Hannah Drake

Introducing Benedict

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As you might recall, we adopted a kitten and got a puppy in the same weekend that we moved to a new house. What a wild adventure it has been so far! If you missed the introduction of Eggs, our cat, find it here.

Luke and I have talked about getting a puppy for ages. We talked about it so long, in fact, that instead of saying “Jinx, you owe me a Coke”, we say “Jinx, you owe me a puppy”! I think we owe each other hundreds of puppies at this point, but we’ll just start with the one.

The first task was decided what kind of dog we wanted. My top three was (Mini) Australian Shepherd, Golden Retriever, Border Collie. Luke’s top three was Border Collie, Golden Retriever, Beagle, probably. Since our top three were pretty similar, a golden retriever seemed like a good compromise and it was certainly easier to get here in the UK than a mini Aussie. We ultimately decided that a border collie or a beagle would be too high energy for us.

Once we had decided on a breed (and a name—we’ve had Eggs and Benny’s names picked out for months and months), it was just a matter of timing. I searched online for months and was able to find a breeder that aligned with our own timeline of getting a house. (We weren’t supposed to have pets in our rental.)

We decided to pick her up on August 18th, one day after we moved into the new house, and three days after she was available to go home. We drove about an hour to get her that morning and then spent the day ignoring all the tasks we needed to do around the house and playing with her and loving on her instead.

She’s a really sweet, docile puppy and she took to the kittens quite well, mostly ignoring them for the first week or so. She seems to be a quick learner and very intelligent. She knows her name already. She always gets in her crate immediately after coming inside. She understands “gentle” when trying to play with the kittens. She understands “no”. And she’s completely obsessed with Luke. (Luckily because Eggs likes me a bit more than him, I think. So we’re even.)

On the bank holiday last week, we took her to a friend’s BBQ where she was the absolute centre of attention. She did so great, but it probably helped that she had gotten her first round of shots the day before and was still a little lethargic. Toward the end, she did try to eat a hamburger, but other than that she was very well behaved.

Of course we’re working on house training her right now. She’s not great and some days are better than others. She poops about half a dozen times a day and it’s hard to keep up with her! She chews on stuff that she’s not supposed to sometimes, but we try to switch it out for something she can chew on or play with. We’re trying to only use her name positively, which means resisting the insane urge to shout “BENNY!” when she’s doing something she shouldn’t. We have some slip ups occasionally, but overall we’re pretty good about it and she seems to know and like her name. (We call her Benny all the time, but that doesn’t make her a boy!) She also needs some practice on the leash, but of course she’s just exploring her new world.

Once we’re done with our biggest and most time-consuming house project on our plate right now (re-doing the master bedroom before we have a house guest later this month), we’re going to work more with her on training her for obedience and tricks. We have high hopes for her and she seems like she’s going to be a great family dog for us. She’s definitely a keeper.