bringing up baby: chewbacca’s first week home

Fur-motherhood. It is the one goal I have had ever since I started living independently. I wanted a dog. OH my GOODNESS did I want a dog. Walking down King Street all I would see were dogs and I wished they were all mine. Anyone who has known me more than a few years knows that I worked at a dog kennel for a summer/winter, and even though the majority of it was cleaning messes, it was actually one of my favorite jobs I have ever had – and it was because of the dogs.

So going into 2017, I knew my goal was to get a fur-baby of my own. Because as much as my mom sending me pictures of our family dogs would make me smile, I wanted one I could hold and officially call MY dog.

Cue research, research, research….

and BOOM – my heart melted, all for this little guy, who was growing up on an Amish farm in western Ohio and I knew he was the one.

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Cue preparations, preparations, preparations….

I decided to go with the “ex pen” as well as the crate since I do work full time and I wanted him to have room to play in the hours between his walker coming and us coming home. I started getting together toys, food, and all the supplies I figured I would need (I will be doing a post on my recommended list of items later!). I had finished nesting and was ready for my baby!

Finally, it was time to go get him. And my ever so kind, adventurous, and ready-to-rumble roommate drove me to Ohio to go get him (thanks again!!!!).

Cue driving and driving and driving…

I kid you not. We pulled into a dirt gravel road that led to a house with a horse and buggy parked in the driveway. They were the absolutely nicest family and made the whole thing a breeze. When they first handed him to me, he bathed my face in kisses and wagged his tail, and even though I didn’t think it was possible, I fell even more in love!

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The first challenge was bringing him home – his first car ride was about to be a 6 hour trek back to Virginia, and cars are a lot different than a horse and buggy. He got carsick twice and we got stuck in a two-hour traffic jam, but we made it home!

The more he started to relax, the more his personality came out – a curious, vivacious one – and he chose his name: Chewbacca (Chewy for short!). And boy does he like to chew! (I have recently acquired some chew-prevention products, and will let you know which ones work best!)

The first few days were hard – Chewy didn’t understand that I was going to come back each morning, or each time I left the room, or each time I went out of sight, and boy could he cry. The slogan “Easy, Chewy” was never more appropriate. And to tell you the truth, it killed me! After hearing those little pipsqueak cries, I wanted nothing more than to take him into my arms and tell him it was okay. But, you can’t reinforce a bad habit, and a few difficult days later, he has quieted down by 80%, which is a big difference. (Thanks again to my rodeo-roommate who gave me the strength to resist!)

So far, potty training has been a 50/50 – he has never pooped in the house. In fact, if he really needs to go he will whine at me to go outside. God bless him. But the peeing has been crazy! I grew up with girl dogs, so the idea of a few drops here, a few drops there to mark territory has become slightly overwhelming! I have an enzyme destroying cleaner that I have been using to keep the smell out of the carpet and been scooping each time he drops low (he doesn’t pick his leg up yet! Actually it can be deceiving whether he is peeing or stretching!).

He honestly is not bad in his ex pen during the day, unless his routine is shaken up or his favorite toys aren’t put back in there with him. It is when he is out and about when I am home with him that is the issue. He will start sniffing around, and I could have just walked him and had him go, he will still look around for a spot. Any tips on this?? I don’t want to keep him in the pen when I am home, but boy, I barely have had time to eat a handful of Triskets for dinner, let alone do anything else, with the way I have had to watch him!

At night, he has gotten much better about going into his crate to sleep. Again, I think it was establishing the routine, and now at bedtime he doesn’t cry when it is time to go to sleep.

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Aside from all that, Chewy has been a bundle of joy to have around. His sassy, energetic, happy disposition is perfect and I wouldn’t have him any other way.

He is also on Instagram at @chewythewookiedog – feel free to follow him for all the pictures!

Can’t wait to keep y’all updated!

puppy x’s & o’s,

raina

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