Introducing Bracken the Cocker Spaniel’s Mum who very kindly agreed to write about her experience introducing a second puppy, Haggis, to her family at the end of last year.
And yes, I am giving serious consideration to a second puppy sister for Freya…just thinking mind.
A LITTLE NOTE FROM FREYA: Before we get started let me explain how I came to know Bracken. We met on Instagram in early 2018 and hit it off immediately chatting behind the scenes. Even though we live 60 miles apart, we arranged for our Mums to meet so we could play zoomies and we’ve been great pals ever since.
My second puppy experience: Bring on the G&T!
So…today I thought would be a momentous day in the short life of Haggis. It’s Friday the 8th March 2019, and Haggis has reached the dizzy heights of six months.
For some bizarre reason I had this amazing idea that she was going to grow into this beautiful young lady over night and leave behind the crazy, mad biting machine of her former self. It must have been the second G&T that led me to this false sense of security, for a split minute or two.
From calm to chaos
Enter my world over the last six months. Come along with me to experience what life has really been like introducing a new puppy into a normally calm home with one other dog – Bracken, now almost two years old – and a husband who occasionally mucks in.
Rewind back to a day at the beginning of November last year. I was padding around with Bracken and began thinking she would like some company in her life apart from her loving pawrents. Since Bracken came into our lives I have always ensured she’s had lots of other dogs for company in and around our home. Friends’ dogs have visited, we’ve had sleepovers and Bracken always loved it. I just knew she would be more than happy to have another little four-legged chum in her life.
I then decided my first port of call was to contact Bracken’s breeder. To my shock and horror they had a six-week old female puppy the same colouring as Bracken and she was still available. Not the news I actually wanted to hear because the seed was then sewn. I arranged to make the three-hour drive to meet the little soul and that was it, my decision was made. Haggis was coming to live with us in her forever home.
Fast-forward three weeks and we were on our way to collect Haggis – our lives would never be the same again. I will never forget the parting words from the breeder’s husband:
“Here is Haggis, she is a little shit, enjoy.”
We still chuckle at these words because actually they’re pretty true.
Bracken is not amused
It turned out that Bracken was not amused with her first introduction to Haggis and it took around a week for her to fully accept that Haggis was here to stay.
We crate trained Haggis in our home from day one. Thankfully she slept quite happily every night without any protest, which was a massive bonus. The toilet training was also pretty straight forward, as she would copy Bracken. Reading this you are probably thinking, ooooh listen to her and her perfect second puppy. Well, let me tell you it has been far from that.
And we’re moving on
I began writing this little snippet of introducing a second puppy into my home two months ago. It’s now the 8th of May and Haggis the Gremlin as she is affectionately known is now eight months old and still hard work.
Our daily routine goes something like this…
5:30 am: Haggis gives us our wake up call by banging the stair gate fitted on the kitchen door. She’s no longer in her crate and sleeps next to Bracken in the kitchen.
Off she goes out for a wee then reappears back inside normally with a plant in her mouth!
Then follows the chase around the house to salvage what’s left of the plant, or whatever else Haggis has grabbed along the way. By the time the chase is over I’m wide-awake.
Then comes the dragging of shoes up the stairs to tell me it’s time to get ready.
6:45/7:00 am: We’re off out for our first walk of the day. Thankfully one thing Haggis is good at is recall off lead, which means she gets a good run out every morning. That said, even after all of the above, Haggis still likes to try and have a gnaw on a skirting board, maybe a bit of wall, or some form of wood before deciding to have a snooze for a few hours.
Then guess what? We press the repeat button and off we go again.
Bracken just fits in as she is such a placid soul and looks on with an unimpressed face, but they do love one another and they’re always padding around together. In fact, I have my suspicions that sometimes Bracken is the culprit in some of the mischief that unfolds throughout the day.
So was it worth it?
On a daily basis, I ask myself was it all worth the time, effort and emotions of having a second puppy. Ultimately the answer would be yes; the joy that it brings to my face when I see them both running through the snow, hills and fields together, the snuggles and the happy waggy tails first thing in the morning. All this outweighs the tiredness, the constant drone of the vacuum, and the sloshing of the mop.
While writing this last paragraph Haggis has just appeared and is now hanging off my foot trying to chew my shoe. So, I better sign off before I have no shoe left and leave you with the question…
Will you have a second puppy?
And my response to Nicky, Bracken and Haggis’ Mum? …maybe it’s better to just invite lovely furiends over and keep Freya a singleton!