Dear Kenzie

You have been with us for exactly one month today. We were so excited (and just a little nervous) to bring you home. We knew our life as we knew it would never be the same.

So far, it seems like we have done everything WRONG. We thought we knew what we were doing, after all, Cali was a GREAT dog and we thought we had something to do with it. Now we’re not so sure. Maybe she was just a great dog in spite of us. We bought you lots of toys, read Ian Dunbar’s book to “refresh our memory” and tried to put you on a schedule. We know we didn’t make sure you got enough sleep the first couple of days. We could tell because you acted like an overtired child; biting, doing zoomies, and pouncing on the cats. It’s okay, we know it’s not your fault, we accept total responsibility.

To remedy this, we decided to start putting you to bed at 8:30 pm and it really seemed to help. The best part was, after a couple of nights, you slept through the entire night and didn’t wake us up until 6:30 am. We cannot tell you how much we appreciate it!

You are always so sweet in the morning. You have no problem being in your pen and playing with your toys after breakfast – well . . until a few days ago. Suddenly you decided that barking and slamming your body against the side of the pen is more fun. Instead of going back to sleep in your crate at 9:00 am, you cried for FOUR ENTIRE HOURS until I finally gave in and let you out. (I know, I know . .you’re never supposed to let them win . .but I couldn’t take it any more!). It was a long, bad day. We tried to work with our headphones on to drown out the noise, but finally had to leave and take a walk. When we got home you were still screaming so I took you for a walk, but it was pouring down rain and it turns out that you don’t really like the rain (at least right now!) and you whined and chewed on the leash for most of the walk. You finally crashed around 4:00 pm. Like I said, it was a really long day.

photo of Cali the dog

We found a great website with some training videos and started feeling really stupid for a few of the mistakes we have been making. Yelling “OUCH” when you bite too hard. “ACK” to get you to stop doing something, and just generally allowing you to be too wild instead of teaching you to be calm. The videos make it look SO SIMPLE. But where are the videos that show the crazed puppy jumping on you with snapping shark teeth? Where are the videos that show you what to do when your “sweet” puppy sits barking at you bossing you around and ignoring treats and the clicker? What are we supposed to do when you start racing around the house like a little lunatic? Where are the videos for CRAZY puppies that don’t behave or care to listen?

We love you and think you are really smart, but we’re worried. (You should probably know, we are both BIG worriers!) What if you are just a naughty little puppy that’s going to grow into a really naughty dog? What if you are really Cali’s evil twin? You’ll have to forgive us – we really don’t remember Cali ever acting this way, but we are still hoping that we just blocked it out!

We love the fact that you really LOVE people. It’s so cute to see you get so excited when you meet someone and we know we have done a good job of socializing you with all types of humans. I can’t wait to see how you do in puppy class on Monday. We are hoping that you enjoy getting to meet other puppies and you burn off some of that puppy energy.

You have already gotten so much better about attacking our legs and hanging from our pants with your teeth. Thank you! It makes taking you outside so much easier 🙂 We plan on watching all of the videos and doing our best to use positive reinforcement. Occasionally, we might mess up and yell “NO!”, but don’t worry, we still love you tons.

Right now, we especially love how sweet and quiet you are when you’re sleeping. It’s so cute how you sleep upside down, halfway off the bed, you are absolutely adorable. Please forgive us for not being the smart humans we thought we were, we’re doing the best we can. We know you are too.

Love,

Your human mom & dad ♥