I’m sitting here in my bed upstairs writing this post because it is the one place I can get work done in peace. I have been handling being quarantined before there was a quarantine/social distancing situation. How is that possible, Ashley? Glad you asked. It was all because of the surgery that I had recently, which I feel fully recovered from now and because we got a new puppy 2 months ago. The vet told us to keep him away from other dogs until he got all his vaccines to avoid him getting sick. Also to keep him in a safe place that is free of other dogs. The only place where that existed was in our apartment because we have a VERY dog friendly community. If you aren’t up to speed the puppy’s name is Jack Jack. And let me tell you he definitely has multiple personalities.
He’s the adorable little beagle from “Cats & Dogs” and then two seconds later he’s Kudjo from “Sandlot” haha. Now I am new to being a fur parent so my expectations were way off. I’m sure that’s common for new timers. Well, I expected him to have energy, but not run from one part of the apartment to the other as fast as he can bark and run to the other side and do it all over again. What the heck?
Well after some digging, I found out that what he was doing is what dog lovers call the zoomies. Before I knew what they were I thought that we broke him. Turns out he just had more energy than we thought and not being able to run around had gotten to him. Well it got to me too because I was scared he was cracking so what did I do? I tried to reorganize and clean the apartment.
That was a learning experience on its own. Here’s what I did:
- Took my sewing bookshelf and removed all the items.
- Added said items to our larger bookshelf while also removing items for goodwill or that needed to be trashed.
- Unplugged and removed all items from our tv stand and moved it to the side.
- Pushed the old bookshelf to the living room and reorganized the devices and DVDs on it.
- Next I took one of our nightstands hanging under the stairs and moved that out.
- I pushed the old book case we had in the dinning room under the stairs and then put the night stand in front of it (until we could put it in storage.
- I then used my blue chair to hold the doggie gate against the couch (total mistake I’ll explain later. I ended up changing it).
- And then I moved my desk together in an L shape against the wall and put my sewing storage unit underneath.
- Finally, I vacuumed and cleaned the floors and the couch. I still have more to do, but here is the progress so far.
Why did I go through all of this drama? Well there was not enough room for JJ (Jack Jack), my husband, who is now working from home and myself. We were stepping all over each other literally. For someone who has worked at home for over 5 years you better believe I had a routine and it had totally been interrupted with their unpredictability. So this was a way for me to feel in control of my life. When you feel out of control you spiral and start to snap at others which I saw happening so I made a decision to make a change.
That was great for me, but initially not so great for the puppy. I had to put him in his kennel to avoid him getting hurt, but all the moving and sounds were freaking him out. I couldn’t let him out until I was finished because it was more dangerous than before the move so I squeezed his toys in the crate and made sure he had water as he already ate.
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When I finally let him out he went on a rampage sniffing everything. I realized that for him he knew what everything smelled like and where is was and I changed his whole world. That can be nerve recking for a being that needs consistency. I know now that I have to make changes slowly. I thought I would share some insight for anyone who is considering being a first time beagle parent, so here’s what I got:
- Set up your home BEFORE you bring a dog into it. We got JJ on a whim when we saw him in the shelter, so we didn’t have time.
- Research dog breeds to see if their personality and activity level will match yours. My husband is a couch potato meaning he loves to play his video games and sit on the couch, but JJ can’t sit still unless he’s exhausted. It has taken some getting used to.
- Read Cesar Milan’s books “How to Raise the Perfect Dog Through Puppyhood and Beyond“. It was gifted to me and has been a great read. It will help you learn patience to understand what your pet is going through like teething. In our situation, JJ looks for anything made out of wood to chew on including chair legs so understanding why he did that and how to give him an alternative was important.
- Don’t create barriers that your pup can figure out how to beat by climbing over your furniture. Unless you don’t mind him or her on your furniture. We’re still working on that one. I put my chair again the couch and he climbed the couch and would slide down the chair even if I had it full of things, lol.
- Be cautious of separation anxiety from your pet. Beagles are naturally Velcro dogs, top that off with being separated from its mom and siblings at 8 weeks, not being weaned by its mother, and adopted the next day, um talk about abandonment issues.
- Be prepared for your beagle to howl. They was very vocal dogs because they were used for hunting in the past.
- Tire them out before a walk so they are less likely to pull on the leash looking for a new scent to follow. You can also try an harness which you may have to buy more than once as they grow.
- They are stubborn and ONLY respond to treats and belly and back scratches.
- Make sure your partner is reading up about the dog as well. It will take some burden off of you if you guys are working together to train your puppy. It eliminates confusing the puppy when giving commands. Still working on this one. Now I just find videos for my husband to watch since he refuses to read. He likes straight to the point data.
- For puppies that will be large dogs be sure to get the larger potty training pads because they “eliminate” like grown dogs, lol.
- Put up a doggie gate before you get a puppy so it knows boundaries.
- Make sure the dog’s play pen is sturdy for when you can’t watch them.
- Get plenty of toys made out of out different material so he or she doesn’t chew up your furniture.
- Beagles like to sleep at your feet so make sure they have a blanket for when the floor is cold.
- Practice crate training early to help your puppy get used to you leaving the house or even room. And if he’s still anxious try these hemp & valerian root calming treats. You may have to mix them with his or her food or mix it with peanut butter. They are duck flavored which is an acquired taste.
- Have puzzles to keep him or her stimulated and even freeze the treats in the puzzle to keep the pup occupied. You can get a good 30-45 minutes to yourself this way.
- Invest in a sound machine. My mom sent us one and it totally helps drown out the outside world so your puppy can sleep peacefully. We even fell asleep to it a few times, lol.
- And finally make sure you take care of you, by scheduling your meal or break time with your puppy’s schedule so he learns when to sit quietly while you do what you need to do.
And that’s it for now. I hope you found this advice helpful if you decide to add a dog to your family. With him all over the place I haven’t done any sewing, but I plan to now that we have a plan in place. Don’t forget to make time for you and what makes you happy.
Until next time…