Warning: this is a sad story with a happy ending.
Those two loves up there are my babies: Carter Jane, 8 months old, and Teddy Bear, 10 months old. Why, you ask, did we get a puppy with a baby? Insanity? Partially. But the story begins with this little guy.
About six months into being married, I convinced Nick we needed a puppy. We picked out a sweet 8 week old cocker spaniel/poodle mix and, after a trip to Jackson Hole, Wyoming, named him Moose. He was absolutely our first child. He snuggled me when I was sick, traveled everywhere from North Carolina to Ohio with us, rode in the boat and went swimming with us, and gave us a living example of unconditional love.
But after months of Moose seeming off physically, last March he was diagnosed with advanced Lymphoma with tumors in his intestines and liver. Because of the fast progression, chemo wouldn’t help him. We began a steroid and started down the journey of our last month with our precious 4 year old pup. We took countless walks, fed him all his favorite treats, and let him take over the couch and the bed.
I was in my third trimester, and Nick and I had only pictured having a baby with Moose around. We just knew he would be an amazing big brother. But the first week of May, 2016, Moose went to puppy heaven. I have tears in my eyes now just writing this, because of how much love and joy he brought to our lives. We almost impulsively got a new puppy to fill the gaping hole, but thankfully decided to wait until after I had the baby.
Then, when I couldn’t stand life without a dog anymore (and thought, hey, how much more chaotic could it get?!), we found Teddy.
He is not Moose. In fact, I cried the first week we got him because he wasn’t the dog who had filled my heart. But he is Teddy! He loves snuggles and fetch, he runs around like a maniac in the backyard, and he lies next to Carter Jane, letting her pull on his ears, his leg, or his leash. She still gets to grow up with an amazing big brother. And he has healed my heart from (most of) the sadness of losing Moose.
So how are we managing with a baby and a puppy? Ha. The first few weeks were INSANE. He was mostly house trained, but had to be watched constantly. There were days when I changed poopy diapers and cleaned up poop off the floor. He cried in his crate and wanted to eat Carter Jane’s toys. He marked her diaper pail. Once I turned around for a minute and he had climbed up on the dining table and was sniffing the topiaries.
I basically counted down the days until he went to “camp.” We found an amazing family that trains dogs in Cumming, Georgia called Whispering Oaks, and Teddy spent two weeks becoming a new man. Now I can’t wait for Carter Jane to play with him, feed him, and snuggle him. Their budding relationship is so sweet, and they balance my life. Plus, when I tell him “down, stay” he REALLY STAYS there! Life. Saver.
Teddy, welcome to the family.
Leashes are just extra fiber, right?