From the kitchen, I look out toward our main living space (a bold name for its size) and see toys scattered across the floor. Our snake plant, once my loyal backdrop in yoga videos, is kept safe atop a tall stool. Remnants of sticks and leaves dot the carpet, along with pieces of raw veggies that were discarded by their consumer. My mind says boy I’m sleepy but my heart says I’m overjoyed!
She & Jim have a new puppy.
This little guy, who we fondly call “Buckwheat,” arrived to us just over two weeks ago but it already feels like the norm to see his little body wiggling toward us after a good nap. And how did we get him? The short story is that our landlord said we could get a dog, then I devotedly searched “Petfinder” nearly every hour of every day following (if you know me, this behavior should not be surprising), then I found Buckwheat and his five siblings, and I immediately applied. Less than a week later, the rescue owner brought two pups by our house for an at-home-inspection and an opportunity for us to “match” with the perfect puppy. As I write this, Buckwheat is sitting beside me on the couch. Though choosing between the two puppies seemed like a difficult choice at the time, I truly cannot imagine life unfolding any other way.
And so here we are — She & Jim in full-on parenting mode. We don’t get much rest these days, we are covered in bites, puppy-smell, and scratches (for me, many of these are bumping into things in my sleep-deprived stupor), and we are always learning something new just like Buckwheat is!
For the past two weeks our routine has looked something like… wake up at 5am after at least one potty break during the night. Feed the hungry hungry boy (who has JUST started sitting to wait for his bowl to be placed on the ground) and let him outside. Then we play with him while watching training videos on YouTube, which inspires us to bring out the treats and trying our hands at the skill. The day unfolds with coffee drinking, ball throwing, tugging our hands or shoes out of his mouth, belly rubs, and watching him nap like a little angel (did you know puppies sleep 18-20 hours/day?)!
I’m sure you won’t be surprised to hear that James has been incredibly helpful through the past few weeks as, many a time, he’s needed to take on the full responsibility of puppy parenting when I have to jump into a meeting or flow on my yoga mat while teaching. I’ve heard that James and Buckwheat have an especially good time in the backyard, where they do suicides from end-to-end followed by belly rubs in the grass.
When 2020 started I certainly did not imagine that we would have a four legged friend in our life by July. With the cancellations of all plans, the extra room in our house (no friends visiting, few furniture items purchased, and the extra time on our hands) we realized that there was no time like the present. Though he is still quite small and is not yet able to venture far from our home (as he needs all of his shots first) we know he is going to be a fantastic adventure dog. This little guy’s hound nose could find a stick five feet underground and he’s already discovered two very very old dog bones from the backyard at my cousin’s house. We look forward to hiking, camping, and road trips with Buckwheat. Buckwheat, we have so many fun things to explore with you!
Outside of his adventurous nature, Buckwheat has also impressed us with his gentle side. His BFF is my 2 year old cousin, Olivia, who lives down the street and loves Buckwheat kisses. She has been so kind to him that she even gave him a stuffed lion of hers that she had never played with much. Olivia is expecting the arrival of a baby brother (any day now!!) and this has actually been amazing practice to see how she learns to share with others. We tell her that Buckwheat is a baby and she needs to help him understand some things a bit better, and she has employed a very impressive balance of love and discipline (“Buckwheat NOOO! Don’t eat my waffle!!”).
Additionally, the other day Buckwheat met the 8 month old baby, Owen, of one of James’s friends (also named James) and climbed in the baby pool with him. Before that moment, he had run away from water various times, so this was pretty shocking and sweet to see. I’ll mention that there was also another dog present… but Buckwheat was too scared to play so he chose to be close to the baby instead.
Perhaps one of the most exciting things that’s happened in Buckwheat’s World thus far was a surprise party that my cousins threw. We arrived under the impression we would eat waffles and test different coffees (story for another time). Little did we know that we would arrive to see a “Welcome Buckwheat” banner and that we would eat buckwheat waffles! I mean, these days a surprise puppy party really does help the world go round.
Before summer’s end we hope to road trip back to New Hampshire so that Mango can impart all of his deep wisdom on Buckwheat. We’ll also get to see family, go to Revelstoke, relax in the home I grew up in, and pick up our remaining things that we had planned to gather back in May.
I think Mango and Buckwheat will really hit it off and hopefully he doesn’t cause a stir with the cats (based on puppy play date experiences we’ve witnessed, we’re sure he will quickly be under their command). Since James and I have been taking quarantine seriously by never going anywhere but the grocery store and my cousins’ backyard and keeping our masks always close at hand, road tripping to Bow will feel like a pretty wild escape. We welcome any cross-country-during-quarantine advice — bonus points if you have tips for traveling with a dog/puppy!
And with that I leave you with a final picture. I’m off to see what James and Buckwheat are up to… I think they’ve taken refuge in our bedroom (the only room with AC!).