Being a crazy dog mom aka #sorryI’mnotsorry

In anticipation of an upcoming trip, we’ve been going on meet and greets through Rover and DogVacay to find a someone to watch Tucker. We’ve used Rover in the past and loved our one sitter but she is not available for an upcoming weekend so we’ve had to line up a few meet and greets. Being the crazy dog mom that I am, I absolutely hate to leave Tucker, but it is our wedding anniversary and I feel like I should potentially give my husband some more attention on that weekend. We’ve met a ton of great people and their dogs but I often get a little self-conscious about how crazy of a dog mom I am once I realize how much I talk about Tucker. For example, I have a 5 page document that Jason call’s the Tucker bible where I detail everything I can think of that might happen or things that a sitter might need to be aware of. My reasoning for this is that if I were watching someone’s dog, I’d want to know everything I could possibly know so I’m doing these sitters a favor. I’m sure some roll their eyes or possibly don’t even read it (I’m looking at you Mom and Dad).I’ve tried to make it really humorous but that probably only solidifies how crazy of a dog mom I am.

I’ve been thinking more about my status as crazy dog mom this week for several reasons. I’ve already mentioned the meet and greets. The other is I’ve kept a very close watch on Tucker this week—and remember, I already watch him super closely. He had a little diarrhea earlier this week and he has a fairly good tummy so I was worried he got into something that I didn’t see. Normal people would probably say, dogs get into things from time to time, diarrhea is OK, but of course I panic. The only change we’ve made is that our vet recently changed which Heartworm preventative pills they use and we are back on Heartgard which he’s had before but not for some time as we were using Sentinel. I gave him his monthly dosage on Monday night and then next day he had a tummy upset. I was then on poop watch…they got better as the day went on and the situation has cleared up but not before I utterly embarrassed Tucker by taking photos of his poop and sending them to Jason who was out-of-town. I’m sure he loved those photos. #SorryI’mnotSorry Tucker. The vets office told me before that they love photos like this because it can help them immensely. And, as a crazy dog mom, I love the vets office. It’s basically like going to a therapist for me. Sometimes I think if I had to do it all over again, I would search for a vet to marry. Today, Tucker took his sweet time going to the bathroom and immediately my guard was up. Remember the Homeland Security terror chart? My radar went on high alert and then he went and was jolly. Oh and yes, if you haven’t figured it out, as a crazy dog mom, I spend a lot of time thinking and talking about poop.

Another reason I’ve been thinking more on my crazy dog mom status is that I am in a Word Press course on blogging to help me with this blog. I’m sure that all the attendees will love to read about my dogs poop, but ask anyone who has a dog and I bet they analyze their poop as well from time to time.  So, to all my “classmates,” my name is Carly and I am a crazy dog mom. The first step is admitting you have a problem, right?

Did you really think I would post a photo of his poop?

Did you really think I would post a photo of his poop?

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Puppy Love

Recently I joined a group on Facebook for a breeder that my parents have used. She created a facebook group so that the families can connect and share their photos of their golden children. It’s been fun to see the various goldens, and I especially enjoy connecting with people who have siblings of my parents pup, Spenser. Spenser will be nine in September but he will forever be my puppy. My family decided to get Spenser when I was still living at home and we are very close, even though I haven’t lived at home for several years. Every time we come home, Spenser is my shadow. He could never ever leave my mom or dad or his golden brother Oliver but we have a special bond.

Tucker and his Uncle Spenser. Everything he needed to learn, he learned from Spenser.

Tucker and his Uncle Spenser. Everything he needed to learn, he learned from Spenser.

Several facebook posts in this group lately have featured new puppies who have gone to their fur-ever homes. It’s so sweet to see these little fuzzies and I even get a bit of puppy fever. Tucker will be 2 in October so he’s still very much a puppy but you know what I mean, those little guys and girls you can pick up and snuggle….and then I remember the puppy teeth, the wake up calls in the middle of the night, and did I mention those puppy teeth? I remember when Tucker was really small and I would look at him and say, what is your personality going to be like? Yes, let’s not forget the title of this blog: Crazy Dog Mom. And don’t forget one of the best parts of puppyhood: you can drink! Can’t do that when you’re pregnant!

I can tell you exactly his personality now: he’s a sweetie (what golden isn’t though?) with a mischievous streak and he’s a real smartie. He loves being outside and walking through the neighborhoods. He’s playful with other dogs but only a few at a time or else he gets nervous. He loves routines…as do I…he’s still very much a puppy- we’re still working on the jumping and the occasional nip but thankfully there’s no more puppy teeth. He makes friends fast and remembers them for life.

First few days..

First few days..

Tucker0131  3 monthd

Now here are some new puppy tips from me:

1) Crate Train. I can’t emphasize this enough. We still have Tucker’s crate up and open because he still enjoys going in it even though he now sleeps with us and has a gated off area (which includes the crate) when we are out. I often find him laying in there when we get home. It’s their safe place…and a safe place for you too. I can’t begin to explain how much more peacefully I slept at night during those first few puppy months knowing he was in the crate. The crate is in our bedroom so he never felt alone.

2) Socialize. Another one I can’t emphasize enough. We got Tucker in the winter of the polar vortex in Northern VA. We were fortunate to have places that host puppy socials (welcome to Northern VA, full of DINKS- Dual Income No Kids). We also got him in obedience class as soon as we could. Luckily we live in an apartment complex and a dog friendly community so there was no shortage of friends for Tucker to meet. And don’t stop doing it. We still take Tucker to dog parks, dog friendly restaurants/wineries/shops, etc.

Out to Eat!

Out to Eat!

3) Exercise. You need exercise, your dog needs exercise. If it’s hot or cold, treat puzzles or ipad games (yes, seriously!) My motto in life is that a tired dog is a good dog. Why do you think I’m writing this blog right now? Because I exercised my pup and he’s enjoying a nice little nap right now. If you really want to track your dog’s exercise and sleep, get a Whistle Activity Monitor!

4) Photos. Take Lots of Them. We have 80 million and no, I do not think that’s an exaggeration.

5) Get to know where the best deals are. I love Chewy. My neighbors do too because I see lots of boxes from Chewy in the mailroom. There can never be enough Bitter Apple Spray when you have a puppy or young dog. Once I think I covered myself in it. We have a cabinet that looks like Chewy, Petco and Wylie Wagg threw up. But pups need toys and treats and bones. Remember those puppy teeth?

Now it’s time for me to sign off and enjoy some time on the balcony with Tucker. What’s your best dog advice? Leave us some love!tucker060715m

Tucker goes for a swim

One of my goals in the next year or so is to take Tucker to a beach, perhaps in the fall when its quieter. Since Tucker has never really been swimming, I was curious to see how he might react in a pool. I heard about the Northern Virginia Animal Swim Center. This swim center offers “Learn to Swim” lessons for 30 minutes and I thought: Perfect! It’s out in Middleburg, VA so it was a little bit of a trek from Arlington, VA but we had made a plan to stop at some dog friendly wineries on the way home and make a day out of it.

Once we made it out to the swim center, which is on acres of farmland, we met Roger, the owner and he put Tucker in a harness that had a very long lead/leash on it. We went first to a long shallow pool with ramps on either end that Tucker could wade into…Using the lead, Roger guided him in and BOOM! Tucker went swimming away to the other side. Roger had us call his name to encourage him as well. We did this a few times then went outside for a potty break before starting to retrieve balls in the pool. When Roger thought he was ready, we graduated to the bigger deeper pool- with the lead at first and then on his own. After 30 minutes, he was worn out but he swam great and Roger gave us some cues to get him to turn around in the pool. Now, of course this was a controlled pool and not an ocean so I would still be very careful, but Tucker can swim. Being a golden retriever, I thought that might be the case but you just never know!

I’d highly recommend a trip out there- it’s a bit in the country but would be wonderful if you want to see how your dog does or if your dog needs to swim for any health issues. We paid $40 for a training session which included Tucker getting a bath at the end. Also, Middleburg is a really adorable town.

Tucker can swim!

          Tucker can swim!

After swimming winery time!

After swimming winery time!