Is There A Dog Doula in the House?
A newborn is a newborn is a newborn, right? It’s to be expected to be on “high alert” for signs and symptoms of this or that. Feedings, crying, sleepless nights, etc etc etc. One of the favorite things of being a doula is allowing parents to sleep into the wee hours of the night peacefully, and waking up refreshed and ready to take on the day. Especially since I no longer have newborn nights in my home. Until recently…when we welcomed a puppy!
This is Tinkerbell. The newest member of the Fanning Family.
At 8 weeks old, a German Shepherd pup from The Animal Foundation, joined our family tugging on the leash and darting left and right as we loaded her up into the vehicle on her trek to her forever home. I’ve had puppies before, and newborns for that matter, so how did I forget all of the “newborn” phases.
And where’s MY doula?!?!
The first night went as what one would expect. Tinkerbell whined and barked throughout the night as we implemented crate training. Potty breaks every 3 hours as the hours rolled on (and she went each time!). The constant redirecting from biting, chewing, and jumping. This routine went on for weeks. Throw in 4 school-aged children to get ready and off for school each morning, picking up and participating in after school activities, and a business where you have to be keen every moment. This doula was exhausted.
Again…where’s that doula?!
This thought played over and over in my head as the days passed into weeks. It would be so comforting to have a dog doula knowing that Tinkerbell was being well loved and taken care of; while I slumbered to be my best self the next day. I would revel in the fact that Tink would be taken out for her potty breaks long before covering herself in her excrement. The doula would have educated that too-many-treats given as a training reward would cause the heinous 36 hours of diarrhea. I could feel relief in knowing that Tinkerbell was being played with, exercised, and trained while I worked close by.
At 12 weeks, Tinkerbell has settled in quite perfectly into the family. I’m thrilled to report she is 100% housebroken, crate trained, and is enrolled in puppy classes! The time given and the expenses paid for me to be the best Pup Mom to Tinkerbell has been worth it. Our family is setting up the best foundations for our forever together.