Happy hump day! I don’t know why but this week is kicking my butt a bit. I’ve been exhausted every day and just not feeling my best. The good news is my grandparents are in town tonight so Alex and I are meeting them for dinner. I can’t wait to see them! Have a great day 🙂
Today’s post is going to be all about Bailey! It’ll cover everything from how we found her, bringing her home, training and adjusting. Alex has had dogs his entire life but I haven’t. This is all new to me and I’m loving it. My phone is already full of pictures and I can’t imagine how it’ll be once it’s a human baby.
How We Found Her And Deciding On A Breed
Alex and I knew we wanted a dog that would eventually be a good family dog and okay with kids. We had a few breeds in mind but a lab seemed like the best option once we did more research on them all. We looked at a few websites that gathered information about dogs in shelters near us as well as different breeders. Alex came across the website Greenfield Puppies. Greenfield allows you to search based on the breed you want and the state you live in.
We searched for a black Labrador retriever in New Jersey and there were none. We tried Pennsylvania since it’s so close and we were okay with driving. A few black lab puppies came up and we decided to get Arnold a male black lab (Bailey is a girl so keep reading for that story). We called the breeder who said Arnold was available and we decided on coming last Friday to meet Arnold and his mom.
Prepping For A Puppy
Alex and I had a list of things we would need for a puppy. We headed to petco and target to grab everything. Walking through the aisles we kept looking at things we thought a boy puppy would love. In our basket we added some blue toys and a hunter green leash and collar. It felt really good to have everything in advance. We had a crate, leash, collar, toys, training treats, bowls and a clicker to help train her. Since we didn’t know what food the breeder was using, we held off on buying that. The only thing we needed was our puppy!
Picking Bailey Up
Friday afternoon, I left work a few hour early (thank you early out hours!) went home to gather a few things we knew we would need right away – the leash, collar and some treats just to entice any dog to like us right away. We made the 2 hour drive to Lancaster, Pennsylvania and pulled up to the house. It was actually in a super pretty country side which was awesome. For those that don’t know, Lancaster has a large Amish population and the breeder ended up being Amish.
We walked to where the dogs were and saw a fairly large black dog. Alex and I must have looked confused because one of the kids told us it was the mom. Alex and I both admitted later on that we thought the mom was Arnold and was extremely big for a 14 week old puppy. Well the mom could not have been sweeter. She came up to us and let us pet her with no issue which was a good sign. We see the only two puppies and they were yellow labs. The father/breeder, Ben, came to meet us and we asked about Arnold. There was a mix up with the website and Arnold was actually a yellow lab. There was still a black lab available but it was a female named Ava. Ben was extremely apologetic and said multiple times that he hoped we didn’t think he was trying to trick us or be deceiving.
One of the kids went and got the black lab. Ava was a little confused at first and a tad shy but so open to Alex and I touching and petting her. The two of us talked about whether we were okay with a female or male dog. It kept going back to Ava though so she quickly became ours. Something about her just screamed that she would be our dog.
To drive home, we brought an old towel that would be in her crate. Alex set our puppy into the towel which was in my lap. I kept petting her on the way home and she was so nervous. She was shaking and her little heart was beating so fast! It was so sad but cute too. Alex and I talked about what we wanted to name her and ended up on Bailey. For a while Toots was having a strong run since she kept farting on the drive home. It was nonstop lol.
The First 24 Hours
When we got home Bailey was very nervous and unsure. She was incredibly timid and Alex and I were starting to think we made the wrong choice. We just reminded ourselves that we took her away from the only home she’s ever known plus she was probably missing her mom. Bailey was fairly okay with walking around our apartment but kept coming back to us. Poor girl always wanted to be right on top of us. It was cute but we could tell she was nervous.
She was so nervous she didn’t eat or drink anything when we first got her home. I don’t even know if she went to the bathroom that night. We put her in the crate when we went to bed and she was so good! There was no whining at all. She just kind of curled up and went to sleep. Bailey did wake us up with whining around 3 am so she could go to the bathroom. Otherwise she slept (or was awake but didn’t bother us) which was really surprising to us. Everything we read and what Alex has experienced said it would be a lot more whining and whimpering at first. Her crate is actually in our bedroom so maybe sensing that we were right there helped that. Honestly, I can’t be sure but it’s a thought I have on it.
The next morning she opened up a little more in front of Alex while I was on my long run. He was texting me updates and I was getting so excited! Slowly she came out of her shell which was making us happy. She still hadn’t eaten so we were trying to figure out how to get her to eat. Alex decided to try a tiny bit of peanut butter on his finger since his parents dog love it. Turns out our Bailey likes it to. He added just the tiniest bit to her food bowl and she ate everything. Woohoo! It meant we didn’t have to return a dog that didn’t eat.
Meeting Other Dogs
Both Alex’s parents and his brother and fiancé own two dogs each. Living so close to them we knew we would have to introduce them all to Bailey. We started with his parents golden retrievers since they’re older and female. Unfortunately we made the mistake of having Bailey outside so the dogs ran out to her. They scared her a bit but she did good. Two unknown large dogs running towards you would be scary for any pup. After a few minutes she was okay and even did a little sniffing of them which made us proud.
Sunday morning, Tucker invited us for a walk in this open property in town for all the dogs to meet. Tucker and Allison has a male yellow lab and a female mutt (mutt because we really don’t know what the breeds in it are) that was a rescue. Unfortunately meeting them didn’t go as planned at first. The dogs were all in leashes but Bailey got scared, peed herself and hid under Alex’s car. Luckily the other dogs lost interest and wanted to play fetch so she got much more brave. She even ran around with them a bit.
Since we just got her and there’s an adjustment for her to get used to our work schedules, training hasn’t really started. Bailey is learning her name a little more each day but that’s about it. She did learn stairs quickly though which is amazing! We live on the second floor so every time we go outside she has to go up and down the stairs. As much as we thought about before getting a dog, stairs was not one of them. Having her be able to go up and down without being carried is amazing. Although sometimes she will stop on her way down to take a break and sit on the steps.
House breaking is going about as well as one could expect. She has peed inside 5 times now but that’s honestly Alex and I’s fault. Once we both left the living room for a second and she took the chance to relieve herself. Thus far no popping inside and no accidents in her crate. We’re still learning her signs for going to the bathroom so it’s a learning process for every party involved.
Starting on Saturday, we slowly added the puppy food I bought to her bowl. In order to not disrupt her digestive system, we started with mostly the food she was used to and added just a little of what we will be feeding her. She had no issues so we increased what we gave her and decreased what Ben used. Slowly we’re changing it all up. She gets about 1/8 cup of her old food and 3/8 cup of our food currently when we feed her. Eventually we’ll get to 1/2 cup of our food for each feeding.
Overall Bailey is the sweetest pup. Watching her attempt to catch the tennis ball inside is hysterical. She hasn’t quite figured out her body yet and bumps her head on furniture a lot. When she runs up to me for cuddles me heart melts. Bailey is the perfect addition to our little family. Before we brought her home I thought I had what I needed. Boy was I wrong though. Bailey hasn’t been in our lives a full week and I can’t imagine life without her now. It’s safe to say, Alex and I are now obsessed dog parents.
Question of the day: Any puppy tips we should know?