him its okay when we are gone. Some are working but how well we can't say for sure yet.

Here are a couple tricks we are trying right now...
Start leaving your pup on his own from an early age.
Even if it is only 5 or 10 minutes this will help.
Neph's next present
Let your pup play independently.
This shows him he doesn't have to rely on his owners for his entertainment.
And most important tip, give him a treat when you leave and come back. Try not to make a dramatic exit or return (so hard for me, I know!) to teach your pup coming and going isn't really a big deal.
We think we're making some progress but it will take time.

As for right now I think I'll go out and buy a baby carrier so I can take Neph everywhere!

Here are few more tips!

Friday, March 1, 2013

A camera, a haircut and an emotional breakdown

Neph hiding - we hope he forgives us sooner rather than later.

I felt like a mother for the first time in my life.
Neph was going for his first hair cut.
I asked Derek, “Do I need a camera?”
Derek clearly knew I was going to make this an “Instagram” moment.
I won’t deny it that was my plan all along.
I had made an appointment for a puppy trim.
It consists of a bath, trimming around the eyes, ear, butt and paws as well as an ear cleaning and nail clipping. And all for a whopping $18.99!
So I had planned this appointment taking maybe 30 minutes. We get there and immediately the groomer is enamored with Neph. She asks to hold him and well I never got him back.
This is when I get the wind knocked out of me.
The groomer tells me to come back for 7 p.m.
It was 4 o’clock.
3 hours!
3 hours I have to leave my puppy with a stranger.
Well this is where my emotions took a turn for the worst. I was in complete shock as Derek walked me back to the car.
I noticed tears pouring out of my eyes.
Here I am, 24 years old, crying in my boyfriend’s car because I had to leave Neph at the groomers.
I’m thinking I betrayed the poor guy and that he will never forgive me. They never even gave me a chance to say good-bye!
Well my eyes eventually dried up and Neph was returned back to us. It was clear he was not happy with us. No wagging tail, or kisses hello. He was punishing us for taking him to the groomers.
Well little did he know, I had already punished Derek with all my crying, all the while giving myself one of those terrible “crying head aches.”
It’s pretty obvious Neph will not be getting any hair cuts for as long as I can take it.
The entire event wasn’t a complete failure but I am hoping that my little story helps all the new dog owners out there prepare themselves.
Because trust me, it was no walk in the park.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Strange case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde

Crazy Norman
I think it's time you met Norman... 
The best way to describe Norman is to think of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.
Or Dr. Neph and Mr. Norman.
In the light of the day you have this normal puppy. He like any other dog likes to prance around, lick faces and chew fingers and toes.
But then there are the times when lightening strikes and out comes Norman.
Norman is wild, has no regard for the rules or whom he may hurt.
I hope I am painting the picture of a horror story.
Dun dun duhhh.
He is controlled only by his desire to cause absolute chaos inside a house.
When Norman is on the loose you need to guard your nose, lips, ears, any inch of skin that his one sharp tooth might pierce.
He is an unstoppable force that as of lately will only subside once he has used every ounce of energy in his baby-sized body. You might be surprised how much punch this little pup packs.
Loving Neph
It’s hard to decide whether to curb his enthusiasm or let him run free. We don’t want to cramp his style but his bite is officially worse than his bark.
(I’m officially out of usable clich├ęs.)
The more I think about it, his newfound personality does make sense.
Neph is constantly surrounded by chaos.
Perhaps my (Mr. Hyde) rather energetic personality and Derek’s (Dr. Jekyll) laid back attitude has rubbed off on our new puppy.
You have Derek, the quiet, calm and loving man and me the loud, aggressive and obnoxious woman.
It seems only natural Neph would develop a split personality.
And it only makes sense that we love him as Neph and as Norman.

For the story of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde

Friday, February 15, 2013

Oh dear vlog - we're saying hello!

This is the first vlog (Video Blog) I have ever done and I was so nervous.
I had to just film it in one take or I don't think I'd find the nerve to do it again!  I didn't know my voice could be so high pitched. (not!)
I promise from here on out if I do another vlog I will relax a little!
Everyone always says the first one is the hardest.. or something along those lines.
The vlog is just my way of putting a face to the blog and sometimes I don't think pictures really do justice to how amazing and cute Neph is. I'm hoping by the end of all of this Neph loves blogging as much as me.
Hope you enjoy and let's pray each new vlog can only get better!

Friday, February 8, 2013

8 tips to battle Mr. Freeze

Neph in his snow cave

Today the mighty snowstorm came and so we took full advantage of playing outside.
With Neph being such a small dog, 5 pounds to be exact, I thought I would give some tips on how to keep your small pup warm this winter.

We played outside today for almost an hour and Neph not only survived, he enjoyed himself.
Hope these tips help!

8 Tips to a Warmer, Happier Puppy

Tip 1) Make sure you understand your breed and how they handle different weather changes.

I can already tell Neph is a winter dog – he loves to prance and roll around in the snow.

Tip 2) Give them a warm and well-placed bed.

Neph sleeps on a giant puppy pillow – big enough for a king! It is his favourite thing to sleep on. We made sure Neph’s bed isn’t near any drafts or on cold hard floor.

Tip 3) Get your puppy a COAT!

Neph struggled at first with his coat but now he loves it. When we put his coat on that means “outside” and he gets very excited.

-Canine clothing can help to keep your dog warm through winter, especially for small or toy dogs. One of the key signs of a cold dog is shivering – just like a human. Dog jackets and sweaters can be purchased or made for any sized dog. For wetter winters, you might like to attach a rainproof layer over the top but make sure that all coats are breathable.

Tip 4) Don’t be scared of BOOTS!

Most vets recommend boots as they keep the salt out of their paws, which can be very damaging and painful, but it will also keep your puppy outside for longer.

Tip 5) Groom your dog.

This is important because a short haircut is like removing a layer of warmth from their bodies. Make sure they are groomed but still have enough fur to protect them.
Neph hasn’t had a haircut yet so we imagine he is toasty warm in his fur coat.

Tip 6) No long walks.

In very cold or snowy weather shorten your dogs walks.
Neph plays around in the front year when there is a lot of snow that way he still gets exercise and is outdoors.

Tip 7) Don’t bathe your puppy on cold winter days, or more than once a week.

Not only does Neph hate the bath but the cold weather leaves him shivering afterwards.  The cold winter makes it more difficult to warm up after being washed, instead brush your dog on a daily basis and save the bath for a warmer day!

And remember don’t use the blow dryer on a puppy, they don’t understand it and you could accidentally burn them.

Tip 8) The most important and obvious- Give your puppy lots of hugs!

A warm embrace can help shake the shiver away on a cold night, and what puppy doesn’t love to cuddle.

Neph and I playing in the snow

Friday, February 1, 2013

Puppies of Anarchy

New Best Friends?
Now I know I promised to blog about bonding with your dog but the other night I had the uncomfortable yet entertaining experience of watching a different kind of puppy bonding (I'll call it pup fights).
Round 1 - Getting to know each other...
It sounds bad. I know it does.
But is it so wrong to admit it was adorable too.
And need I mention impossible to stop watching.
Our good friend Sam just recently got a new Jack Russell Terrier named Joey.
The stare down
They met last week and their meeting was tame, a lot of sniffing and pawing, trying to feel each other out.
Well it didn't last long.
The whole thing kind of felt like Cock Fighting (pardon my language). We set them down on the floor, took our spots around them and watched the magic unfold.
These two could not get enough of each other.
For one hour the two of them rolled, bit, licked, barked and pinned each other.
Neph doing a little free styling
They are close in weight, Joey is even smaller in size than Neph, but Joey is built like a brick house and Neph is made of fluff!
There is no comparison.
Joey had quick and strategic moves, and Neph was all over the place. Its safe to say he won't be starting any street brawls anytime soon.
And the funny thing was we all seemed to be rooting for Neph, who now has the title of "Underdog".
He never gave up, even though he was panting, and falling over exhausted. He'd always wait for an opportunity to strike.
Eventually they slowed down, the thrill and excitement finally over.
Last thing needed to bond!
The crazy part was how both puppies knew when it was time to stop playing. When Neph let out a yelp, Joey instinctively knew that it was time to stop being ruff (ha ha). Neph left and crawled into his crate, ready for bed, while Joey curled up to Sam, meaning it was time for home.
The best part of the experience was watching Neph bond with another dog.
Dogs are pack animals. They need to be social. They need that            
interaction with other dogs.
I think he may have found a best friend in Joey.
So my advice is remember that as much as you love your new puppy and only want his love and attention, you can not keep them away from what is most natural for them.
Dogs need time to socialize with other dogs.
I understand you may not want to see your new fragile puppy rough housing but it's a great way to see their energetic personality come out to play!
Exhausted puppy 1
Exhausted puppy 2