Even if you grow up with dogs, if you have never raised a puppy, you underestimate the amount of time and energy this takes.

Don’t misunderstand me – Finnegan has been a joy to have, and both Chris and I are thrilled to have him in our lives. However, trips to the dog park, being either tied to the apartment or to places where we can bring him along, and the separation anxiety that goes along with crate training have been draining.

Because we live in an apartment building, crate training has been that much more slow-going. We have it so, if I sleep on the couch near the crate, he does not complain too much. It is better than, say, sleeping on the floor, which I was doing just a few nights ago. The trainer we met with, Jody Diehl, said that this sort of graduated training was a good idea. So, we have his KONG stuffed with goodies as we train him to love his crate … so, ultimately, I’ll get a full night’s sleep in the bed, and we can leave the apartment without worrying about him carrying on like a banshee.

While I realize this is standard for puppies in general, there are two important things to consider: 1. We have neighbors – both in the building and, because we live in a brownstone that abuts another brownstone, next door. They would not appreciate the banshee howls on a steady diet, particularly at, say, 1am. 2. Finnegan was left in a cardboard box, with his brother, in the driveway of the rescue. This does not exactly help with standard puppy separation anxiety.

There is, of course, 3. Roscoe does not like the crying. The few times he’s been subjected to it for an extended period of time (an hour, at most, I think), he has given me this look as if to say, “Yup. It’s crying. Loudly. WHY did you bring this thing to come live with us?”

So, we have taken some pretty drastic measures to minimize the crying (or, at least, contain it to hours where people will not be as annoyed by it). Unfortunately, this means the “harder route,” which means NOT letting him just “cry it out” for a few days/nights until he gets used to it. Jody tells us that the “harder route” (as I’m calling it) is the better route, which makes sense, and makes me glad that we are doing it this way, even if it was not initially our first choice.

But, it is tiring. Hence why the posts have slowed down.

One of these days, I will post cute puppy pictures. I need to get some exceptionally cute shots, so Matt Baumgartner picks Finnegan for the Friday Puppy. 🙂

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