The timing for getting Miley worked out pretty perfect. Since I was going to be up in Washington for a Backstreet Boys concert (yes, you read that correctly), I met Miley's breeder roughly half way so that I could pick her up. Things also worked out really well with my project load at work and I was able to take the whole first week that Miley was home, off of work! It was fantastic! And exhausting! Puppies are amazing and wonderful. And it's that amazingness, wonderfulness, and sheer ridiculous cuteness that lull us all into remembering the puppy phase with rose colored glasses. I will admit right now, and I admitted it throughout her itty bitty puppy phase, Miley was a really easy puppy, so I really lucked out. Within a couple days, she would go running to one of the doors when she needed to potty. She didn't have any poop accidents in the house. Yes, that's right. Zero poop accidents. The number of pee accidents that she had inside my house I can count on one hand. This puppy was ridiculously easy. Because the weather was so nice when I brought her home, a lot of the time I would just leave the sliding door to the back yard slightly open and she would go running outside whenever she needed to potty. Easy peezy! But man, puppies pee and poop A LOT! Every 20 minutes that little thing needed to go out. But she also got tired really quickly, which offset the frequent peeing. I think it was about three or four weeks after I brought her home, she was already sleeping all the way through the night without needing to get up to pee. I decided to try letting her sleep when it was to the point where I had to crawl into her crate and physically pick her up and carry her outside for her middle of the night pee. Like I said, this puppy was really easy on the potty training!
The day that I brought her home, I put up my 5 ft. tall x-pen to separate the kitchen and crating area from the rest of the house. I knew that Heffner was going to take some time adjusting and it was going to be a process of letting him getting to know her with a variety of barriers in between. After the first 24 hours with her home, I would open up the x-pen when Miley was in her crate. This way Heffner could watch her and she could get to know him under very controlled circumstances where neither dog would get potentially injured. As you can see from the above picture, Heffner did a lot of watching this new little creature inside his domain. I'd already been through the introduction process with Ruthie, so I had a pretty good idea of how this was going to go. Heffner likes control. Anything that doesn't fall into his expected outcome for the situation, he wants to control completely. The first phase that he goes through with a new dog in the house is that he doesn't like any uncontrolled movement or vocalizations. No joke. Vocalizations upset him and movement upsets him. The first 24-48 hours are always the worst. He acclimated to Miley much quicker than he did to Ruthie. He got over reacting to her various vocalizations pretty quickly. Within the first 24 hours he wasn't feeling the need to control the situation whenever she made a noise and he was okay with her moving around inside her crate without feeling the need to regulate her. By about 48 hours, he was just watching her through the x-pen when she was loose in the kitchen and crating area. There were limits though. If she had the audacity to come right up to the x-pen when he was standing there or barked directly at him, he went into regulator mode. Those first 48 hours were tiring for all of us!
Miley got comfortable very quickly where ever I took her in the house or outside, which also meant that her boldness and sassiness started really coming out. I will fully admit that I loved/still love this about her. It cracked me up constantly how sassy this little pea of a thing was! Heffner just had no idea what the heck to do about her. At one point, I took a video on my phone of an example of the interactions they would have through the x-pen. Here's a sampling:
Heffner went from a previous household where the other ladies respected him to this little upstart who was ready to take on anyone and anything. He was bewildered and not exactly thrilled. Thankfully, as I mentioned, the puppy tired quickly, so splitting my time between the two wasn't a struggle. But it was tiring making sure that the puppy got as much interaction as she needed, while also making sure that Heffner got a lot of mommy time and didn't feel jilted at the appearance of the new addition.
Also in Miley's first few days, I started introducing her to the various stability equipment that I work with the dogs on. I put together a little video of a bunch of clips I took at various times within those first few days and here they are:
Since Miley would eventually need to ride in the back of the truck, I wanted to start getting her used to the ramp from the get go. It is also conveniently similar to the dog walk. ;) I wanted things to do with the puppy and the puppy was game for anything, so why not capitalize on having an entire week off to play with my new toy! I mean, the new puppy. ;)
And with that, my liver is now done and I need to get back to paying attention to my dogs. I hope you enjoy the pictures and video and there will be more to come!