Our family has now grown by one.
He is a long-haired Dachsund puppy, named Oscar (for Oscar Mayer Weiner Dog). He is just over two months old, and a mere five pounds.
A few months ago, on a message board that I frequent, the question was asked, "Which is more difficult to care for, a puppy or a baby ?"
When I read that question, I thought to myself, "Well, of course it's a baby ! How could a puppy be THAT much work ?"
I was soon to find out.
Having never owned a dog, only cats, the time requirement was a bit of a surprise to me. Danny and I each take shifts, and share in the feeding, watering, pooper-scooping, pee-pee pad changing, and puppy training duties. Needless to say, our little Oscar is much more high-maintenance than our two kitties.
But very worthwhile, of course.
Oscar is a social butterfly. He loves being around people, is happy to see new people, and gets along very well with all the dogs in his puppy school. Everyone at PetSmart always wants to pet him and interact with him because of his magnetic personality. He is smart as well - it took me all of 24 hours to have him responding to either the command or the hand signal for "sit".
He does have his little quirks, such as the excited-pee and a penchant for chasing the cats. He knows he is not supposed to chase them, and backs off when we give him a little water squirt and the "leave it" command. He still goes after them from time to time, knowing full well he is not supposed to. We are still working on this.
Peachie wants nothing to do with him. She meows angrily at him when he gets to close, then runs away. Hopefully he will learn to leave her alone; old cranky kitties and puppies tend not to be a very good combination.
Mocha, on the other hand, is uncharacteristically good with him. I believe she understands that he is just a baby. He has jumped on her and chased after her, without a single retaliatory action on her part. If he gets too crazy, she just walks away. No scratching, hissing or biting. She even plays with his toys, and he with hers. I think this relationship might end up being a good one.
Caring for a new puppy is still a lot of work; like a baby, minus the sleepless nights of course. But it is well worthwhile, to see all the human and animal members of our family all together and happy.