In this article, contributing writer Georgina Cox tells us about her experience of her first month after taking home her Cockapoo puppy, Tilly.
Bringing any puppy into your home for the first time is an exciting and challenging experience! My first month as a new fur mum was all of the the above, but here’s how I managed to make my new life work...
On the May 21 2018, my whole world changed as Tilly, the 13 week old Cockapoo, found her way into my family’s life. We had promised ourselves we were only going to look at her and that we wanted to keep our options open. But, within 24 hours of going to see her, we had made up our minds - she was the one...
We were humbly surprised by how confident Tilly was arriving in her new home. She had very quickly explored all of the rooms she was allowed access to and, within two days, had gotten the hang of using her puppy pads to go to the toilet. She was playful, regularly chasing her toys and scaling the stairs.
We hadn’t expected her to be so self-assured at such a young age and it made us realise how different dog personalities can be. We also very quickly learnt that, just because a puppy is new to the home, it doesn’t mean it won’t try to push boundaries!
A couple of days after bringing her home, we noticed she was passing blood when going to the toilet. A vet trip was organised as we were concerned that it could be a sign of Parvovirus. Thankfully, the vet confirmed that was not the case and she most likely just had an inflamed gut. Tilly was on medication for three days and her illness cleared up quickly.
The mantra ‘better to be safe than sorry’ was repeated several times over those few days and I’m glad we took her to the vet as soon as possible. It was so much better to be sure that Tilly was okay rather than leave it to see what would happen.
I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t scared, but I knew I had to put my fears aside and get the facts first from the vet before panicking. We were her family now and we had to make sure she was healthy.
The one thing all new dog owners dread is bedtime - and we were no different!
We spent three days being stubborn, refusing to go to her whilst she howled at the early hours of the morning. Eventually, after multiple nights of staring at the ceiling at 2am wondering if we made a mistake, we caved and she learnt to sleep in her own bed in my parents’ room.
We’re currently in the process of encouraging Tilly to sleep downstairs by herself. She’s getting there, but, as with all training, it takes time, patience and a whole lot of coffee for us humans!
Walkies… Or Not!
Having never had a puppy before, my parents assumed that dogs were born with the innate knowledge of knowing how to walk on a leash. How wrong they were...
For a week, Tilly would gladly put her lead and collar on, get out of the door and then refuse to walk. She’d sit on the doorstep and put all her weight down.
Gradually, after a lot of treats and praise, we managed to coax her along. Now she can’t get enough of her walks!
Making New Friends
The final hurdle was for Tilly to meet and be social with other dogs and humans. Thankfully, she was immediately playful and keen to be around a variety of dogs and people.
As a dog walker, Tilly now comes with me to work and enjoys hurtling around fields with all of her new friends.
My first month as a fur mum was crazy and went so quickly. Tilly is 5 months old now, but we still have some challenges to tackle (our first trip to the groomers is this week)!
I wouldn’t change any part of it, though, especially since I’ve learnt so much about myself and it’s been an absolute joy to see Tilly flourish.
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