If someone had told me that I would become the parent of a bouncing, four-pound baby girl at my ripe old age, I would have said they are one sandwich short of a picnic. Now that I have sparked your curiosity, I’m talking about being the parent of a four-legged K-9 commonly referred to as a DOG. My habitat is now home to a six week old rescue. She is a Great Pyrenees/ Border Collie mix that I could not bear to see go to a shelter. After the vet identified her as part Great Pyrenees, I Googled the breed. My first thought, after I picked myself up off the floor, was why could I not have rescued a Chihuahua rather than a dog that has the potential to weigh far more than the cat and I combined.
Admittedly, I’m a “cat person” and have become accustomed to the lackadaisical lifestyle around the house that my cat, Smoki and I have become accustomed. We have our routine down to a science. Then there’s the potty training issue with a dog. This, by far, disturbs me the most. A self-admitted neat/clean freak, the mere mention of “puppy wee wee pads” literally makes me hyperventilate. I vow I will not succumb to their use. I seriously considered litter box training for the puppy but opted to sacrifice sleep by taking her outside three or four times during the most ungodly hours each night until she is house broken. And so I did. Of course, she didn’t quite get the concept in the beginning, confusing her outdoor potty breaks as playtime outings while I stand out in the cold begging and pleading for swift results.
I haven’t parented a dog in over twenty years, so I called in the experts for advice as to what I am to do with this little ball of fur. I consulted with the author of DogTipper.com and Gracey of the Tiniest Tiger’s Conservation Cub Club.com for advice as to how to care for the puppy as well as how to attain a cohesive relationship between my cat, Smoki, and the puppy. The “puppy,” as I called her, remained nameless for nearly two weeks. I had the misguided notion that if I didn’t name her, I would not become attached. No name, no attachment. I told this seemingly rational hypothesis to family and numerous friends inquiring about a name until I began to believe in the concept myself. That is, until Gracey didn’t buy my theory and told me so with a “hummm, I don’t think it works that way” response regarding my no name reasoning. She was right. Who was I kidding. I had already fallen in love even though my ultimate goal was to find the puppy a forever home with a great family. “Puppy” was soon replaced with the name, “Baylie”.
As expected, my first night was without sleep. At bedtime, I placed Baylie in her new pink bed next to me; a welcomed gift from a friend. All was good for the first hour or so as she slept, soundly. After about an hour of sleep, she awoke every hour on the hour wanting to play and bark; same as a human newborn; that is, except for the barking. For family and those friends who insisted I should make my home Baylie’s forever home, I have available slots open for late night potty walks and bath time.