We’ve had Bernie for four WHOLE months now and even though in words that doesn’t seem long at all.. in reality I can’t remember what life was like without him! Of course I promised to do regular Puppy updates so here it is, four months on..
In my first Puppy post (linked here) I promised I would do an update, so… here we are! Four months of owning a puppy and bringing Bernie home really was the best decision we have ever made. If you read the first post you’ll know that during the first few weeks I wondered whether we had made a mistake, it just all seemed too much. I had never owned a dog or even been around dogs before.. so it was a dramatic life change. The truth is… it just takes time. Four months later and I really do know Bernie inside and out.. and I like to think he knows me that much too. ‘Knowing him’ makes life so much easier because 99% of the time I know exactly what he wants and when I don’t… he doesn’t usually know either! Of course we have had some vet trips here and there, but even with those I am starting to feel more confident in knowing when he’s not himself. If my experience doesn’t make you believe that anyone can become a dog person, then I don’t know what will!
Do you want to go out?
This is honestly one of our most used phrases with Bernie. “Do you want to go out?” e.g…. is it pee time?! Something I touched on in my first post and vlog was the toilet training because at first it is a battle! It really has become much easier and as you may know, to start with I never thought we’d get there. I was convinced we had a puppy that would never learn to toilet outside and he would always just want to wee in the same spot in our kitchen. I read forums, books and even though everyyyyything I read told me to be patient.. I didn’t believe it (and to be honest I don’t do well with patience at the best of times) We had a little blip with Bernie being ill and only started the toilet training up again in January. Within a few weeks he knew that he should toilet outside. I truly believe that because he was a bit older, he understood it all better and it seemed to just click with him quicker this time around. I remember standing outside for what felt like forever when he was tiny whilst he just ate grass or whined, but now it’s literally.. go outside, pee, go in, DONE. Of course he’ll still have little accidents here and there, but those are becoming less and less. The puppy pads are now in the cupboard… which I never thought would happen either! He even does a diva-head-nod to the back door when he needs to go, so I now believe my dog is a genius (don’t we all?!)
Previously I mentioned that puppies eat time, you get out of bed and before you know it.. it’s 8pm again! However, this does get better. I’m not sure if I’ve just gotten better at managing my time and knowing what Bernie needs.. which in turn saves me time. Or whether he just needs less.. who knows. Sure enough I still can’t leave the house for hours without having someone to look after Bernie and I definitely can’t plan a holiday without thinking of him first BUT… I can get work done, which is a break through! We do crate train Bernie and he is very happy to chill in his ‘den’ after a walk and a play.. this doggy can SLEEP! Sometimes he doesn’t even need the den/crate and we just leave him to sleep in his bed, keeping an eye on him on the cameras (which are a life saver!) However sometimes he goes into hyper mode post-exercise and just wants to eat ALL of the skirting boards and because I don’t like the idea of him eating wood (obviously).. in the den he goes. Once settled, he is chilled and I feel less guilty about the crate training now that I know he is actually cosy and happy in there. To be honest, I’d like to sleep in there too!
Okay so, if you’re at week one and you have all sorts of emotions, you’re exhausted and really feeling that horrid night time anxiety (read about mine, here) trust me, IT GETS BETTER. I don’t dread the dark anymore (thank god) and even though Bernie still sometimes wakes up in the night barking for a pee.. nine times out of ten he will sleep through the entire night. Do I still have the camera on my bedside table? Yes. Have I actually slept an entire night in 4 months? No. Do I worry about my puppy too much… YES. But, I can safely say that I love that little guy with my entire heart and more. He has brought us so much love, happiness and made our home feel so different, in all the best ways. I can have some low days but he forces me out of bed, whereas before it could be hard to gather the energy. My daily walks with him clear my mind and I honestly didn’t think I would ever love… just walking. Walking is now my favourite thing to do. He’s our little buddy and even though Vincey may try to nibble at him every now and then, I can tell she kinda likes having him around too.
I really want to write more puppy content to help anyone out there frantically googling things before they bring their little pup home. Next time I’ll be writing about all the things you need for your puppy and of course.. the things you DON’T need (as those are now sitting in my show cupboard!) So, do make sure you check back here soon for that one!