DIARY OF A MIDDLE AGED PUPPY MOM – THE BEGINNING

By Monday, March 30, 2015 54 Permalink

THE FIRST OF A NEVER ENDING SERIES –

As the world turns and as Jaxson grows, I thought I would share an open, truthful, and pawhaps comical peek into this new chapter of my life.

Before I know it –  Jax will be much older and I will reflect back on his formative months with only memories of the “good times.” But right now I’m so tired I can barely see straight.

Therefore welcome to the first of just a few entries in the “Diary of a Middle Aged Puppy Mom.” 

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DISCLAIMER: I have no regrets about bringing home a hyper-energetic 9 week old puppy. It’s just harder than I remember #keepingitreal

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photo courtesy of vimeo.com

What was I thinking when I decided on a honest to goodness fresh out the womb puppy?

How could I have only remembered the “good” and completely forgotten about the “bad and the ugly?”

Don’t take this the wrong way, I am head over paws in love with Jax – but “wow!” We’re closing in on our first month together and I feel twice my age!

There’s so much to do and I can’t find my rhythm. The first two weeks I had to wear my loungewear for our morning walks because for the life of me I couldn’t seem to figure out when (and/or how) to get into street clothes and still be able to retrieve him from his crate before he had an accident…

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Six years ago Harley was a pup and even though I was new to the 50’s club, I still had plenty of reserved energy. My body acted as if it was a few years behind my age.

Jax arrived after menopause and I’m telling you – it makes a difference.

According to the “Urban Dictionary” I’m a middle aged woman:

A female who has passed through her forties, currently residing somewhere in her fifties, is a middle-aged woman.

  • Could that explain my fatigue?
  • Is this why I fall asleep folding laundry? #truestories

They say “what doesn’t kill you – makes you stronger” Well potty training ALONE might just take me right on out of here.

For the past twenty days my nights have been interrupted every three hours or so. I can’t seem to remember it like this with Harley. #selectivememory?

IT GOES LIKE THIS:

Before dawn something in my dark bedroom stirs, then whines. Am I dreaming? As I drift back to sleep – paralyzed from exhaustion, I hear the sound again – only louder.

OH CRAP! IT’S THE PUPPY…

…he’s got to go out again.

With the speed of a gazelle, and the artistry of a firefighter on night duty – I spring out of bed. Here’s my playbook –

  • With one foot on the ground, I’m hopping in place struggling with my sock
  • It’s raining outside, so I grab my sweatpants that are strategically folded at the foot of my bed
  • Sweatshirt arm is inside out – so I whisper soothing sounds to an already impatient puppy as I dance around trying to free my arm and right the wrong of the sleeve.
  • Hat? hat? where’s my freaking hat?
  • Dressed, I fumble with the crate door in the blackness of the room. When the door opens I unleash the “kraken” and scoop him up in my arms.
  • The pain from my arm shoots to my shoulder then radiates to my neck as it reminds me to teach this 20 lb puppy to use the stairs once it’s daylight.
  • Oops, back it up, back it up, can’t forget #again – gotta shut off the alarm
  • I make it to the front lawn just in time – BAZINGA we’ve peed outside again!
  • Regardless of the time, I’ve got to do the “I’m so happy you went potty clap your hands” dance. #gottagivehimpraise #mustbeconsistent
  • Back upstairs to put the beast puppy back in his crate
  • Doodle Dad never moves so he misses my free striptease show #hisloss
  • I lay dawn, and in no time flat, I’m back in la-la-land

THEN IT’S MORNING..

…Again!

#whatthedoodle?

Once we’re back inside after our breakfast walk – I guzzle down a huge mug of some seriously strong coffee. Only to find out later that’s probably not the smartest idea because now there’s two of us running around like idiots. One of us is pumped up on puppy power and the other on caffeine.

Mid mornings right now are the most challenging. I try like crazy to tired him out. He’d rather fall asleep on the shrubs…

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This face makes it all worth it….

 

For right now, I find solace by reminding myself several times a day –

  • Nothing lasts forever!
  • Jax WILL get older
  • I WILL get more sleep
  • Doodle Dad WILL once again get a hot home cooked meal #oneday

But for right now Diary – you, Starbucks and my Tempur-Pedic mattress are my BFF‘s

ONE LAST THING…

I did give a huge sigh of relief after reading 40 Signs You Are Middle Aged by the Huffington Post, because I honestly could only relate to three on their list of 40:

#4: Needing an afternoon nap

#13: Choosing clothes and shoes for comfort rather than style

#38 Falling asleep after one glass of wine #outlikealight

All of which I pray will go away once Jax gets older. How about you? How many on that list can you relate to!

FOLLOW DIARY OF A MIDDLE AGED PUPPY MOM AS IT CONTINUES

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This would be Jax’s contribution to the Monday Mischief blog hop brought to you by Alfie’s BlogSnoopy’s Dog BlogMy Brown Newfies.

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54 Comments
  • Susan and the gang from Life with Dogs and Cats
    March 30, 2015

    I think puppies have some kind of selective memory affect, kind of like babies. You only remember the good stuff. This, by the way, is why I encourage some people (particularly folks with already-busy lives) that an adoptable dog (past puppyhood) from a shelter is a very good option. You get to skip some of the sleepless and pee-filled hard parts.
    –Wags (and purrs) from Life with Dogs and Cats

    • Cathy Bennett
      March 30, 2015

      You might be right about that selective memory affect theory Susan. I have to laugh at myself – because my selective memory had me a lot faster and energetic too! At the end of the day, I harbor no regrets – I am in awe watching Jax grow and develop!

  • Karen
    March 30, 2015

    Hang in their neighbor! He’ll be potty trained before you know it! It’s getting that bladder grown enough to hold it all night! I remember only too well with Mila!

    • Cathy Bennett
      March 30, 2015

      Karen, I’m hanging – no doubt about it! Good to see you this morning. Harley was wiped out when we got back home.

  • DashLilly
    March 30, 2015

    Remember? puppyhood is hard … but it is ALL worth it!! And before you know it, he will be snoring through the night. I do remember the vet teaching me to say “it’s all right, everything is all right,” when Dash (and then soon Lilly) would wake up in the middle of the night in the crate…. they both learned when they heard me say that to go back to sleep! And, most of the time, I fell back asleep too! I started by saying that to them during the day when they would be in the crate. I am forever grateful to that vet. Saved my sanity. Good luck!!! Jax is absolutely adorable!!! And he is getting older by the day!! (as are we!)

    • Cathy Bennett
      March 30, 2015

      Thanks for the tip Deirdre – I think that’s a PAWsome idea. I will start using it myself. Last night was the first night I didn’t have to get up – it was wonderful. I feel like a new penny today! I’m truly loving the experience, I have no regrets whatsoever about my decision. He is an incredibly sweet puppy. Thanks for your suggestion – thanks for sharing my friend, 🙂

  • Monika & Sam
    March 30, 2015

    Snicker, snicker…I’m still laughing at your diary entry. Not laughing AT you mind you, but at the whole description of potty training a puppy. Every time I think I’d like an ankle biter to keep Sam company, I’ll re-read your diary entry, laugh myself silly and quash that notion but good. Still, you’re so right, he is completely adorable and I can completely understand why you’re putting yourself through all this. Good luck, know the rest of middle aged women will be sleeping through the night if not emphasizing with you when you’re up for those potty breaks. 🙂

    • Cathy Bennett
      March 30, 2015

      Oh Monika! You get me!!!!! I encourage the laughter 🙂 If you can’t make fun of yourself, then who? They definitely do steal your heart quickly. I am truly amazed at what a difference 6 years can make (I’m talking about me!) Believe it or not the potty angels had pity on me (after I wrote the post) and Jax slept through the night #thereishope So happy today, I’ve got energy 🙂 Thanks so much for reading, please stick around for more laughs!

  • Talent Hounds
    March 30, 2015

    You’re almost out of the weeds, just hang in there. Plus the puppy stage goes by so fast and before you know it you’ll miss these days.

    • Cathy Bennett
      March 30, 2015

      I know it does Talent Hounds! Just thought I would share some humor on a situation so many people can relate to 🙂 He’s really an incredible little guy!

  • Claudette Pope
    March 30, 2015

    I definitely can relate to Everything you described. It was March 1 2014 when I picked up my gorgeous little Ziggy. The ride home, on my lap, was I believe the first and last time he remained that “still”. Every 3 hours comes real quick, and March was loaded with snow, so All of my gear was right there in my room. Carrying him up and down the stairs. I really thought I was doing something wrong. Outside after waking, outside after eating, outside after playing. I almost wanted to pitch a tent and STAY outside. I think now that I must have done the potty training thing too well cause at 14 months he STILL has to go out every 2 hours (during the day). Thank God he does sleep through the night. People tell me that I’m still in the Puppy stage, so now I look at Harley and sigh, Ziggy, Our Day Will Come. 🙂

    • Cathy Bennett
      March 30, 2015

      Oh yes Claudette – have no fear “our” time is definitely coming 🙂

  • slimdoggy
    March 30, 2015

    Be sure and counter this with all the times Jax makes you laugh 😉
    I don’t want to read that article…I have at LEAST the three you mention.

    • Cathy Bennett
      March 30, 2015

      I shall Slimdoggy I PAWmise 🙂

  • Emma
    March 30, 2015

    My mom can tell you those first few months are killers, but then all of the sudden the baby is over a year old and stress is gone. Mom learned to run outside barefoot into the snow in her pj’s for potty emergencies, didn’t mind who may have seen her, she got real creative in boxing in a puppy when she needed to get work done. At the time, she wondered what she had done. Some days she still wonders how she ended up with three dogs, but she wouldn’t trade any of it for the world. It is a crazy life, but it is her life and she loves it.

    • Cathy Bennett
      March 30, 2015

      And that’s the exact reason why I can make fun of myself Emma, because this is the best times of my life, and I’m loving every minute of it!

  • Ann Staub
    March 30, 2015

    I think I may have forgotten what it’s like to have a puppy too… It’s been 12 years after all! That’s why I liked the vet tech thing… I got to see puppies and pet them every now and then, and maybe even take care of them for a day or 2. Good puppy fix! Jax sounds very similar to a human baby LOL. I’m also working on potty training, but for the little human. oy.

    • Cathy Bennett
      March 30, 2015

      Two or four legs – lot’s of similarities I would think when it comes to potty training LOL Here’s wishing speedy success for the both of us Ann 🙂

  • Jackie Bouchard
    March 30, 2015

    That’s so funny, and I’m laughing with you, not at you! Having just hit 50 I’m certain my puppy days are behind me! Rita was a very mellow 7 month old when we got her. Heaven! I watched my 60+ year old sis with puppy Reggie so I know how exhausting puppies are. But they’re so darn cute, it’s all worth it!

    • Cathy Bennett
      March 30, 2015

      Jackie – that was my problem. I can’t remember Harley, and Leo was a mellow 6 month old when he arrived. I’m loving Jax, but these puppy moments I shall never forget!

  • Barbara Rivers
    March 30, 2015

    Hahaha! Excellent post, Cathy, and one I am SO sharing! I can relate to everything you mentioned, only that I’m in my mid 30s…loved all your hashtags, especially the #selectivememory & #hisloss 😉

    I can all too well remember potty training the mini pups when they were just a few months old, and carrying them downstairs & back up 3 flights of apartment stairs, several times throughout the night…while their Daddy happily snored & snoozed through the night…#hisloss for sure!!

    • Cathy Bennett
      March 30, 2015

      LOL Thanks Barbara, I started to call it “Cathy’s Lament!” 🙂 I was wondering if I was alone. Please share, more people need to laugh in this world – and I don’t mind being the brunt of their laughter! Take care, and thanks again for reading 🙂

  • Tenacious Little Terrier
    March 30, 2015

    This is why I can’t get a puppy. I get really cranky when I’m sleep deprived. I’d rather skip meals than skip out on sleep!

    • Cathy Bennett
      March 30, 2015

      Never used to think like that before Mr. N. but right now I can relate! It will be alright – just gotta hang in there 🙂

  • DZ Dog Mom
    March 30, 2015

    I loved this post!! So funny!
    I’ve never had the pleasure of a puppy before even growing up we tended towards 1+ aged to adult dogs.
    But last summer I had a foster kitten, my neighbor had found it and her eyes/ears were barely opened. We’re thinking it was a stray momma and probably her first litter so she abandoned it. When my neighbor found her she was cold, in shock, and dehydrated. Thankfully I have a friend who is a vet tech and was able to walk me through it.
    I had to bottle feed her every 2 hours, burp her, stimulate her to go potty, and she had to stay warm. To top it off I got her during my finals week!! It was aweful…thankfully my hubby helped a bit but with is work schedule he really couldn’t be up every 2 hours so it was mostly me.
    I created a travel duffel bag for her with a rigid bottom that she slept in, it had a heating pad at the bottom so she stayed warm and she got to go to campus with me and sit under my desk while I took my finals. LOL
    She also accompanied me to work. My boss was less than amused but their wasn’t anything else I could do! It was really funny. 🙂
    You can hear the whole story here if you’d like. http://aaveryscorner.blogspot.com/2014/05/orphaned-kitten-part-1.html

    • Cathy Bennett
      March 31, 2015

      DZ – just went over to read the story about the kitten – WOW! that was intense. The part about the cotton ball and warm water blew me away – would’ve never thought about that. Glad you enjoyed my first diary entry. I love to keep humor in my life – it’s a great balance for me and cheaper than therapy! Thanks so much for reading, and please come back again 🙂

  • Sand Spring Chesapeakes
    March 30, 2015

    great post, it will get better!

    • Cathy Bennett
      March 31, 2015

      I know JoAnn, I will press toward the mark and keep smiling and laughing at myself as I do. Jax is truly worth it – all of it!

  • Denise Gruzensky
    March 30, 2015

    This is a GREAT post and makes an excellent reminder to potential new puppy owners that it’s not all paws and games. It’s also a reminder that those cute paws and face will be worth it in the end you just gotta keep caffeinated! 🙂

    • Cathy Bennett
      March 31, 2015

      A woman after my own heart Denise – caffeinated in the morning and a little red wine in the evening. It keeps me going!

      • Barbara Rivers
        March 31, 2015

        That’s exactly how I do it 😉

        • Cathy Bennett
          March 31, 2015

          Hey Barbara, we’ve just got to find our rhythm ….. 🙂

  • Kim M
    March 30, 2015

    These days if I go out for a run, I would pass out in the bushes too! I may be in my 30s but health problems have me feeling twice that most days! Puppies are like babies for me. So freaking cute but, I prefer them potty trained! LOL

    • Cathy Bennett
      March 31, 2015

      Oh no Kim – not the bushes 🙂 Here’s what I do – on the days when I’m feeling 40 and froggy? Those are the days when I run. On those days when I feel 60 and sedentary? I sit my behind down and do nothing! You are on point with your description about puppies – they are babies! Puppies are cute and puppies are work. I’m happy to share my craziness with my friends – it shall get better, but for right now I’ve got to laugh and poke fun at myself 🙂 Thanks for reading….

  • LeeAnna Paylor
    March 31, 2015

    boy can I relate!

    Jax is a mix of my lab and poodle in training.
    My lab took 4 to 6 months to totally gain pee/poop control and the poodle got it in three days. AMaziing. My lab was in her kennel when we left the house, self preservation, both her and us, because of mischief. The poodle was out in 6 months with no destruction.

    The poodle would walk 3-4 miles with me twice a day, and wear out three playmates before he sat down.
    Endless energy outside. Inside he never did much, as he seemed to get inside voice and outside voice. I would lay on the sofa after work, exhausted and the lab would bring the ball over and over and over as I threw it down the hall. Then she chewed up the house, tore things apart, ate inappropriate items. I have not to this day forgotten how tiring it was to raise her to one year old.

    When I look at Jax and want one, my husband swears me to no puppies when the day comes that we lose Cole. He wants a rest!

    I wish you could drop Jax off with us to run it off! Cole would love to watch as he can’t run much these days.
    LEeAnna

    • Cathy Bennett
      March 31, 2015

      Yes, sounds like you certainly can relate LeeAnna – Jax never stops. Last night he was so tired, but he wouldn’t give up. I watched in amazement as he took two or three drunken steps and then fell out for about three minutes, then repeat, repeat, repeat. It was like he didn’t want to sit still too long for fear of falling out for the night. Finally (like a child) I had to put him in his crate. In no time, he was flat on his back fast asleep!

  • MyDogLikes
    March 31, 2015

    I love this post. It feel a lot different to have a puppy as someone in their late 20’s versus their early 20’s really has more to do with being a professional I guess and not having the weird hours of a graduate student. In all the crazy times you just sit back and laugh while trying not to fall asleep!

    • Cathy Bennett
      March 31, 2015

      And I think that same mindset works for the over 50 club as well. I just laugh and keep on going because as tired as I am – I love this journey. Jax is such a sweetie, we’ll make it through – with a lot of laughter and red wine, we’ll make it through! Thanks for reading…

  • Auntie Ann
    March 31, 2015

    Your adventures are captivating. Amazing since—–I don’t have a pet of any source.
    But, I love reading about the Doodles.

    Doodles Rock!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Cathy Bennett
      March 31, 2015

      Yes they sure do Auntie Ann, they sure do rock! Happy to know a pet-less household can enjoy our stories here in Doodleville. Keep reading – you ROCK!

  • Elaine
    March 31, 2015

    I’ve been thinking a lot about this lately. Whether to get a puppy again or an older dog that would allow me to skip the craziness of having a young puppy. It’s easy to forget how much time and energy they require, but there’s something really special about raising a dog from a puppy and watching all those fun phases.

    Being a member of the 50’s club too, I’m going to have to give this some serious consideration, lol! Hang in there! 🙂

    • Cathy Bennett
      March 31, 2015

      Oh come on Elaine, join me in the puppy insane asylum – we can be roomies! It’s actually getting better – last night I slept all night – Hot dog 🙂

  • Jan K
    April 1, 2015

    I don’t like to take afternoon naps…I just drink more coffee….but I’m with you on the other two!!
    Luke is almost a year and a half now and I’ve already honestly forgotten all about the trials of those first few months….which only means I will probably foolishly get another puppy one day! 🙂

    • Cathy Bennett
      April 1, 2015

      Funny you should mention naps – I took one today (by accident) it was so wonderful…

  • Kari
    April 2, 2015

    Puppies are the WORST! But also… the BEST… but never ugly. 🙂

    • Cathy Bennett
      April 3, 2015

      Very accurate statement Kari – accurate indeed!

  • Alessandra
    April 5, 2015

    Thanks for the post, Cathy, I have to admit I laughed out loud… but not at you, at the urge that I’m having too of adding a new puppy to our lives. I look at 7 year old Pedro and think what a pawsome older brother he would make. Then my husband reminds me that (a) we don’t have the space to have two; (b) we don’t have the time to “raise him properly” and (c) Pedro is quite content being King of this castle… I suspect that he has thought (d) we’re older than we were 7 years ago and (e) we have selective “puppyhood-selective-memory-syndrome” too… Good reminder and yet, I look at the photos of Jax and I melt… So it might happen (I even have a name for the new pup!). All the best and loving paws from Pedro.
    – Alessandra

    • Cathy Bennett
      April 6, 2015

      Alessandra – You’ve just described my struggle! LOL I debated for weeks/months on puppy vs. older dog. I went the puppy route, and while I have no regrets, I had to write about how different these 6 years (since Harley) have made. It’s okay if you laugh at me – I put myself out there 🙂 Let me know what you decide – No matter what – we can support each other!

  • Pamela
    April 8, 2015

    I applaud you for keeping it real. It’s important for us to tell the world that puppies are more than just cute. They’re little fuzzy pains in the butt. And all the work you’re putting into your little guy will be totally worth it in the future (if you live to tell about it). 🙂

    There may be another factor at work. My neighbor who’s a therapist mentioned that women in their 50s feel less like nurturing than at any time in their lives. It may be something biochemical that’s making puppy raising even more difficult.

    • Cathy Bennett
      April 8, 2015

      You’re right Pamela – I’ve got to be able to live through this first LOL I’m not sure it’s the nurturing part I’m lacking – I’m just 6 years older, and slow!!!!

  • Sarah
    June 26, 2016

    We have a 9 month old doodle and are about to adopt another pup! Thanks for the little reminder that we will be back at the 3 a.m. pee breaks in no time. As we prepare for the next pup all the bad stuff we had forgotten ever took place seems to be resurfacing. VERY selective memory.

    • Cathy Bennett
      June 29, 2016

      Congratulations Sarah! Yep – don’t forget those late night runs to the front lawn. LOL But here’s something to hang onto – it really doesn’t last forever and soon you’ll be able to sleep through the night. Thanks so much for stopping by, please come back again! Doodles are the best and they seem to be extra special when they come in two’s.

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