Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Zombie Ramblings

Trying to decide what to do with this tile plaque my brother had made for me. Thoughtful, huh? Also hoping to get into the kitchen today. (I was thinking comfort food and a brownie tart.) And to my quilting stuff, too. (I want to do this quilt in red, white and blue fabrics in time for July 4th. Never going to happen, but I'd still love to.) And then maybe to a good book after that. And then maybe to a bath accompanied by this song. (It's much better on her new CD.) I need a mental break.

Word of advice. Not that anyone would be crazy enough to set themselves up for needing this advice, but still: don't start a baking business and get a puppy the same time. And definitely don't do those things while you're renovating a house. You'll end up a zombie like me. Just sayin'.

Speaking of the puppy, I'm worried. She howls her head off when I leave the room. And I don't mean whimpers. Or cries. She screams. It's deafening. I've tried to be home with her as much as possible - so she gets a lot of attention and room to play - but that means accidents all over the house even though we go out about 12 times a day. Yesterday I bought a baby gate, hoping I could put her in the sitting room some of the day and if she could see out of her little room she wouldn't be as desperate. This morning I put her in there and the howling started, but ten minutes later she grew mysteriously silent. And then I hear paws on the wooden floor and there she is, standing at the library door, tail wagging. The darn dog scaled the baby gate.

The puppy people at Petco tell me that 6-week old labs have little bladder control and crate training isn't advisable until 10 weeks, when they can begin to learn to hold it. Until then, they said, just be as loving and patient as you can.

So. Anyone want a puppy, a bakery, and an old house? We could do one of those life swap things....

25 comments:

Anonymous said...

OMG Brin...I was thinking of that very thing when I heard you were opening up a bakery! I thought to myself, "This must be a superwoman" with a new puppy in tow and fixeruper house...now a bakery...book soon to come out...regular job...! About 6 months ago I too got a puppy only it was in the Petco parking lot. She was sick and I could not walk away. Plus we had just lost our beloved doggie of 15 years. Paid too much, and it's a little mutt, but we love her. Anyway, she too barked and cried and so it went for days on end! I got her a bunch of doggie-like toys and a red ball at Petco and now she can't be without them. No matter where she goes, what room she is in, she has to have her babies...all 6 of them. It's getting better now, but she was a barker. She was just saying, look at me mom...I'm here..let's play. You have to play ALOT with them. Wear them out. Take about 15 minutes and just toss the toys and have her bring them back to you. She will calm down a little after this. Good luck.

Jen said...

I'll swap you for a week. You could get my garden going, teach my girls to knit, take baby boy for walks, and cook some good food for my husband. But I don't know if I would do very well with your puppy or your bakery, although it would be a fun change! Oh, and get that bike first!

Vee ~ A Haven for Vee said...

"Anyone want a puppy, a bakery, and an old house? We could do one of those life swap things..."

Only if you're interested in a cat, a wee house, and no job at all. 8}

So much on your plate, but I believe that God has called you to big things and one little puppy. Prayers for energy coming your way...I do NOT believe in praying for patience! Millicent is going to grow so fast and soon she'll be a very well-behaved, well-adjusted companion.

betty r said...

Dreaming of all you want to do..well dreams are important even if you can't do them all in an alloted time. I do think you are realizing many of your dreams though so 'don't stress and have fun'ok?
I have a hankering for fresh rhubarb, will need to check if it has grown since yesterday...

Rosa said...

Wow!
Life is going to be busy for you for a while isn't it!
I very clearly remember those first few months and our dog was already older than yours when we got her.
We got our dog Jada from the SPCA when she was three months and she cried a lot too in first month or so. We had her in a crate in another room at night and I spent more than one night sleeping in a chair beside her!
She too came to love her stuffed toys and my son had a large stuffed german shepard that we put in the crate with her so she would have something to snuggle.
The time will come when she feels safe and comfortable and will calm down, not to worry!
Until then. . .
I'll be sending up a few prayers for you.
Good luck with the Bakery.

Anna said...

Don't worry, she will learn how to be alone without thinking you've abandoned her! Mine did the same - agonised howling when we left the house (according to neighbours). But she's fine now. She knows I'm coming back to her. You'll get her into a routine and she'll begin to understand that her contentment isn't fleeting. Oh and I remember house-training - the impatience and the boring trips to and from the back door. It will end. And that's the best thing I can tell you!

sulli said...

I'd swap with you, but its too close to my restaraunt, renovating an old house, and 29 chickens...
The good news is, puppies do grow out of that.. Good luck to you!

Amy said...

When you have to leave, put a tee shirt you've been wearing in the room with her. She'll smell you in the shirt and will get some comfort from it.

Do you have a small kennel in the yard where she can run outside when you're gone? It may be worth the investment.

Sue Neitzel said...

I was going to say to get a big stuffed animal about the same size as Millie but someone else already mentioned it but it helps, pups who are seperated from their moms and siblings go through a stage where they are insecure, so a stuff animals helps to mimic Mom, try putting some of your scent on it too. Brin, I know your a little overwhelmed right now, but I'm willing to bet your the kind of girl who gets more done under pressure? God doesn't give us more than we can handle. You will be fine, just take one step at a time and relax! Your in my prayers! Hugs!!

Kimberley said...

No worries, Brin! This will be nothing more than a blink of time when you look back on these happy, but busy days! My word of advice for your puppy...SCHEDULE HER LIKE A NEWBORN BABY!!!!!!!! If you don't have a crate, stop reading this NOW and go buy one. The crate will become your best friend and her cozy home that she loves, and it takes some of the neediness off of you. Later, when she's older, she'll be able to choose to sleep in her crate or beside you on your bed. But for now, schedule her and give her 15 minutes of play time out of her crate and then back in. (You can keep her out in the evening if you are with her and don't mind taking her out every other second!) Though it doesn't seem like puppy love fun, it will expedite your housebreaking AND you won't have as many messes to clean up...well, maybe you will, but at least you'll know where to find them! We just trained two boxer puppies using this method, and it worked like a charm! Good luck, and don't worry! You can do it...puppy, house, cupcakes, the world!

Kathi~Lavender, Lace and Thyme said...

First off, the tile art is beautiful, your brother is very thoughtful. Speaking of zombie, I thought you wrote brownie art, so I was very excited to learn something new, I clicked on it and it was brownie tart! LOL Puppy power! ha, bet you didn't know Millie could scale tall buildings in a single bound! Have a wonderful evening Brin! :)

sheila said...

Congratulations on your new Millie! how exciting and wonderful...you'll always be #1 on your Millie's list even when the rest of the world might seem to be havin' one of those Indifferent Spells...

and I know it was cute and aggravating at the same time to see her standing there so proudly having scaled that gate, lol :)

just like with a colic-y little one, ya'll will outgrow this :)

Jan said...

I have a very old house (circa 1842), a puppy (9 month old English Mastiff - 166 pounds), but no bakery. What would you like to trade?

ENjoying your blog, but LOVING my red flower on my lapel!

Jan

Nen said...

my puppy just turned 2 yesterday... she is a full blooded black lab.... and the first few weeks were rough... but labs are smart. they catch on quick! i had my Boo in a crate from 7 weeks old... and she did totally fine. i was in the process of moving into a little fixer-upper when i got her and she has been amazing company!!! you will be blessed! start teaching her tricks now... and lay down the law! she'll catch on and be awesome!

good luck with your baking business. i would love to get away from my hectic job to bake for money(i'd probably eat too many "samples" though! lol)!!!

Lovella said...

oh boy .. . just chuckling at your situation. I just love reading a post so well written that my vivid imagination sees it all clearly.
.. . still chuckling.

Linda Z said...

I'm remodeling the floors in our house, potty training a 2 year old, and have a dog just coming out of puppyhood. I'd trade ya for a while, but I have no business sense and am not a very good baker... your business would go down in flames (pun intended).
:)

fairmaiden said...

Well the 'Freeman House' plaque your brother made you would sure make a lovely blog header...the pic here with the roses...thats what I saw...that it would look pretty as your blog header.

You definetly have your wagon full. About the puppy howling, she is just like a baby who wants to be in her mama's lap 24/7. She loves you!!!! Best, best, bestest of wishes for your bakery 'Henrybella's'. It will be wonderful Brin because it's you. Bless you sweetheart<><

jill said...

Hi Bree, I found your blog a couple of weeks ago (via Rechelle) and love it. I agree with Kimberley - purchase a crate today! I'm a vet tech and a real believer in crate training. At the beginning put some paper in the back of the crate, maybe on one side, and the food and water up front (or vice versa). Since dogs don't like to poop/pee where they eat, Millie will begin doing her business on the paper if she has to go while in the crate. Also, put her to bed at night and don't reinforce her crying by going to her - unless it's to take her out to potty - but don't stimulate her or make it fun - tell her to go potty, then good girl when she does, then back to bed. No visiting. Otherwise you'll be teaching her that she gets rewarded with your presence by crying, and/or that it's fun to wake up and go potty even if she could hold it. I know it's hard to be hardhearted but she will adjust much faster - usually in a matter of days - if you tough it out. Remember that each morning she is learning that mom always comes back and that out of sight doesn't mean gone forever. Make her crate cozy - get a wire one (not one with solid sides) but put a blanket over the top and sides at night, add a t-shirt you've worn, a sheepskin bear, and let her learn to comfort herself. Hang in there - this time next week you'll be on a good routine. It really will get better and soon! Oh, make sure the crate is not next to your bedroom! Love your blog, and what a thoughtful brother you have - mine doesn't even send me a b'day card!

Anonymous said...

Love your new puppy. We have a yellow lab that we got at 12 weeks old and started her in the crate right away. The main thing is they won't usually go in their crate unless they're sick. Now our Molly is almost 5 years old and she actually barks to go to bed in her crate which is in a heated/AC garage. For some reason they like feeling safe in an enclosed place. Plus labs are notorious for chewing stuff up and eating things that are not good for them. If she gets used to the crate you will always have a safe place to put her when you have to run errands etc. Good luck, she's beautiful. Debbie

Anonymous said...

Just a word of encouragement...we had a yellow lab for 15 years and we all cried and cried when we had to put her to sleep. She chewed up a few shoes and anything else left around. Getting through the puppy stage was just like yours, but that, too, will pass. She gave us so much love and devotion...I wouldn't have wanted to miss a minute of it. Keep telling yourself that it will be worth it.

LeAnne

Anonymous said...

With every puppy I have had...and jake the lab...I did this...when I fed him...I figured 10-15 min. after the meal I would take him outside to go potty...then in an hour I would take him out just to check...how I potty trained them all was..when they made a mistake and went potty in the house I would take them to the mistake, tell them no and take them right outside..usually they went again outside...its a pain, but it does potty train them...her schedule will come easy after a while...and yes, the LOUD howling...went through that too..I brought the dogs with me everywhere...but had to realize that , that always would not be able to happen...so I put up a baby gate...turned a radio or tv on...gave them their toys and left for errands...they cried and howled and I felt awful but you have to show them that there will be times you can't be together.
Hang in there!
Geneen from calif

tara said...

Good zombie morning to ya, Brin:) I know you feel overwhelmed right now but hang in there because though life is hectic, it is at least hectic with fun, new exciting adventures - like a funloving puppy and new bakery business! I would love do a life swap with you. Not sure if you enjoy the whole pregnancy thing right now ... fatigue, weight gain, back pain, lots of 'potty breaks' in the wee hours of the night that have nothing to do with a puppy...not to mention my life is not quite as charming as yours in the first place! :) I agree with everyone that crate training is your best bet. Puppies will almost never go where they sleep/eat. It is the absolute fastest way to housebreak a puppy. I'd say never discipline her though by sending her to the crate. Always be positive when it comes to putting her in her crate. Looks like you've already gotten a lot of great advice on what to do.

Two great books my husband has read are by The Monks of New Skete - the first called How to Be Your Dog's Best Friend and the second one is called The Art of Raising a Puppy. He says these are the very best ones he knows of for this kind of thing. Hope this helps:)

By the way, your brother has good taste in tile art, go figure... well, he is your brother so how can I be terribly surprised? :)

amanda said...

Potty training an almost 3 year old. (Much coffee.) Breastfeeding 5 month old. (Much coffee.) Dirty, hungry, hard-working husband. (Much coffee.) Jealous pekingnese. (Much coffee.) Etsy shop. (Much coffee.) Oh, Yeah... I'm also an aspiring photographer who's building a portfolio and website in my "spare" time. (SUPER MUCH COFFEE!)

I would trade - but baking is not my best skill. I make more messes than you've ever seen - you would fire me for sure!

Hang in there - sleep will come soon! (At least that's what they tell me!) Definitely try the shirt thing, and the outside pen if you've got the space. Crate training will be here before you know it!

Good luck!
Amanda:)

P.S. Have you thought about adding one of those music things to your blog? I'm sure I speak for everyone when I say that it would be the icing on the cake! I have one... stop by to get the link to build our own!

Skip said...

about the puppy, i feel for you. We have a 4 month old puppy and can often be found scratching our heads wondering WHY DID WE GET A PUPPY????

But, he is improving so i have moments of hope.

Be patient, he may turn out to be the best out of your 3 giveaways lol

Su said...

Don't give up! My lab drove me crazy at first, but now, I can't imagine my life without him!!