Michael and I have waited quite a while for our new little fur baby. Our last dog, Declan, passed away in June of 2020. We gave it a month to grieve his sudden loss, and then we started dog-sitting through Rover to add some fun and noise in our home here and there. It was also a great way to earn a little extra cash too.
But we missed having our own. So, in July of 2021, we put a deposit down to get another Irish Setter. We were on a waiting list with 40 other people! We specifically requested a male, so we had no idea when we would receive a puppy, as it depended on the litter sizes and how many males and females were in each.
We checked with the breeder again in October. She had one litter then, and had two back in July. She said there were still five other people ahead of us waiting for males, so she couldn’t guarantee if it was going to be from the next litter due in January or another planned for the spring.
We saw that the next litter had been born on January 3. We waited to hear from her, but eventually planned to have a pup in the spring as the month dragged on with no response. Then, January 31st, we were notified that our male puppy would be ready to be picked up the first week in March. We were so incredibly excited!
We found out during the day. I was at an appointment. I returned home to find signs around the house with Puppy!!! written on them from Michael.
We were able to visit them on February 8. The breeder has 9 adult Irish Setters herself, so the house was full of excited chaos. It was so good to be around them all. I couldn’t help but laugh as I was swarmed by these beautiful dogs.
We brought our sweet fur-baby home on March 3. He was nervous at first. I have to admit that I loved it though. I soaked up all the snuggles I could get. It didn’t take long though for Mac to settle in and get comfortable with us. Then his real personality came out.
He is a confident and very smart dog. He loves exploring new things and finds people and other dogs fascinating. He’s also quite the little kangaroo and piranha right now – happily jumping and chewing everything that moves.
He’s also resourceful. One trainer explained that it’s good to teach them to climb in order to build their confidence. We have a little white stool in our kitchen, so I had Mac put his front paws on the stool as a varied position in our training. He got it the first try. Then this happened a couple of days later when I was working away on my computer…
Mac loves playing with toys, especially the ones that aren’t toys at all. A larger plastic coke bottle and a couple of pvc plumbing pieces have become his new favourites.
He’s now able to go on walks with us and explore the neighbourhood and other dogs. Michael’s taken him on a trail a couple of times now, which he is a big fan of. He comes home so proud of himself completely caked in mud as he prances around the house to show me before Michael scoops him up for a bath.
Mac also loves shoes, blankets and towels. He’s a bit of a thief. He dashes for the shoes as soon as we enter the family room to let him into the backyard. He even escaped outside with my shoe one night. Of course, my shoe was black and it was dark, but I could make out the odd, large shape coming from his mouth. I played it cool and kicked the soccer ball around the yard to distract him. Eventually he got close enough and tried to get the ball and the shoe at the same time. That slowed him down enough for me to sneak up and save the shoe.
One of Mac’s favourite rooms right now is the bathroom. He enjoys lying down on and biting the rug, stealing rolls of toilet paper, trying to pull the towels off of the hooks, and even managed to sneak past me with a line of toilet paper trailing into the kitchen.
I was grateful when I had a couple of friends tell me that having a puppy is just like having a child. It’s tiring and you have to be “on” all the time. I realized just before we got him that he would primarily be my responsibility when he arrived, since I am the one home most of the time. Panic quickly hit, but as I usually do, I dove into research binge watching as many training videos as possible. Thankfully I’ve started to find a rhythm with him so I can get my work done and still have some sanity left at the end of the day. We’re working on the biting and jumping, and starting to enjoy the training times with him. The walks are refreshing, especially as the weather gets nicer.
It’s been an overwhelming month of transition, but overall, it’s been comical and fun. We love our little one and pray he will be a great blessing as he grows.