“No!” Having a one year old in the house, I didn’t think it was possible that I could use that word any more than I already did, until I adopted Koda. Although I thought long and hard about the adoption of my malamute puppy, one thing that never occurred to me was that, well, he’s a baby, just like my toddler. What do toddlers do? They cry, poop, pee, and eat every inedible speck they find on the floor. Of course, I knew I would have to potty train him and that puppies chew, but I was not prepared for what was to come.
There’s no doubt puppies are adorable, so are babies, but what babies do best is not so cute: cry. Puppies cry too, in fact, Koda howled. For the first 2 weeks I had him he howled and whined and barked all night long. Just as I was getting use to not getting up with an infant every few hours, I was up all night listening to my bundle of fluff have a meltdown. On top of this, my husband was not thrilled with the insistent noise, as 5 a.m. comes early enough as it is for his work day.
Admittedly, I was happy for morning to come if only because Koda would stop making so much noise. That was, until I walked into his room. Kudos to those who contain the patience to potty train a puppy, especially a large breed puppy, because their piles and puddles are just about as big as they are and they have to go approximately every 20 minutes. Around the clock. So, figure about 3-4 times an hour multiplied by 9 hours a night equals one rancid mess of a room I had to clean up, every morning, after very unsatisfactory nights of sleep. Two months in, he still hadn’t gotten the hang of puppy pad training and his favorite spot to pee was on my son’s bedroom floor. It would all be worth it, though, because the sight of him and my toddler playing would be a memory I would treasure, right?
Unquestionably, the one thing I day dreamed about more than anything else was Koda and my son playing together. Why I had it in my head that a toddler, who doesn’t like to share, and a teething puppy would get along is beyond me. My son likes to chew on anything he can get his little hands on just as much as Koda does. The problem is that they both like to chew on each other and each others’ things. Picture a puppy with the toy truck and the toddler with the bone in his mouth. Then picture them fighting to get their toys back and biting each other. It’s not fun to manage, I’m always worried about them hurting each other, plus it’s unsanitary. On top of that, in the first month of having Koda he bit a hole in my son’s pool, chewed the wall and door in his room, the head to the garden hose, 6 cups, the fence out back, the couch, my living room rug and destroyed an impressive amount of my son’s toys. Apparently the dog toys didn’t suffice, nor did my scoldings to leave the other things alone.
All in all, I wish I would have waited to get a puppy until my son was older and even then, I would probably choose to get an adult dog and bypass the potty training chew fest days. Puppies come with as much work as a baby does and they aren’t any less commitment. I hope that in the months to come things get easier.