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I recently got a brand new shih tzu puppy over 2 weeks ago. I Love him to death and never in my mind think I made a mistake getting a dog. I love the breed and have grown up with them all my life. I have been wanting a puppy for a very long time and right now was the perfect time as I have a month off work and plenty of time and money to dedicate to the little guy. I have been VERY emotional since I got him. I feel like crying all the time, even though he does make me very happy. I feel like I am in this all alone and I am constantly with him and watching him constantly and doing nothing else. I do not have a boyfriend or husband, my roommate works nights and sleeps all day, and my family lives about 30 minutes away which I have been finding myself driving there almost everyday just to be with someone. One reason I think I feel this way is because from the beginning he has had some scary health issues. the third day he got diarrhea really bad and was hospitalized for a day and a half on fluids, then a few days later he had a coughing attack and we were back at the vet, then a few days after that he had a horrible reaction to his flea and tick medication and we we were back at the vet again. So I think that does have some to do with how I am feeling. He is doing great right now and we haven't been to the vet in a week (knock on wood!). Everything is getting easier. It is still really hard for me to leave him for a few minutes or even an hour or two at a time. I think because I became very protective of him since he was sick. And I am trying very hard to potty train him so I watch him CONSTANTLY and do not really ever give my mind a break. ANYWAY, so I was wondering if anyone else had these feelings after getting a puppy. I can't imaging life without him now, and we are very close. But I guess I am just hoping for some freedom as well. I used to be out with friends a lot and with family everyday. and working as well. I think I just feel a little trapped, and I am looking for someone to tell me it gets easier and that it is OK for me to to start living a bit of a normal life again. Thanks for reading.
 

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First things first - welcome to the forum! I think most puppy owners feel overwhelmed at some point or another, and that's without the emergency vet visits. When we first got our girl my husband was traveling 5 days a week most weeks and I was alone a lot with a very energetic puppy that allowed me little sleep or time for myself. I was working a 50-60 hour a week job, spending 8 hours a day training and playing with the puppy, and fitting in chores where I could. I was exhausted! I'm sorry your little guy has been sick. That's not a fun way to start your new dog experience. But it will pass.

Sounds like you need to give yourself a break. Are you crate training so that you can safely leave him for a couple of hours at a time? If not, it's a good idea to start now so that he's used to it when you need to start back to work and so that you can get your freedom back.

This site has lots of good advice for working with a puppy. http://www.dogstardaily.com/training/digital-dog-training-textbook

Hope it helps. Let us know how it goes & post some pics!
 

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Heh, I know how you feel! I also felt kind of overwhelmed when I first got my dog - I had to be with her CONSTANTLY. I remember fondly remembering the days when I could just sit and watch a movie or even eat a full meal without having to jump up and follow my puppy so she didnt' pee somewhere, or take her outside *again* because she was sniffing so suspiciously. She was also sick when I first got her, so we had all those vet trips and worrying in there. I remember watching people walking their dogs - their perfect, trained dogs - and envying them so, so much.

Most people say to treasure your dog's puppy days, because they don't last. I have to say that, two years later, I STILL look back on Belle's puppy days and feel not remorse that they've ended, but pride that I went through all that, and must have made the right decisions, because now I have a healthy, well-trained dog (And no, I don't plan on having children....ever).

One thing I found to be lifesavers is something I got at KMart, from the Nylabone brand. They're edible bones, but built specifically for puppies. They would last her a good 10-15 minutes...10-15 minutes of rest for me. Make sure you get the kind made specifically for puppies, though! Nylabone makes other edible bones, but they're for adult dogs. Once Belle became old enough, I started giving her bully sticks - they last a LONG time, and she loves them.

Anyways, it DOES get easier - much easier! And so rewarding. :)
 

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I felt the EXACT same way the first 2 weeks I had my puppy. I felt like my life had completely changed and I couldn't do anything except watch the puppy at all times.

But, then I figured out a neat little trick. When he gets tired, put him in his crate (if you haven't been crate training him, start by rewarding him for going in there with special crate-only treats and toys) and cover it with a blanket or sheet.

My puppy was crated right from the start, but unless I was in the room with him he would cry and whimper the whole time and never settle down. The blanket means it's much more like a 'den', which is natural for dogs, and it also stopped him being able to see me leave the room, so he would settle down and go to sleep. The first week or two I had to quietly sneak out of the room and not be gone for too long, but once he got used to sleeping in his crate, he was fine. He now runs in there whenever he sees me getting his crate treats out.

Being able to leave him in his crate for a while made a huge difference. Being a puppy, he sleeps 16 hours a day. So he is crated overnight, then he's up for a few hours and is supervised and we train and they are fed etc, and when he starts falling asleep on the floor I get his crate treat and put him away in his crate for 2-3 hours, during which I can do what I would normally do that time of day.

After 2-3 hours I wake him up, and he plays some more and wears himself out, and when it starts getting dark out he starts getting sleepy again, and is put away for a few more hours in the evening, and hubby and I can then watch tv and hang out and have dinner etc. Normal stuff. Around 10 the puppy is woken up again and I feed both dogs and take puppy out for his evening walk (just up the street and back) and we might do some more training and he will play with my other dog until bedtime which is around 12-1 am.

With the crating and working out a routine where you can also do something other than interacting and watching the puppy, I think you will feel a bit better.

And as mentioned above, look into chewy stuff, they are awesome. Puppy will lie quietly on the floor and chew them for ages!
 

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Some forum psychoanalysis for you..lol.

MAKE YOURSELF GO OUT. Take pup out for his walkies and business, take him back in, crate him with a stuffed kong and then take yourself out the door and for a walk. Get a coffee. Go to a movie. Go to the library. Sit in a park. Whatever.

It is very easy to get caught up in worrying about this little furry life that is now YOUR responsibility and how it will hurt YOU if he gets sick again or injured or whatever. Welcome to "parenthood". But it is so very important for you to be able to enjoy your life with AND without the puppy and for him to learn it's okay to be alone for short periods NOW before you both become nervous anxious wrecks.

Ask me how I know...lol. I'm just as neurotic, but I know for my separation anxiety dog the more I worry about her, the worse she would get and then the worse I would get and it just cycles from there.
 

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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
wow thank you all so much. I am literally almost in tears hearing people explain the exact same way i feel right now! He has been crate trained from the beginning which truly is the best idea any dog and puppy owner could have! He sleeps completely through the night now with no accidents and does great in there when i leave for an hour or so during the day! His potty training is getting better and easier every day as well. He truly is a GREAT puppy overall, I am just a nervous wreck with all the little health things he has had! I think that is mostly it! This has made me feel ten times better. Everyday I have been asking myself if I am the only one out there and now I know someone else has felt the exact same way I am right now. Thank you all so much!

I am trying to post a pic! will have it up soon!

http://twitpic.com/3kqacq

I hope this works! Part of his right front leg is shaved from is IV last week : ( poor little guy! But he is still precious!
 

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He is SO cute!!! I had a lot of the same feelings when I got Brody. I had just lost my dog of 16 years who was the BEST dog ever, my husband was recovering from a bone marrow transplant, and Brody was much sicker than we thought he was going to be when I adopted him. The three other dogs were SO easy and it just seemed like Brody was more work than I bargained for. I also felt so alone in that I had so much responsibility (healthy dogs, sick dog, sick husband, work, vet school) and felt like my life consisted of work, school, hospital, dogs. I wound up having to temporarily place two of my dogs with friends and family until life was more stable, and focused on the positive things Brody brought to my life instead of the unexpected negatives. I even wrote it all down in a journal daily and read all the good stuff when I was focusing on the bad.

You definitely need to give yourself some space from the dog not only for your benefit, but to make the transition easier on him when you go back to work. With a puppy that cute, it can't be hard to get someone to watch him for a couple of hours for you to go to a movie or go out with friends. If I lived closer, I definitely would babysit him :)
 

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Humans post on these boards?



human!
I actually like humans as much as I like dogs! The only difference is.. I KNOW all dogs are inherently good, but I have my doubts about humans sometimes.

Did you name your dog Elsa? I hope you did.. if not, I think it's time for you to get an Elsa :)
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Thank you all so much for the comments and advice! These past couple days I have been going out to dinner, running errands, and doing little things during the day and it has seemed to really lift my spirits ( and every time i come home he is perfectly content in his bed in his crate and ready to play when he comes out its makes me so happy ). This is day 5 we have not been to or called the vet so we are doing great! And thank you for all the comments about him! I think he is so adorable and his little face makes me melt every time he looks at me, but I am his mom so I will always think that! ha. Thank you everyone again for making me feel better! I have been looking for something like DF for the past three weeks I have had him now and it has really helped!

P.S. his name is Milo : )
 

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Yup all normal. Both my husband and I went through our own feelings when we got our first dog 2yr ago. When she was 4mo old and got a pretty bad injury it totally changed both of our hearts to know that there was no way we would change it, no way would we give up our Chloe. We have since got a 2nd dog, after Chloe was trained and over a year old.

Keep in mind the breed of your little one is hard to train & hard to potty train by basic breed traits. One thing that helped us immensly was obedience classes with a certified, experienced trainer, who we found through our vet.

Good luck, if you are in love with your little one, stick it out you will get through the "oh sh*t, what did I do?" phase.

ps...you might want to consider pet insurance...best thing we ever did.
 

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I am really interested in enrolling him in a puppy class here soon! I am scared to enroll him too soon due to him not having all his shots completed but I have been told that they can start at 10 weeks? He is over 12 now, but I am worried he is too small and to vulnerable without not having all of his vaccinations yet?! I was prepared for the potty training part due to having shih tzus before and I thought it was going to be a nightmare but I am so surprised how well he has done. I do take him out a lot, I would say every other hour or so depending on what he has been doing but we havent had an accident in a couple days. ( and no accidents in the crate since week 1!! ) So I am really pleased with that part so far. I know that part just takes time with puppies.....not sure how long until they really " get it " but I think he is doing good!
 

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Thank you so much for posting! I had feelings similar to Postpartum depression shortly after we got Piper at 8 wks old. I refused to leave the house. Stared at her 24/7. My SO was thinking the whole puppy thing was a mistake. I knew what I had to do to overcome this since I suffered from PPD after my second child (eleven years ago). It just took me a week to get the gears moving again.

Although I knew what was happening and I knew how to deal with it, I felt embarrassed about having these issues due to a DOG! You know? Anyway, both Piper and I are doing well now, and my SO is relieved. LOL. :)

So, thanks for posting this. I am guessing there are a lot of others who are having similar issues but are too embarrassed, shy, or whatever, to reach out and get help.
 

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a pup usually isn't reliably potty trained until about 5-6mo old. one thing that owrked great for us is using potty bells, if you do a forum search you will find plenty of potty suggstions and explanations.
 

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Thank you all so much for the comments and advice! These past couple days I have been going out to dinner, running errands, and doing little things during the day and it has seemed to really lift my spirits ( and every time i come home he is perfectly content in his bed in his crate and ready to play when he comes out its makes me so happy ). This is day 5 we have not been to or called the vet so we are doing great! And thank you for all the comments about him! I think he is so adorable and his little face makes me melt every time he looks at me, but I am his mom so I will always think that! ha. Thank you everyone again for making me feel better! I have been looking for something like DF for the past three weeks I have had him now and it has really helped!

P.S. his name is Milo : )


Milo is adorable! I love 'Tzus!
 
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