Puppy Amnesia. Things I knew, forgot, and remember – Part 1

Rebecca Brame

October 1, 2022

I work with puppies and their people. I know what to expect, how to train and how to manage. I have extra gates, extra crates.  I am a patient person. I have raised my own dogs from puppies, my own kids from babies, and yet… when I  brought Vida home, it took me a while to get my sea legs. I did go with the flow, and expected the unexpected. I am emerging from brand-new puppyhood and remembering some things I forgot.

• You will not get all of the things done (but you will get some of the things done!)

 I had the best intentions—videoing puppy development for programming, breathing life into my long neglected social media platforms. Writing this post when Vida was 8 weeks old. None of that happened. 

What did happen? 

Vida is no longer going to the bathroom in the house, She is crating reliably, she doesn’t chew things up (as much), she doesn’t steal my clothes (as much). Most days we go for long walks, where we work on recall and manners, where Vida sniffs out dead things and learns to drop them. I learned that Vida loves water more than any dog I’ve shared time with and might be part otter.  In taking Vida out from a young age regularly and introducing her to the world in an attempt to normalize all the weird things we humans do I have learned what she loves, where she finds motivating, and what she finds alarming.  All useful information to consider as we chart the course of our time together.

• It’s okay if you change your mind

The plan was Vida would sleep in a crate at night. The reality is that Vida has slept in my bed since night one. In addition to Vida’s crate hatred, I found myself in the middle of a family emergency the week I brought Vida home. I hadn’t slept for a few nights leading up to her arrival. Vida rode home in the car with us and slept most of the way, but there were many other urgencies that made my puppy re-entry not go as planned. Including way too much car time. Vida hadn’t learned car zen yet and after the initial sleep on her first drive home was screaming during the rest of the unplanned but necessary driving time. She was angelic once we got home and while I had a glass of wine to coax my brain off the ceiling. I was exhausted—she was exhausted. No crate today, puppy, we will start tomorrow. We curled up and slept until morning. Albeit early morning. I spent a week of nights telling myself we’d start night crating “tomorrow” before admitting I had no real intention of doing so.