VBB central is pleased to report the incipient arrival of a new puppy. Squee! Yes, it's true. We may be cynical heartless bitches & bastards on the outside, but deep within our crispy outer shell lies the warm & squishy heart of a puppy-lover.
Puppies. Soft and warm.
That delicious puppy breath.
I just love puppies.
It's been a long time since VBB central has had a puppy. Funny how it feels - I see puppies at work all the time - in fact they are usually the high point of my day - and I could tell you my standard puppy spiel in my sleep - but now that one is coming home with me, well - I'm kind of freaked out. This is my first puppy since vet school!
I've had dogs all my life until recently. When my last dog died - well, he was sorely missed, but I was busy with starting life with children and moving and all kinds of major life changes. I didn't have time for a puppy. I lived vicariously through the dogs of friends and family members. I've watched somewhat enviously as new puppies have entered the lives of many of my loved ones in the past mumbledy-mumble years, and recently we decided to take the plunge. Everyone in the VBB household is now old enough to contribute in some way to the care of the dog, and even to read a book about dog behavior and training (BTW: I like Sophia Yin's dog training books, and Ken Martin's training book has a lot of great information about dog socialization periods and positive training methods, etc).
So, I'm approaching this new addition with excitement and fear. While I've had dogs before, and even hand-raised puppies before (although this new puppy hasn't been prematurely separated from its mother), no one expected me to know it all before - now, everyone expects me to know everything. Of course I'm confident in matters of puppy health and medical care, but when it's your own puppy, you second guess everything. Or maybe I should say, *I* second guess everything. Because I do second-guess myself when it comes to my own pets. I know some vets who will happily provide all the medical care for their own pets, including emergency surgeries. I am not one of those vets. I know some other vets who won't even give their own cat a distemper shot. I am also not one of those vets. I am somewhere in the middle, but definitely tending toward the side of wanting a second opinion on anything potentially serious. That said, my anxiety at this time is not really about the puppy's health. I can handle that. It's more about the puppy's emotional and social health. I want to raise a good canine citizen, and I haven't done this in a long time. Hopefully, it's like riding a bicycle - after all, my last three dogs turned out great.