Remember back in November, when I introduced our new puppy Rambo?
Well, now that he’s been part of our family for four months (!), I figured I owed you guys an update!
It’s no secret that we got Rambo under sad circumstances — after battling a number of health issues for the past year and a half, in October we found out that our eight-year-old dog, Calvin, had congestive heart failure. Fortunately, there are some great medications available to prolong his life, but our vet was candid with us: the medication would work for a year (maybe two), but it wasn’t a cure. Eventually, it would stop working.
Needless to say, I was a mess (Chad and I both were). I’ve had Calvin and Coco since they were babies, and Chad has been part of their lives from day one, when we road-tripped to Ohio to pick them up. They’ve been our babies since long before there was a human baby in the picture, and they’ve changed and improved our lives in too many ways to count. The idea of losing Calvin was devastating.
And it still is — getting Rambo didn’t change that. But we decided that if we were going to get a puppy in the next year or so, it was better to do it before the baby gets here. The idea of a newborn and a new puppy, at the same time? A little overwhelming. Getting a new puppy at five months pregnant wasn’t exactly a breeze, but I’m grateful that Rambo could be my top priority on his own for a little while.
And ultimately, it turned out to be a terrific idea. Calvin and Coco *hated* Rambo at first, but they’ve slowly thawed to him — it was quite a change to bring an insane new puppy into our extremely laid-back household, but it also feels like he’s breathed new life and fun into our day-to-day routines.
From what I read, it was important to let the dogs sort out their own pack hierarchy, so I tried to stay out of it when they had little tiffs early on. It helps that Calvin and Coco are so gentle — I knew they’d never hurt Rambo, no matter how crazy he drove them (which he did, frequently, especially in the early days).
For the most part, his training has gone pretty well. Calvin and Coco sleep in our bed, but Rambo has been sleeping in the laundry room, where he has a crate (we leave the door open), some toys and a puppy pad. (Calvin and Coco have always gone on puppy pads, thanks to our NYC days, so we figured it made sense to train Rambo that way too.)
The best part: from day one, he never cried at night! I was *shocked* — with Calvin and Coco, I remember waking up every two hours all night when we were potty training! I was in law school at the time, and I remember literally falling asleep in an 8 a.m. lecture because I’d been up all night with the two dogs. It was like having a newborn — and one of the main reasons that I was reluctant to get a new puppy right before the baby arrived! But Rambo stays quiet all night, and only starts to whine when he hears that we’re awake in the morning. It’s heavenly!
Really, in almost every way, Rambo has been a million times easier than Calvin and Coco were. (Good life lesson: one puppy is a handful, two puppies are a nervous breakdown waiting to happen.) He started to understand the pads within a few days, although he still has a handful of accidents. His puppy energy has calmed down by now, and he’s incredibly sweet. He’s more chill than either Calvin or Coco, he’s good with strangers and hardly barks at anything (a godsend characteristic in a dog that’s going to spend a lot of time around a newborn).
On the other hand… he eats poop.
So, welcome to the family, Rambo. We’re very glad you joined us.
(And, in other happy news, Calvin is still doing well! He has good days and bad days, but he’s still here, and we’re grateful for that.)