I received a lot of donated dog stuff including this wonderful crate - which Elsa made her own as soon as she landed in my car. In fact, she bonded so strongly, she refused to sleep in the big fancy crate in my bedroom. I had to drag this up in the middle of the night... and then carry it back downstairs for her naps.

It's hard to believe she's only been here a little over 24 hours. I am SO EXHAUSTED. I've been trying to write this post ALL DAY.
I didn’t sleep at all last night and I was soooo hungry. I haven't been able to sleep much in a long time and I couldn't find a way to make food for myself and the furbabies. I am learning the pup's schedule but it doesn't take into account the human's needs.

Before puppy: "I can't sleep, I feel scared alone in my house, I forget to eat, my body hurts so much (spine xray report last week used the word "degenerative" so many times... I got the general idea).

After puppy: "I can't sleep, I feel scared alone in my house (it is so dark and creepy outside at 2:38am!), I don't have time to eat (I could just lick my sweatshirt - the pockets are filled with kibbel for treats), my body hurts so much (carrying a crate up and down stairs, and carrying a puppy up and down stairs - probably NOT a good idea)... hey! are those tooth marks on my TOES!?

I've read that dogs can lower stress. Probably in the same way that babies lower stress? Hmmm.

This morning... (previously known as "last night")... I very much wished I had a puppy nanny. Honestly, I had less than an hour sleep. My head felt like a hangover - probably from driving out to Epsom and back and THEN all the puppy schedule stuff - my body hurt, a lot, and I felt nauseated. Good morning sunshine! Welcome to the family!

In the last 24 hours I made up for the months that I didn't leave my house this winter. I took that baby outside every half hour unless she was napping. And then I spent those calm moments researching puppy strollers on Amazon and Chewy. Yes - that's ALL I accomplished today. Well, I didn't actually choose one yet - so no accomplishment really.

Our Big Adventure today was a walk behind my house. I could see my neighbor, Ron (age 80), sitting in his driveway so we walked over to practice socializing (both of us need the practice). Elsa Bear went NUTS in excitement. There was blood on one of Ron's hand where a scab had gotten scratched. He didn't notice, but it reinforced my determination to order the stroller. Then his friend showed up with a huge pitbull-mix in his car, followed by Ron's own dog, Brenna, a black lab, who came running from the other side of the house. And then his wife, Ellen, joined us. Next, a little girl, Evie, on a scooter scooted over… because Elsa is just so f-ing adorable! She (Elsa) was very hyper and crazy and basking in Life. But then wouldn’t settle down at home and was still crying in her crate when I got back from the PO. I could hear her from outside the house!

I texted the trainer, Helen, in a panic. She said I have to let her cry it out…. but I was having flashbacks from my first baby... Aspies don't know when to stop crying and self-soothing doesn't exist.  

I brought Elsa Bear up to the playpen in my studio, blasted Spotify’s Pop Goes Classical (in the morning she prefers Mel Robbins podcasts). She conked out, but I was afraid to move, in case she woke up! So, back to researching strollers...

I learned a messy lesson earlier today - don't go pee before the puppy does. That's just plain selfish to think of your own needs first! Another self-care item that doesn't fit the schedule. So, this time, as soon as I saw her move and make eye contact - I took her outside.

Of course, she doesn't use the big dog yard in the back of the house, or the adorable little fenced area that Jules, Kelley and I built on Wednesday night below my bedroom... she has chosen the front yard, right near the mailboxes. That's fine, except every dog or car that drives by interrupts the process.

I taught her to jump up on the bench in the garden and chew the ancient yarn-bombings on the armrests. Well, she figured that part out on her own. Then we wandered around the house, sniffing everything. My deck is bare except for two plastic chairs I could carry up and a little fenced area Jules also built for Elsa. So we climbed in and I spent half an hour flicking kibble at her! My pockets are filled with the stuff. Fun! She got hyper again. Sigh.

Once I get the hang of this pup-mom thing. I have an idea for another Elsa Bear comic... She tries to eat everything and I learned daffodils are dangerous for dogs - anyway - I lost track of how many times I said “Let it go!” to Elsa today!!!! 😂 (That's a "Frozen" reference!)

She moves very quickly for such a tiny creature. Almost impossible to photograph. In this next picture, imagine her with her front paws on the edge of the bench, staring intently at the face of Theo on the pillow. It's impressive that she recognizes it as a face! She gets really distracted by her own reflection in the side of the car and the microwave door. See those little cat-feet-socks on the chairs? They're gone.

I have my foot through her leash loop to try and protect the chair legs - as she moves on to chewing the face of a blue dog toy. There's an Amazon screen in front of me with puppy strollers... I really can’t get anything done. My attention span now is about the same as hers!

oooo! Shadow! Catch it!

oooo! Shadow! Catch it!

And those little legs!? How can I be upset? She's so darn cute!

Elsa said she had the Best Day Ever today!

(I just want 8 hours sleep)