Although I was the one who fell in love with our puppy Oscar’s picture and it was my idea to go meet him, I have to admit, I had serious doubts about getting a dog at this point in time.
Not only do I already have my hands full with Dylan and Liam, but with Bill’s upcoming work schedule, the bulk of the puppy training/care would be up to me. I wasn’t sure I could do it. But I also wasn’t sure I could bear to leave that puppy behind at the store. I wasn’t sure if the boys would be good with the puppy, but I also knew that I wanted my kids to grow up with pets in the house. I wasn’t sure I was prepared to give up what little precious sleep Liam allows me in order to wake up in the middle of the night and let the puppy out to do his business, but I also somehow felt that he belonged with our family.
In the end, as you know, despite our doubts, we brought Oscar home. And he has been awesome.
The first two or three nights he was home, I set the alarm every three hours to let Oscar out in the yard, but in no time at all he was sleeping through the night without having to go to the bathroom. It helps that we get up with Liam at 4 am, so Oscar doesn’t have to spend that many hours in his crate (incidentally, there was no need to crate train him as he was used to crates in the shelter and at the store and took to his new one right away). During the day, he is doing very well with his potty training. He’s had some accidents, of course, but most of the time he waits until we are outside to go to the bathroom.
Oscar is such a calm dog that the first time I took him to the vet I asked her if she thought there was something wrong with him. He just didn’t seem to act much like a puppy at all. He’s come out of his shell some since then and definitely has some “puppy” moments, but for the most part he is super chill, which balances nicely with our hyper boys.
Dylan and Liam absolutely adore him, of course, and I am amazed at how differently Dylan treats Oscar than he did Aimee. He loved Aimee very much, but his preferred “game” with her was to torment her in some way, as in grabbing a treat and running around the house with it while she chased him around trying to grab it. With Oscar, he is gentle, affectionate, and very responsible. He says Oscar is “his” dog, and that he can’t wait until Oscar is fully potty trained so that he can sleep in Dylan’s room with him. It really warms my heart to see Dylan and Oscar together, and I think Oscar will do Dylan a world of good.
There is still work to be done. Oscar still is unsure about the leash and gets very shy around new people, especially men and other kids. We start puppy training classes soon in the hopes that socializing him will help fix these issues. Overall, though, we know he is very smart and a fast learner – he already knows how to sit and lie down, and we are working on “Stay.”
In the end, I think we made the right decision by adding Oscar to our family. It hasn’t always been easy, but compared to how Aimee was as a puppy, this dog has been a breeze to train. Hopefully he'll continue this way!
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