by: Helen Edwards
I was so excited when I first brought my Zuchon puppy Archie, home. Just days later I was feeling so low. I was anxious, overwhelmed, and just plain exhausted. I felt like the worst person in the world for not enjoying my puppy. I didn’t know it at the time, but I was suffering from what could only be described as the post puppy blues.
You think it’s all going to be sweetness and light, getting a puppy. You don’t realise before you get one how much your life is going to change. Yes, things settle down, but it can take months.
There were so many interruptions. I could forget about reading a book or watching tv. I was up and down like a yo-yo with Archie, clearing up his poo/wee/sick, washing his bottom, removing things from his mouth … I remember wanting to scream at the number of times he wanted to go outside only to lie on the grass. I didn’t realise how much my sleep would be interrupted by him either. And then there was the biting. At times I felt like I had a mini crocodile.
Because I couldn’t take Archie for walks outside before he had his second vaccination, I felt isolated. I’d taken some time off work to get him settled in, so it was just me and Archie for what felt like very long days. I couldn’t wait for my husband to get home from work.
Some people reading this might think I over-reacted. Maybe I did, but I hadn’t had a pet before, nor had I had kids. I think the responsibility overwhelmed me.
Puppies are hard work. Yes, they nap, but only for around twenty minutes at a time. They need near-constant supervision, and it’s not simply about keeping your belongings intact, it’s about their safety. You don’t want them eating anything poisonous, or something that’s going to get stuck in their stomach.
Prior to getting Archie, I did a lot of research on puppies, yet the post puppy blues didn’t come up. I wasn’t looking for it specifically though. During those early days with Archie, I did some more research and found people who had also felt depressed after getting a puppy. It helped to read their stories – to know I wasn’t alone.
I asked a dog trainer to come and do some 1:1 training with us at home. I think that was a turning point. It was useful to get her advice and to be told I was doing a good job.
Going back to work, where I could feel like me again.
Once Archie had his second vaccination we could go for walks. Going to various places to help socialise him really helped.
My confidence grew and I fell in love with Archie. He’s four now, and I can’t imagine life without him. He has changed my life but in a good way.
My experience with Archie inspired me to write a book in the hope that it will help other puppy parents suffering from the post puppy blues. As I say in the book, no one wants to be in the position of feeling unable to cope with their puppy, so if reading my book helps someone – mission accomplished!
You can visit Helen over on her Facebook page HERE
You can get your paws on Helen's book HERE
Its is available as a Paperback or on Kindle!