puppy power

To those of you who are considering the pros and cons of moving four small children and a minivan across the world, I have a few simple pieces of advice. First, if you think you’re smart enough to learn a new language during your free moments between potty training and short order cooking, you’re not.

Second, German locals and police officers take their laws kind of seriously so don’t let the old lady at the end of the street see you talking on your cell phone while driving (this includes your BlueTooth).

And lastly, whatever you do, don’t be stupid and get a dog.

Like most honest hypocrites I like to dish out advice that I have no intention of following. It’s like watching myself ration cookies out to the children and wondering why I don’t apply that same simple calorie counting logic to myself. Where’s my mother when I need her?

Because my husband is quietly persuasive and I’m prone to excitement, I have recently succumbed to the pressure and thrown myself head first onto the current family bandwagon campaign–it’s either that or let them outnumber me. Either way, we’re getting a dog.

On the pro side of things, I know what I’m getting myself into. When I was pregnant with June five years ago we had a darling Goldendoodle puppy. I loved that darn dog more than just about anything. He was gentle and obedient and despite his stiletto addiction (I am still trying to rebuild my collection), he was totally worth the effort. I had no idea how much sweeping I was avoiding until he left us; he was hit by a car and we lost him after a short year. Worst experience ever.

On the flip side, this means I have to potty train someone again. I was hoping that Georgia would be my last. Frankly, I have no intention of even attempting toilet issues with her until she’s old enough to inquire after the flushing mechanism and discuss the pro’s and con’s of bleach tablets.

But getting a puppy means having another kid to train, and that responsibility is all mine. However, we’ll most likely be here half a decade and if we wait until we’re back in the states our boys will miss years of animal husbandry training.

And hey, we need to find some way to move Rex (6) from his stuffed animal fairyland into the land of living, breathing creatures. Getting a dog might convince him that there’s more to life than inanimate objects, even if they are soft and cozy and totally compliant.

Last month we made the shortlist for a litter of mini goldendoodles cooking up in the UK. They’re hard to find and my husband is determined that we need a brown one. It was the first advertised batch that looked like it might fit his high demands so we’ve been waiting with baited breath.

Totally honest? I feel like we’re getting a baby. The mother was due this week and I’ve been walking around nesting and feeling way too many sympathy pains. We’ve been completely convinced that this was it. When the email came today that the puppies were here I did a happy dance all across the kitchen…until I read that none of them were brown females and all of them have gone to other families.

So defeated.

Don’t ask me how I’m going to break it to June that Angelina Cupcake Sparkles Unicorn Rainbow was not, in fact, born this week. I’ll also have to inform Rex that Lisa wasn’t born either. Harrison will have to kiss his visions of throwing the ball to Shelly goodbye for now, and I’m going to have to go ahead and invest in a new mini broom and dustpan.

I was hoping this broom would come with a hypoallergenic coat. No such luck.




  1. You are braver than me. I’m all about a dog in the house. We have a black lab that is absolutely my boyfriend. He follows me everywhere I go, and melts my heart with his incredible big brown eyes. BUT… we adopted him when he was two years old. He came fully house trained, which made it all the easier to fall in love with him quickly. Puppies are adorable, but oh my. Puppy potty training makes me want to crawl into a hole and cry. Having said that, I am convinced that the lab/retriever/doodle category of dog is the best on the planet for families. I hope you find your perfect pup soon. 🙂

  2. They totally grab your heart. And that is why I am willing to feed Mr. T in a trashcan. Do they have short buses for dogs?

  3. Kristina’s comment totally made me laugh out loud! I swore I’d never get a dog but you know how that went. Potty training sucks for sure. We’re finally seeing the light at the end of that canine tunnel. And yes, I love that damn dog.

    • Hopefully you and Nathan are doing your training sessions with sweet Coco! Potty training shouldn’t take so long!! 🙁 I am glad she is getting better though.

  4. Angelina Cupcake Sparkles Unicorn……now, did Kristina suggest that name.

  5. I have to be a know it all and enter the conversation. This is what my husband does for a living—dog training. He has DVDs that people buy from all the around the world, he does skype trainings with people all around the world, has a huge business here in Utah, radio shows, etc. My point? I promise we know what we are talking about. And that the lady down the street with her dog training advice kinda doesn’t. Can you tell it drives me bonkers when people come up to me and tell me all about how they know everything about dog training? Nutso I tell you. Anyways, I will totally send you the training DVDs to my friend in Germany:) I have a bunch of copies sitting on my desk. It IS like having a baby during the potty training stage/manners stage. I am glad you totally get that. Also that even if you have all your kids promising to train the dog/take care of the dog that it totally is coming back to you 😉 Plus with training a dog it really should be an adult’s job anyways. We adore dogs but they really are SO much work in the beg.

  6. I had never looked into that breed of dog until I saw one at my friends house a few weeks ago – he is adorable! We had just adopted a puppy so I will have to wait, but oh my, I want one in a big way. A sweet dog that doesn’t shed, is big enough not to be stepped on in the house, and small enough to fit in a house that is stuffed w/ adorable kids. Perfect. Now I see them and hear about them everywhere! We have a cocker/mini shepherd mix. He’s so cute! We’re just coming out of the potty training, it’s been at least a week with no accidents – woohoo. A bit on the mouthy side which is making me crazy trying to break. I need to track Vanessa down, I live in UT and I have some manners-training questions! 🙂
    I hope you find your puppy soon – and I can’t wait to hear all about it! At least you won’t have to find a sitter while on Spring Break! 🙂