Mr Tilly was the seventh, and final puppy to be born in a litter that entered the world on 13th July 2017. All were boys. He was ‘the runt’ weighing in at a tiny 213gms.
He’s still the runt. We picked him up yesterday afternoon from a suburb in Perth. He was the first of the seven to be picked up. We’d only seen a photo of him, so wondered how easy he’d be to identify. Seven exuberant puppies, all the same age and from the same litter, yet all so different – and yes, he was easy to pick out. He’s so, so tiny.
He’s too young yet to have completed all his vaccinations, so Parvo virus is a real threat. We knew we couldn’t stop at our usual ‘pit stop’ to take advantages of a loo break for both us, and for him. It’s too well frequented by other dogs, so the risk of contact with such a deadly and highly contagious disease couldn’t be risked.
We didn’t know how he’d go during the three hour car trip to get home, and didn’t know if we’d be able to spot a suitable, safe looking pit stop for him. We prepared ourselves and the car for mis-haps. Paul drove, and I sat in the back with Mr Tilly secured in his travel harness. We covered the back seat with a waterproof drop sheet, and I covered myself in big beach towels. He travelled peacefully the whole way snuggled up on my knee, apart from one little spell with a bit of whimpering about half way. We did spy a country side- street that looked like it wouldn’t be a place well frequented by other dogs, so we were able to give him a breather. He promptly did what he was supposed to do, and we were immediately able to continue our journey.
I’m happy to say he didn’t seem to suffer any motion sickness, and no in-car incidents. In fact the motion of the car seemed to lull him off to sleep, which is a reassuring sign for future travel.
Home safe and sound, so time for a bit of exploring before bedtime. With half of the house off limits for now, it didn’t take him long to give the remainder of our little house the once over. He ate a bit of dinner, and settled down well for the rest of the evening.
He didn’t seem to be too daunted by all the changes until bed time, at which time it seemed to hit him that he didn’t have his six siblings to snuggle with. We set him up as well as we could, and followed advice to ignore his crying and whimpering. He woke up distressed three times throughout the night. What a performance! For such a little guy, he sure can make himself heard, and ignoring him wasn’t easy. We buried our head under the blankets, and I’m pleased to say he settled down reasonably quickly after each bout.
At five this morning we thought it best to call it a night, and we let him start his day. I’ve gotta say, he was ecstatic to be allowed up on ‘the big bed’. Our last dog Sophie (who’s been gone for well over 20 years now) slept the last few years of her life on our bed. She knew she had to behave well for the privilege, and we enjoyed having her snuggled into our backs. I’m sure that once we’re sure Mr Tilly’s well house trained he’ll most likely get to enjoy the same. But that’ll come a little later, after the ‘order of the pack’, and house training is well established.
Today he’s had a few firsts with us:
I must say he gave that chicken neck a good going over. I’m sure having one of them a few times a week is going to help with teething, and keeping his gums healthy.
A few good games of ‘tug’ with two of his toys well suited to the purpose. He loves that, and is strong for the size of him.
We heard our neighbour’s grandson, Mitch, visiting. So, we carried him over to introduce him. He loved that, as did Mitch, and Mitch’s mum, and Mitch’s Nan and grandad.
After that, we carried him down to take a look at the sea. Once his vaccinations are up to date I’m sure he’s going to spend a lot of time down there. Labradoodles are supposed to love the water, so what better place for him to live than a couple of hundred metres from the shores of Geographe Bay. For now though, he can only experience it from the safety of our arms. He looked interested.
He met a few people while we were out who stopped to say hello as we walked with him, and he seemed happy enough to allow people to give him a welcome pat.
When we came home we gave the lounge a bit of once over with the vacuum to see how he’d go with that – no problems. He’s had an adventurous 24 hours and is now clearly tired and in need of good long nap. He has been nodding off, but will only do so if we’re in very close proximity, at our feet and on the cold ceramic tiles. We’ve been trying to get him to stay in his bed, but he won’t have a bar of that – it’s too far away from us. I’m sure he’ll sleep enough though to get him through the day, and hopefully by tonight he’ll be so exhausted that he’ll snuggle up to his soft toys and won’t fret to much for his canine family.
We’re delighted with him. I’m sure within a few days he’s going to be adjusting well to us too. He’s soft and cuddly, and doesn’t object to lots of snuggles. Travelling will be very different with a dog, and life will definitely be very different with a puppy. I think it’s going to be a pleasure. (let’s hope I still think so after the next couple of nights). I’ll give you an update in a few days to let you know how we’re all coping…..