It's been now almost two weeks with my new dog, and I figure it is time for an update to those who haven't seen my updates on Facebook.
My new puppy's name is Rocco. He's a French bulldog and this week he will be 10 weeks old. I have a dog walker who sees him twice daily, and send me text messages on how he's holding up. I am doing crate training, and not using wee-pads. He's usually not alone longer than 4 hours.
The first week, he was waking up around 2-3am, and needing to be walked. The last couple of days he has slept through the night, and even this morning was fast asleep when my alarm went off at 6:45am.
He's a very smart doggie. Took only a few days to teach him to respond to "Rocco" and to learn the command "sit". I have scheduled some puppy training from Joana Watsky in a few weeks, to go over what I need to know about raising a puppy. I have been getting a ton of advice from my two sisters, also. My one sister has raised 6 seeing eye dogs, and my other sister has had about 5 different dogs over her lifetime, some rescues and some from breeders.
Rocco's a puppy, and he gets a lot of attention on walks. But, as a puppy, I can't really take him on super-far walks. Our greatest walk was walking from my condo at Newark and Willow over to Church Square Park on 4th and Willow. He had fun chasing pigeons at 7am on Sunday morning. I don't bring him into the dog run yet, because he's not done with his shots yet. He and I have been running into a few problems on walks. He's a bit stubborn, and I expected this before he arrived. We have been working through this by using some tough love (translation: I walk slow, shuffle my feet and keep my leash fixed to my side. He resists a bit, but eventually follows) and a few pieces of kibble when he walks well along side of me. Our normal early evening walk is about a good 30 minute foray, about 10 square blocks or so (maybe walk to 4th street up from Clinton to Park and then along Park back home).
I used Garden State Animal Hospital on 90th and Kennedy in North Bergen for Rocco's care. I won't use the Hoboken Animal Hospital on 6th and Washington after the whole debacle I had with my cat Honey a few years ago (long story short is my cat was misdiagnosed and it cost me $1,500 in unnecessary surgery - also I hear many stories about that particular hospital overcharging pet owners for frivolous things). Others have recommended the Animal Hospital on 6th and Grand. I have a car, and going to Garden State Animal Hospital isn't too far, and the vet there is a specialist in French Bulldogs, so I like that a lot.
He's so far been a very good boy, a few #1 accidents in the condo but I blame myself for not seeing the warning signs fast enough. I'm sure he will get the get the hang of only going outside when his puppy bladder gets bigger and his control is better. I'm taking him out every hour, and 15 minutes after meals & naps.
Every single walk I hear the "Ohhhhh myyyy Godddddd" squeal from a girl who sees Rocco. At first it was funny and I still laugh now, but there are times when i'm just hoping he can go to the bathroom, and have to wave people off. I have been up to Washington Street twice, trying to get Rocco used to people, dogs, sights and sounds. He's been doing very good.
I'm also hoping to find a grass field that is fenced in somewhere in the vicinity where I can take Rocco off leash. If you know of someplace to go (someone suggested Liberty State Park, but I read the rules and it says dogs must be kept on-leash). Have a suggestion? Email me.
Been running into another minor problem with EATING well. Since I have gotten him, my "diet" (not much of a diet, but more about eating right) has been in total flux. Far too often I forget to eat, and I weighed myself the other day and was down 4 pounds between the poor eating and numerous walks. I'm trying this week to get back on track with my diet and exercise, with the last two weeks things have been a bit out of order.
I'll see about getting some new clearer SLR pictures on here in the next week or so.