Thursday, May 3, 2012


For those of you who don't know, I have had a dog named Rikki since I was in the seventh grade. He's a Keeshond. When I went to college, Rikki had to stay with my parents, but when I moved off campus, I was able to bring Rikki to Atlanta with me. Now Rikki lives with me in Albuquerque where he is a happy twelve-year-old who likes to sleep all day.

Since he's old, Rikki is fairly well behaved. He can do all the basic tricks, is completely potty trained, loves being around other people, and has a very low activity level (since he's ancient in dog terms). He's pretty much your ideal low maintenance apartment dog.

But because Rikki's so old, there are a lot of dog things he doesn't do any more. Like go on long walks. Play fetch. Or anything else that might be slightly strenuous. (Ok, not entirely fair. He'll play rope for about five minutes once a week.)

So I recently got a puppy!

Back in February, I purchased a Samoyed puppy and named him Galad (more on that later). At the time, I was doing a ton of travel so I couldn't really provide a stable home. So he went to live with my parents.

Last week Galad came to live with me, and now I have two dogs! And let me tell you, this puppy is full of energy and wants to play all day.

For the most part things have gone really well. My parents continued the house training that the breeder I got him from had started, so he's generally house broken. There have been a few incidents of him having an accident in the house, but really it's just because the two of us aren't used to each others signals and habits yet. We haven't had an incident in a couple of days, so I think we're over that.

Rikki tolerates Galad pretty well, but Galad cannot understand why the older dog does not want to play with him. At first Rikki was really hesitant of even letting Galad near him, but now Rikki is ok with the puppy cuddling up to him and touching him. Rikki just can't handle Galad's really playful moods. So when Galad starts teasing Rikki, trying to get him to play, Rikki just stands there and barks at him. It's actually kind of funny, but I don't encourage barking so I always put an end to that quickly.

The hardest part has been how having a puppy has affected my sleep. Galad is five months old so he's not too bad about staying in his crate through the night. However, Rikki really spoiled me. That dog can go for over half a day without going outside. With Rikki, I could sleep twelve hours on Saturday, get up and have a leisurely breakfast in front of the TV, and not take Rikki out for another hour or two after we woke up. With Galad....not so much. Galad can stay in his crate and not have an accident for at least ten hours (as has been proven by my workday), but he doesn't like it. So at around seven hours he starts to bark. And I have to tell him to stop. Which will keep him quiet for another hour. Then he'll start to bark again.

I'm sure the people upstairs in my apartment are really enjoying that. But they haven't complained and if they do, I'll just remind them that their alarm clock has woken me up everyday for the past ten months. I think they can handle a week or two of a barking dog.

Anyway, there is definitely some adjusting that's happening on my and Rikki's parts in order to welcome this new addition to our family. You can look forward to more discussions on my adventures in puppy raising in future posts! This is really just an introduction to get everyone on the same page.

Anyone else out there gotten a new addition to the family recently?

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