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Life With A Puppy (Update)

April 26, 2019

We’ve done it! We survived year 1 with a puppy…


Mavis Gravy Boat McLean celebrated her first birthday a couple of weeks ago, and like the psycho dog parents we are, we had a little party! I whipped together some pup-cakes and she had a play date with a few of her doggy friends. She may not have understood what was going on, but it was a moment I appreciated and will remember.

Mavis 1st Birthday Cupcake

Now, we brought her home when she was three months old, so technically we’ve only survived nine months. And boy has it been an interesting nine months! You may remember I did a similar post when she was just a puppy. If you missed it, click here. But I thought now was a good time to update you all on our experience as first time dog parents.

Life With A Puppy UpdatePhoto by April from Walking On Paw Nine

First let’s talk about the good…

The amount of love this dog gives is amazing, and the adoration I have for her is just as strong. I never really understood how people could be so obsessed with their pets…until I got one of my own. And obsessed is probably an understatement. My heart hurts when I’m away from her. I think about her at least 10 times a day. I long for the moment to come home and cuddle her silky soft head.

Life With A Puppy Update

She has such a kind and gentle soul, with a fierce bark, which I truly believe has scared the living shit out of our Purolator guy. Oddly, he never requires a signature anymore and doesn’t even bother knocking when he leaves a package on our doorstep.

For those who don’t know her, she’s definitely an intimidating dog horse. Which I appreciate because she makes me feel safe.

Life With A Puppy UpdatePhoto by April from Walking On Paw Nine

She now weighs 69lbs and is past my knees in height. I always tell people I don’t have to bend over to pet her back, and when she puts her front paws on my shoulders (for hugs) she’s as tall as me. I often get asked why we didn’t crop her ears or tail, when people mistake her for a Doberman. Her colourings are very similar and she has the same tall, slender body. But the floppy ears are 100% Transylvanian Hound and soft as hell! I could never imagine her without them! They’re also super reflective of her personality. She’s dopey, naive,  total klutz (kind of like her Mom and Dad), and the cutest freaking thing I ever did see. Of course, I’m bias…

Life With A Puppy Update

Life With A Puppy UpdatePhoto by April from Walking On Paw Nine

Life With A Puppy Update

Now imagine her lanky body while lying in bed. Yep (I’ll leave it up to you to decide whether it’s a good thing or a bad thing). Mavis sleeps smack dab in the middle of us every night. I wake up in the morning and her feet are at the base of our bed, her head is lying on either one of our pillows, and I can hear her front nails clawing at the headboard. Some nights she’ll choose to sleep on her own bed on the ground beside us and wait until early morning to sneak up for some spooning. But the majority of the time, she wiggles her way in the crack between our bodies (on our queen bed…which used to feel large…and now feels like a twin). I’m eating my words for once saying I would never need a king bed. I do need a king bed. I REALLY DO!

Life With A Puppy Update

Life With A Puppy Update

At first it drove us absolutely nuts! I would get a paw smack dab in the face in the middle of the night. Or wake up choking because her head was pressed over my neck. She’ll stretch herself out and sometimes push me to the outer limits of our bed. But now we’re used to it and most nights we actually encourage her to join us. She’s THE BEST spooner. Literally!

Life With A Puppy Update

Life With A Puppy Update

It has been so fun to watch her personality shine more and more every day. I share lots of pup-dates on my Instagram, so be sure to follow me @beauty_by_birdy to see all the funny things she does. Or the chaos she causes, because as much as I’ve loved raising her, there have been moments that have tested my limits. Which brings me to the second portions of this post…

Let’s talk about the bad…

We’ve had many health related challenges along the way:

  1. She got Kennel Cough when she was around six months old and it lasted nearly a month!
  2. The glands in her rear end got super full, and lovely and red…and needed to be expressed.
  3. She had a cyst on her pee pee.
  4. She had puppy pimples around her mouth.
  5. She suffers from “growing pains” (or so we think) and will often limp for a week…such a lank!
  6. She fractured one of her front legs.

That last one was the worst! The piercing wails that came out of her body were unlike any whining I had heard before. She couldn’t put any pressure on her leg to walk, or even lay down. She even howled if we picked her up and tried to move her. It was heartbreaking!

Life With A Puppy Update

The injuries and medical needs have subsided the last little while (thank goodness and knock on wood!) but there was a period of time when we visited the vet at least once a month. It’s safe to say our bank account was not happy about it, and it was also slightly exhausting and frustrating for us.

We’ve also had some minor puppy training hurdles. It’s our own fault, as we somewhat boycotted taking her to puppy school and took it upon ourselves to teach her the basic commands. She knows sit. She knows how to shake both paws (very important). She stays (for the most part). She can lay down. Her recall works (sometimes). But she has yet to learn that it’s BAD to chew our belongings. First it started with socks, and then the odd item around the house. Toilet paper, a wicker basket, the rug. Then she started to destroy our boots. The last straw was…our couch. R.I.P.

Life With A Puppy

I think we were naive to think she was a well behaved dog, as we felt guilt for putting her in her cage with a cone on her head after getting her spayed. We let her have free roam of the house when she was just six months old. She did amazing for the first little while! We would leave something playing on Netflix for her and I’m pretty sure she would just sit and watch the TV the whole time we were gone.

Life With A Puppy = Ruined Couch

But then she got older. And stubborn. And bored. And turned into a BIG SHITHEAD!

Sure, it was super frustrating that she gnawed the arm off our fairly new couch. But it’s nothing a blanket can’t cover. However, we have learned that Mavis is still just a puppy and can’t be trusted to roam the house while we’re gone. For now, she’s back in the dungeon cage until she proves to be a little more responsible. Sounds like I’m talking about a teenager, doesn’t it?

That’s just it though. This fur ball has become my child. I worry about her, just as much as a mother does for her son or daughter. I’m trying not to be THAT MOM that panics any time she shakes her head or licks her paw. But I just love her so much! She’s one of the best spur of the moment decisions Dev and I have ever made.

Life With A Puppy - Dog Mom

Life With A Puppy Update



  • Pamela Fisher

    June 13, 2019 at 4:55 PM

    But she’s sooo cute Mom!!

    1. Beauty by Birdy

      June 17, 2019 at 4:38 PM

      Oh yes…those puppy eyes could get away with murder.

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