Last year, we decided we would get a puppy. My husband’s family had always had dogs at home. My family had a dog when I was little. So we decided that after we were married and settled in our new home, we would get a puppy. We did some research and found the best breed to get was going to be a French bulldog. French bulldogs are fairly small dogs, which would work for us so that we could travel with him. They also tend to be dogs that don’t need a lot of exercise (besides at least one or two daily walks) and they are quiet so they are good apartment dogs. We have also found out that they can be quite stubborn.
We went to pick up our little 7 week old brown French bulldog on Saturday, September 6, 2014 with our friend from school. We had to drive about an hour out of Budapest to meet the people we were getting him from. He was the cutest, littlest puppy and he was so sad to leave his family but we were so happy to have him! Hamish was home!
It didn’t take long to realize how much work having a puppy is. There can be numerous comparisons made to having an infant. The first week he was home with us, I also realized that I had no idea what to do with a puppy. If he was going to be left to me (because Niall is at school) to take care of he might be the worst behaved puppy ever. Hamish tended to pee or poo wherever he needed to in the house because we could not take him outside because he did not have all of his shots yet. There was a lot of cleaning up to do. But he certainly loved to sit and cuddle with us and sleep a lot.
Shortly after we got him, I also got a job at school where I would be working full time. We had to find a place for Hamish to be taken care of during the day. We could not leave him alone for more than a couple hours. We managed to find a dog boarder who would pick him on Monday morning and drop him back off on Friday afternoon. We were weekend dog owners! I had no idea I would be that person who brought her dog everywhere and sent him to puppy camp all week! But it was the only solution and so we had to say good-bye to Hamish during the week. We have been doing this for several weeks now and Hamish returns on the weekends happy, hungry, and ready for cuddles. We found out that he has any number of dog friends to play with and cuddle with at night so he gets a bit lonely with us at home.
Training Hamish was initially a big concern mostly because I had no idea how to train a puppy. After being at puppy camp, he has seen some good examples from the big dogs so that helps with the potty training. He is usually able to do his business outside now that we are also taking him out to the park at least 2-3 times per day. He loves running around the park and hanging out with other dogs, who are usually bigger than him and scared of him! When we were finally able to take him outside we got a harness and a leash. We soon learned the stubborn side of Hamish and he refuses to walk on the leash. He will sit down on the sidewalk and not move until we take the leash off. This hasn’t been a huge concern because he does an excellent job of walking behind or beside when we are outside. If he ever strays away then we can easily get him back on track by calling him or giving him a treat.
A couple weeks ago, Hamish got sick and had some intestinal problems. We had to take him to the vet 3 times in 6 days to get him checked and for medicine. After that he seemed to be doing better so off he went back to puppy camp. When he came back, he was a little bit sick again so he got more medicine. For a couple days he was doing well so we took him back to the vet to get his 4th vaccination shot. The next day he was very, very sick. So sick that we had to take him to the vet immediately. He had to have an IV and several shots and more medicine. Luckily he started to feel better very quickly after that and seems to have continued to improve.
Because Hamish was sick and the weather in Budapest got cooler and rainy, Hamish was quite cold when I took him out for a walk one day. I thought he could use some more insulation so I got him a little coat to wear when we went out for walks. The first time he wore the coat was after I gave him a bath and he was shivering so I put the coat on him to keep him warm. I think he might have thought it was a straight jacket because he did not move for at least an hour or two after I bundled him in a blanket and put him in his bed. The next time I put the coat on him was when we were going for a walk. He stood frozen in the kitchen for several minutes with one paw up because I could coax him to the door with a treat. After taking him downstairs and putting him on the sidewalk, he still refused to move so eventually I had to take the coat off and then he willingly walked to the park! Again his stubbornness is showing as well as his dislike for thinks that restrain him apparently!
We are looking forward to many more adventures with the newest member of our family here in Budapest!