Puppy Blues

We spoke about it in great detail: the sacrifices we would need to make, the work we would need to put in, the changes we would need to make in our lives. We still wanted a dog. Important to note that we wanted a dog, not a puppy.

Young Kubo

Not that puppies aren’t cute! Of course they are and most people want the small bundle of clumsy fluff but we wanted a dog. We wanted a companion that we would have adventures with. We wanted to rescue a dog. However with 2 Ragdolls (cats) it was imperative that they were kept safe and happy and a rescue would be too risky.

So we got a puppy. And I got the puppy blues.

I will be brutally honest; I cried (hysterically) every night for about 2 weeks (and still some after). We argued. I pulled the ‘it’s me or the dog’ line.

It’s not that Kubo wasn’t cute. It’s not even like he was a complete nightmare, not really. But it was a huge, and I mean totally massive, shock to the system.

First of all my partner had a bit of time off so he was home with the pup all day. He’d send me cute pictures and videos and it looked like what you imagine puppy ownership to be. Then I would get home and the peaceful, cute little creature would turn into an absolute monster. I am not exaggerating. He would tear around the house like a Tasmanian devil, chase my babies (cats) and bite everything.

Doesn’t sound so bad? No, I guess it doesn’t, but it really felt like it was.

The cats are my babies and I could not stand the thought that they could get hurt or upset. Kubo only wanted to play but no matter what we did he would not stop chasing them and that was perhaps my biggest heartache.

His energy levels were to be expected I suppose but he was just so relentless. We would play tug with him or race around the garden for hours to wear him out but long after we were tired he was still going. We later learned that by continuing to stimulate him we were actually making the situation worse. We made him over-tired and ratty. You know when you are super tired but you just can’t fall asleep and are running on adrenaline? That’s what we did to him – and he has teeth! So he was OK during the day but by the time I got home he had turned monstrous.

We have a stair gate up so that the cats have a sanctuary.

I would come, resolved that this evening would be better. I was pleased to see my little pup, I would wear my smile. But it would descend into madness and before an hour had passed I would be sat at the top of the stairs with my cats balling my eyes out. I am not proud to say that there were at least two occasions in which I told Dave to leave and take his dog with him. And I meant it. I had sleepless nights. I didn’t eat.

A week passed and I thought it would never get better.

We were hardly talking. I would leave in the morning without even looking at the dog. While I was at work he was getting toilet trained and bonding and I was feeling more like an outsider every time I walked through my own front door. He would look at me with those big eyes and I would just cry and leave the room. I couldn’t bond with him, I didn’t want to be near him.

It brings tears to my eyes remembering how much I disliked this new little life in my house, how much I neglected him (not physically but definitely emotionally) and how absolutely distraught it made me.

Butter wouldn’t melt

It did get better. Anyone who is struggling to cope: it does get better. I don’t know how. There wasn’t a turning point that I can pinpoint. I just started spending more time with him and slowly building my patience and eventually began to bond.

I felt so alone and it wasn’t until after that I realised I am not the only one who has been through this. I thought I was a horrid person because I really did want to give my boy up but I am so glad I persevered and I cannot thank my partner enough for his patience and support.

I wish I had spoken to someone but instead I smiled and told everyone how wonderful having a puppy was. I tried to be strong and act how I thought I should. The best advice I can give to anyone experiencing the Puppy Blues is to be honest.

You are not a bad person. No matter what you feel: you are not horrible or mean.

There is so much more I could say about that first month and likely I will, but for now I hope this comforts someone else. I wish I had known about the potential for these Blues before we got a puppy. It wouldn’t have changed my mind ultimately but I would have been more prepared (and not beaten myself up so much).

It is worth it in the end. I promise.

He eventually finds a comfy spot to sleep in!