THIS IS NOT A PREGNANCY ANNOUNCEMENT.
Sorry about that but thought I better make it clear just in case you're my nan reading this and think I've got news. I haven't.
I don't know who I'm kidding my nan can't use the internet she refers to it as 'the google' but I just wanted to be clear so there's no 'applegate' again. If you missed that I once received loadssss of messages on instagram congratulating me when it was apple bloat (my body rejects fruit.)
Anyway meet Albus. The puppy I refused to have but now couldn't be without.
So here we are...I'm writing this a few months in because I know there's a lot you guys want to know and it's a while since I've had a pup. Our beagle, Gilly, is 9 so the puppy days are well over even though there's some ridiculous habits he hasn't grown out of. Gilly was a first birthday present for Reilly, yes we were those parents. She liked fish so we got a stupid sized tank full of fish, she liked dogs so we got her a puppy= idiots. I just remember lots of destroying, humping, garden digging and toilet accidents (albeit on military carpets.)
I wasn't keen on a puppy in fact I actually said no, no puppy. We had talked about a second dog for a while but in our old house it would have been impossible as the house and garden was too small so it wouldn't have been fair. It become more of a 'shall we?!' after we'd moved and so I registered for rehoming a greyhound or a whippet as I love them and as much as I love Gilly, he is an amazing family dog, truly, but I really didn't fancy another beagle as the moulting really messes with my inner neat freak. I really wanted to rehome a dog as there's just so many that need lovely homes. B was the opposite he wanted a puppy and he wanted an airedale. I enquired about so many greyhounds but as we had two children under ten and we already had a dog it turned out we weren't a suitable household for rehoming that breed of dog. I completely understand how important it must be for dog shelters to ensure a safe home and we unfortunately weren't right this time, I let it be and just accepted that the timing wasn't right. WRONG.
In bed one morning
B: "Char....shall we get a puppy?!"
Me: "No I don't want the madness it'll be like having another baby...I like my routine...it'll be me who has to look after it whilst you're at work etc. bla bla bla"
B: "Okay I get it...(whispers) I've booked us a viewing to see some airedale puppies."
I thought he was joking...he wasn't. B has met ONE airedale. ONE. An old work colleague of his had one that used to go into his office and was really lovely, calm and listened so the last two descriptions not being Gilly. This set him off on an 'I WANT AN AIRDALE' path...I now know how B feels when I do my "how would you feel about decorating *this* room?" chat when I've already ordered the paint. PAYBACK is a b**ch. I said I didn't want a puppy, I said I didn't want a big dog. B told me airedales were beagle size. I can't make out I wasn't excited...once I knew we were going to view one I was pretty much like 'Oh my we're getting a puppy...I love it already' and B knew I'd be that way I just need a gentle push (shove).
Turns out husbands are liars. We went to visit the puppies and of cause I fell in love, we all did, but I met mama airedale and she was NOT beagle size. Airedales are classed as a large dog and although their build can vary they are most definitely bigger than a beagle.
'We' found Albus' breeder on the KC Register website, Airedales don't seem to be a common dog so there wasn't a lot of breeders with active litters available, in fact I think at the time there was only his litter. We got him from a lovely lady in Kettering who had airedales and so we met Albus' mummy and nana, I fell in love with Nana she was really stocky and cheeky <3.
When Gilly met Albus <3.
So things you wanted to know:
Why did we want 2?!
I actually don't know, I must be mad. Weirdly people don't think I'm not a dog person probably because I'm a total neat freak but we wanted Gilly to have some companionship. He's only nine but honestly sometimes he acts like SUCH AN OLD MAN. I don't know how you'll take this next bit so don't judge me for it but our children have never (thankfully) had to go through any kind of loss and we know that Gilly will probably have around 5 years or so with us so by getting another dog we thought it'd maybe ease a bit of that pain when the time comes and maybe teach them about loss. Oh man even typing that makes me feel guilty and has got tears in my eyes...Gilly if you're reading this I'm sorry he wasn't brought in to replace you...just to bring you and us some joy. I don't know if I'd have two dogs again...it's quite full on. AND EXPENSIVE. I love seeing them both together...when I come down in the morning I feel like Rod Stewart in a concert of middle aged women and seeing them together playing is like when you get that tear in your eye when you see your kids playing nicely and your mind tricks you into that 'lets have another child' mindset haha honestly it's ace but it can be hard work. Gilly has some terrible habits that he's very 'kindly' passed down to Albus so although introducing a pup to an already dog household has it bonus' like companionship and teaching to wee outside etc it also has it's downsides. I actually think Albus would be calmer if he was the only dog. GILLY IS ACE, I love him more than anything but he is a mare...he's very greedy, stubborn and mischievous and that's probably my fault as when he was a puppy I also had a one year old and a husband who was away a lot so training wasn't very active....think sink or swim.
How did we name him!?
We all liked different names (obviously) but whatever we chose it couldn't end in with the sound 'eeee' because Gilly responded to them all, trust me we tried. We wanted him to have a 'strong big dog' style name...I googled regal sounding dog names and we were then torn between Albus and Albert but with our daughter, Reilly, being Harry Potter's number one fan Albus it was! Our son ,Jack, really wanted to call him Roy so if he ever asks his official name is 'Albus Roy Boulton'.
Training and home routine;
This is an iffy one...I had made a spreadsheet on routine and my 'puppy plan' which went along the lines of;
6am- UP, FEED, PLAY, 9am- kids to school, 9.30am- WALK DOGS/TRAINING then go to work (basically walk upstairs) MIDDAY- FEED, PLAY, TRAINING then back to work. 3pm- post office/school run, 5pm- FEED, PLAY, TRAINING, WALK.
My spreadsheet may have well have been toilet paper seen as the world went crazy for it...we got Albus on Friday and the whole country went into lockdown because of covid on Monday so routine went out the window. We have tried to stick with the above but having the children off school, B off work and house projects it's just been a case of getting on with the 'new normal' and we'll cross the stricter routine bridge when we get to it (probably never going to happen and we'll have two crazy dogs.)
There's a lot of mixed views on puppy training and what's best so research what you're happy with and what works best for you. I'm not here to preach as I am not an expert and I'm learning too! I really enjoyed the training book 'Easy Peasy Puppy Squeezy' (not an aff link) and used most of his advice. After spending a fair amount of money so far on renovating the house I made the decision to get Albus a pen...I remember the chewing all too well with Gilly and didn't fancy saying farewell to my new dining furniture. The pen was from amazon and so far it's been super! The pen also gives Gilly some well deserved space...he can only tolerate a certain amount of being bitten and stood on. Puppies don't have manners...nothing is a step too far.
We used newspaper for toileting in his pen and gradually over a matter of weeks made the paper smaller...after about 6 weeks we came down to dry paper and he just learnt that outside was best. That made it sound easy we went outside with him every time and if he went to the toilet we made a big fuss and congratulated him on his 'good wee wee's' 'good poo poo's'...Gilly looked pretty annoyed to be fair at this extra quite ridiculous attention but it worked. There were times where we could be outside for like 40 minutes and nothing then go inside and within minutes turn around to a nice puddle or worse...thankfully we haven't replaced any carpets yet (the only saving grace).
-Rope/tug toys just for throwing about
-To be fair any toys that stop you/your children being the chew toy
-A small hot water bottle
-A ticking clock
Again I'm not an expert it's all very each to their own so some of you may not agree with how we did those initial few nights but it's what we chose. The first night we had Albus he went straight to sleep like NOT A SINGLE WHIMPER to be heard. I was so excited thinking he obviously loved us that much already that he didn't miss his mummy or siblings. WRONG. he was just clearly very very sleepy. The second night I think I had about three hours of broken sleep. Again it's personal choice but we chose to let him 'beast' it out...he had water, a bed, paper for toileting and the comfort of Gilly being in the same room as him so we let him cry it out...we then spent the next day spending a lot of time with him in his bed and giving lots of fuss and treats whilst in his bed/pen and I wore a blanket round me all evening then wrapped it over a hot water bottle and tucked him in at bedtime and we never heard a sound until 5.30am when it was time to get up so although people may not agree with crying it out it worked for us as we only had the one bad night he's been a dream every since and now doesn't wake up until around 8am (he's five months).
So five months of Albus;
He is definitely getting more mischievous and the chewing/biting has upped a little again as his teeth are obviously coming through...(I've found puppy teeth on the floor...boake.) Him and Gilly are great together and although Albus can be quite full on Gilly just corrects him if he's too much. We've been super super lucky with how Gilly has just accepted him and I hope it stays that way especially now as Albus is bigger than him...
We had a week? I think the second or third week where Gilly really sulked and wouldn't even look at Albus and then they literally didn't leave one another alone...for a nine year old dog Gilly can play fight relentlessly...we had enough before they did.
They are amazing. They are hard work but they are family and although I threaten putting them on eBay sometimes they know I don't mean it (either that or the kids have told them I use it a false threat all the time) that is a JOKE ;)
I hope that helps some of you guys...puppy chat on insta has been crazy!!
Here's our boy now...you'll see more of him over on instagram!
Charlotte & the boys <3.