Introducing Ivy – a toddler and a Puppy, am I insane?

It’s been a while since my last personal update, so I wanted to share the latest family news with you. In February we decided to get a puppy and Ivy was added to our family. I had been reticent about getting a puppy with a toddler (William is three in a month) for lots of reasons. In fact, many rescues won’t even rehome dogs, especially puppies, to families who have children under six years old and they have perfectly valid reasons for making that decision.

For us though, the loss of our German Shepherd Skye, when William was one, was a massive hole in my life. I knew I couldn’t cope with a puppy and an infant and it didn’t make sense in our old living situation, but now that William is in nursery 3 days a week and I work from home, as well as the fact that we moved into our new house a few months ago, I started thinking about it more and more and finally made the decision to just go for it. It just so happened that I was talking to a friend (who also has a German Shepherd) about maybe getting a puppy in the future, and I did a quick search for breeders in the area and found a breeder with a puppy ready to go in 4 days time, less than an hour away. It felt like it had just fallen into place.

It’s definitely not a decision for everyone, but I’ve had a dog myself every day since I was 6 years old, so these two years without a dog have made life seem very different for me.

So meet Ivy, German Shepherd extraordinaire!

Ivy at 8 weeks when she joined us
Ivy at 12 weeks

We have had her for four weeks now and oh my God do they grow fast! She had doubled in weight between those pictures, which is crazy! It has been a tough and often stressful four weeks, as anticipated. Puppies have claws, don’t understand commands, have poor boundaries, are over excitable, are extremely bitey (not in an aggressive way, but still, with very sharp teeth), aren’t house trained, chew everything, etc. etc.

But this isn’t my first rodeo, we already have a billion stair gates up and who could resist those big brown eyes! Puppies are also a lot of fun and she’s added a great deal to our life already. She’s just had her final vaccinations and I’m looking forward to lots of long walks with her, which should help get the whole family out of the house and into the fresh air more, but especially myself. I don’t drive, work from home and in all honesty, don’t really have many local friends. This often leads to me feeling isolated, spending days whilst William is at nursery and my husband is at work sitting at my PC without speaking to anyone, except the cats, who aren’t great conversationalists. Having a dog has always motivated me when it comes to fresh air and exercise and I’m sure Ivy will, we’ve already signed up for a 5km charity walk next month!

William is not a huggy child at all – he doesn’t really like to touch things. He’s grown up with three cats and has still never tried to pick one up. He will occasionally stroke one for a second, and he loves it when our ragdoll licks his fingers (what a weirdo, both of them), but he doesn’t even hug his stuffed toys. Therefore he hasn’t really wanted to touch the puppy at all and is happy to throw her ball over the stairgate and feed her treats. He always asks where she is and when she whines because she’s shut up he will say “Ivy’s sad!” He is a child of very few words, so it’s great that she’s encouraging him to talk a bit.

Ivy loves William a bit too much, she will jump up on him and has mouthed him with her teeth which of course he doesn’t like at all, so they only interact very carefully when I’m immediately to hand, otherwise I keep them separate. This has worked well for us with a stair gate into the kitchen, and she’s never gone upstairs yet as the stairs are gated. As much as I’d love to sleep with a puppy on the bed, we decided it was best if she doesn’t get into that habit – because our old German Shepherd used to kick us off the bed when she stretched out!

So far everyone is safe and happy (except for the cats, who currently hate my guts for bringing this monster in their home), she’s booked in for her first training class this week and life is busy, chaotic and messy, but already more fulfilling.

Looking forward to lots of family adventures to come! You’ll probably see more dog-friendly posts over the next year here as I plan to explore what’s good for dogs in South Wales, take her on holiday, and try lots of different treats and toys that I’ll want to share.

Don’t forget to follow me on Instagram for more photos on a regular basis!

So what do you think, is getting a puppy with a three year old a good idea, or absolutely insane?

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