Wednesday, 15 January 2014

A New Member of the Family

You are going to think I’m nuts, and you may be right.  I always wanted a third child, but we made the decision not to move forward with this plan when both of the boys were diagnosed with Autism.  It felt like it would take too much away from both the boys and any other new little person who might enter our family.  Lately I have been wanting a dog- really really wanting one.  We have a Labrador who is 9 years old- we got him about a week after we got married.  I love Riley dearly, but he is a Labrador.  He is BIG.  I grew up with dogs, always the same breed- miniature long-haired dachshunds.  My mother will shamelessly admit that when they moved back to the east coast they favored ranch style homes that would better accommodate a dachshund (stairs are rough on their backs).  My parents have another doxie now, and so does my little sister.  So I begged John, began showing him pictures of really cute puppies and luckily he is a sucker for animals.  He easily agreed that we could add a dachshund to our family when we found the right one.

My desire to get a dachshund was partly selfish, but I also felt very strongly that it would be good for the boys.  The boys love my parents’ dog, while they are somewhat intimidated by Riley- he is the sweetest dog ever but his tail could be used as a lethal weapon.  A dachshund is small, non-threatening, on their level. Any type of interaction is a positive thing, and with a doxie it would be hard to avoid. 

Somewhere along the way I decided I didn’t want a true “puppy”.  I didn’t really want to adopt a dog older than a year either, but I was concerned about bringing an 8 week old, tiny puppy into our household for numerous reasons.  I was afraid my little boys who don’t have the best self- awareness might step on a puppy, I was afraid they might be too rough, and I was also afraid a little guy would be too time consuming and thus take too much time from the boys.  I found the perfect compromise recently with our new dog “Darby”.  He is 7 months old.  He is mostly potty-trained (two accidents in 5 days is pretty good in a new setting).  He is mostly crate trained, other than the 10 minutes of yipping each time he is put in the crate.  He is not chewing TOO much, although he does appear to like shoes- particularly mineJ. 

Jack was sooooo excited to get Darby.  He wanted to name him “Ben”, which I love, or…Bennett, or Bentley, or Bailey.  When I picked Darby up though (it took 9 hours of driving which was well worth it) he had been called Darby for 7 months- and he was responding to his name when I said it.  I of all people appreciate this.  He is doing a better job of this than either of my boys!  So I believe I have convinced Jack that it’s best to stick with Darby. 

In these first few days I am already seeing reactions from the boys that are very positive.    The first night Darby was home, Jack brought his water glass from the bathroom to his bedroom and set it down, asking the puppy if he needed a drink.  He is always checking on him, which is exactly what I was hoping for.  Nate didn’t notice him so much the first few days, and believe me, Darby was sniffing him constantly.  He is starting to look at Darby more, and last night when Nate was sitting on the potty, I sat in front of him with Darby on my lap.  Nate reached out and stroked his paws very carefully, and then patted his head.  So sweet!

Riley and Darby are doing very well.  There are some squabbles over toys and bones- Darby holds his ground surprisingly well despite the fact that he is 1/6th the size of Riley.  Darby is my little shadow and barks every time I leave the room- cute as it is, I am hoping he gets over this in the near future, as I am constantly running around, especially in the mornings.  Darby is now my little work buddy, he sits with me all day, content to just hang out.  It’s funny; all of the websites we consulted about introducing the two dogs warned us that the puppy would constantly torment the older dog.  In our family it is the exact opposite.  Riley is way more rambunctious than Darby.  Although things are getting calmer day by day. 

Even John, who was, I think, the most skeptical about this arrangement is totally in love.  I mean he loves this dog- he came into our room last night, where I had snuck Darby onto the bed while I was reading and he just started laughing.  Neither of us wanted to put him in his crate- however I know how very stubborn and spoiled little doxies can get- if we give an inch this little guy will walk all over us! 

I had forgotten just how much I love having a dachshund in the house- this mama is happyJ!

1 comment:

  1. Omg so adorable enjoy have lots of fun and thanks for the share sure the little ones are loving the new family member :)