In case you don’t follow my Instagram or Twitter accounts, our beautiful new puppy came home last Saturday! Freyja (pronounced Fray-ah…Nathan threw a silent J in there just so all the other dogs would tease her when she’s older. KIDDING. It’s the traditional spelling!) is our 9 week old bundle of fur. She’s a daniff, also known as a mastidane (also known as a miniature horse), which is a cross between a Great Dane and a Mastiff. I wrote about her name here, if you’d like to know more about what it means and where it came from. We also chose a middle name for her, Jayne, which is in honor of one of our favourite Firefly characters. Nerdy awesomeness! Plus, Freyja Jayne sounds so adorable, and apparently we love the letter ‘y’.
I came into this new puppy thing imagining the cuddles, the kisses, the lazy Netflix naps, the far-fetched concept of ‘lack of sleep’ (how bad could it possibly be?), and the sounds of little footsteps following closely behind me. I also expected to feel frustrated, be challenged and to grow into the change, because yeah, a new puppy is hard work! What I didn’t expect was the anxiety, the tears, and the not so far-fetched concept of ‘lack of sleep’ turning me into a zombie. Oddly enough, it feels exactly like having a new baby, as many moms have told me! This past week has been a rollercoaster of every emotion you can think of.
The most overwhelming emotion of course, is love. I’m so in love with Freyja that I just want to squish her wrinkly face and shower her nose with kisses every chance I get.. But then again, please tell me I’m not the only one that experienced a few fleeting thoughts in the first few days of ‘Is it too late to take her back?’. For some reason I got really anxious about not sleeping, putting Freyja in a kennel, and hearing her howl. The lack of sleep made every potty mistake seem like the end of the world. Freyja’s hyper fun time playing and running extravaganza with tiny needle teeth daggers tearing at my limbs made me want to curl into a ball, but not really because then she’d start chewing and yanking on my hair.
As a perfectionist, training a new puppy is kind of fun, when you have the right perspective. Freyja is just like her mama…bribe her with treats and she’ll do anything you ask, haha. It’s really cool to see how quickly she picks up on things. The biggest lessons for me in all of this are patience, positivity, and persistence. The 3 P’s! I’ve had to cut myself some slack as well. I thought I’d be better with training, that I’d be great at it. Turns out, Freyja is training me just as much as I’m training her. The first few days were an absolute nightmare for everyone, but I’m happy to say that we’re almost a week in, and we are doing great!
I think at this stage in the game, my saving grace will be this new puppy house training schedule that I put together, to track eating, sleeping, accidents, and #1 and #2 activity (yeah, I’m talking about poop!). To really get to know Freyja and how her little body works will help both Nathan and I avoid accidents in the house, which, yay! If you’ve got a new puppy, give it a try. I was inspired by one that I saw over at the The Housebreaking Bible, which, by the way, is a ridiculously useful website for all things puppy training related.
So many sleeping pictures, because that’s the only time that she is still! If you want to see more of Freyja, she’s got her own Instagram account (yeah, I’m one of THOSE dog moms now!), and you can follow her adventures and shenanigans at @freyjathedaniff!