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  #1  
Old 11-15-2018, 07:22 PM
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Hi,

Laurel is ten weeks old and this is our third day together. She chose me. Right now she is very cuddly and sleepy but she was quite adventuresome earlier this morning when she was exploring the house. She is potty trained, has had her first puppy shots, and has never been outside in her life other than meeting me on the porch of her breeder's house and going in and out of the car in her crate.

Laurel was the largest and most dominant of her litter of four. She is no puppy mill victim, but no bourgeousie either, lol. She was raised in a family with a no-nonsense attitude and a lot of love. She's used to Purina Puppy chow and having a bit of difficulty adjusting to what I have in the house, which is Taste of the Wild Appalachian Valley, a few cans of grain-free dog food that are way too big for her to finish, and I also share small tastes of peanut butter and butternut squash with her. She wants my grains and breads, but so far I say no.

I was raised with Shetland Sheepdogs and regular weekend AKC dog shows, matches, and obedience trials during the 1970s, have family members who competed in Agility and Rally, but have not been in a position to be a responsible dog owner until now: early 50s, excellent health, low income but few responsibilities, and one serendipitous chance to raise my dream dog right and live long enough to be her "forever home".

I used to live alone before Laurel came home. We're in a dog-friendly small city that is in easy driving distance of some beautiful hiking trails and outdoor adventures. She is "velcro dog" and already perfectly comfortable in both repurposed infant sling and small pet crate, but will need serious rather than merely "cute" winter clothing and firm limits to protect her from overexertion.

Vaccines, dog parks, socialization, and training classes are my major concerns right now as far as research, but I'm going at Laurel's pace and savouring every minute of her puppyhood.

If you actually read all this, then thank you for your time.
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  #2  
Old 11-16-2018, 08:55 PM
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Welcome to the forum and Chi puppy life 🙂
I would definitely start socialization (to people, places, dogs) I think its awesome you want to do training classes. But agreed just enjoy the puppy phase.

That's amazing that you grew up around that (Shows and trials) I'm sure you have seen and learned plenty. I'd ask what made you want to get a Chi. But I believe you meant a Chihuahua was your dream dog..? My dream dog would probably be a lab 😄

On the food, have you switched slowly? Maybe it's just the taste that's different. Or just a new environment.
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Old 11-17-2018, 01:19 AM
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Hi! Welcome to the forum. We are a group of nice people dedicated to anything related to chihuahuas. Ask a question, have an idea, just ask!

As to the food question, I'd start mixing the Purina chow into the Taste of the Wild food. I would start with just a small amount of Taste of the Wild(1/4c) mixed into a larger amount of the Purina.(3/4c) Mix a batch for about 4-5 days. Slowly increase the Taste o t Wild until you are feeding just it. Watch for soft stools, vomiting etc. If these occur back off the Taste o t Wild a little.
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  #4  
Old 11-18-2018, 01:27 AM
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Thank you for the warm welcome.

I've got her back on the Purina for now because she is so little and wasn't eating enough. I would like to get her on Taste of the Wild and could even afford to feed her homemade or a raw diet eventually, which would be out of the question for a pittie or a lab in my current economic circumstances.

I'm such a "typical new mom" I make myself laugh but I can't say I'm sorry I waited to get Laurel until now. I've been aware of how much personality these little dogs have since I was barely old enough to know that they really shine with seniors and don't always do well with kids, but I'm clueless as to why her rehoming fee was so low. After raising kids and cats, I have the perspective to laugh at myself, expect unexpected expenses that are unavoidable with any "new baby", clear an entire week's schedule just to get to know each other, and just plain enjoy each other.

Laurel is perfectly potty trained, she just got a bit confused when I left piles of freshly washed folded laundry on the floor because she thought they were puppy pads. That's an easy fix: all I have to do is stop being such a slob and put away my laundry.

I can easily see that ending very differently with an overstressed thirtysomething trying to add a new puppy on to an already overflowing schedule with kids, career, husband, other pets, etc. being unable to see that the dog isn't the one who is responsible for that particular minor glitch.

I'm not the slightest bit embarassed about how quickly things that seemed over the top, like a car seat and clothes, suddenly became just common sense and loads of fun in the past week. My new baby is delightful and I am enjoying her thoroughly even if I do wind up having to "homeschool" her and get the rest of her puppy shots from the clinic or the farm store.

I expected a smart little dog who could go as far in any sort of training situation as a Sheltie, Lab, or Golden, but this little lady is downright gifted and talented: she learned her name with no effort at all in less than a day, couldn't figure out WHY I wanted her to chase a tennis ball but figured out what "Go fetch!" meant almost immediately with the tag off an item of clothing, and I'm not sure whether the "Missouri Hound Dawg Song" circa 1912 is a command, a reward, a nickname, or just a silly thing we do.

I talk to her constantly and can afford "cute little commands" like "Sssh...it's a secret" instead of just "hush" or "quiet". Today I started just bringing her into stores with me instead of leaving her crated in the car and it really worked! Nobody cared, we were never asked to leave, and everybody who noticed her loved her.

My human kids already think I'm crazy so who cares.
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  #5  
Old 11-18-2018, 02:41 PM
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I can't edit yet, so I guess I'll just do another reply for my third post. I am unclear on why I can't post on the main forums yet. I'm totally not offended by any anti-spam or anti-troll measures that are necessary in this day and age, but I am a bit old fashioned and don't like smartphones. I'd like to adjust anything in my browser settings that might be causing problems or just relax about technical limitations and enjoy what I can access.

I'm not "trying to make Laurel a vegetarian" and would love to get her eating the Taste of the Wild full time, I just need a bit of help with unfamiliar aspects of dog nutrition, behaviour around feeding time, and unless she gets all her meat from the kibble, of course a crash course in handling wet food or other meat safely because that has not been a daily part of my life before.

It would be fun to share food with her if I can do so safely. She was raised on purina, which is mostly cornmeal, so it makes sense that she wanted my grains when I abruptly switched her to a grain-free food. If she's going to be a brat about a particular brand, I'll probably thank her breeder eventually that at least it's such an inexpensive and easy to find brand.

I'm finding wonderful posts and static resources here and will probably upgrade my membership if that's all it is. I don't have or want a Facebook and forum hosting isn't free.

I'm currently researching vaccines, which is making me very grateful for Laurel's breeder's excellent advice to just go to the inexpensive vaccine clinic in our town for puppy shots. Petco is accepting the paperwork just fine even though I just got Distemper/Parvo this time and can come back next week for kennel cough if I choose to do so. Legally all we need is rabies, but it's a small town and all the dog people I have asked say that this is either the best veterinary practice or the "only one in town that's any good" and I am so over vaccine "mommy wars" in general after raising my human kids that I don't want to rehash it with yet another pediatrician...um...er...I mean...

On the other hand, it was so freeing to just "pull a Brittany Spears", drive away from clinic with dogbaby cuddled up in my lap, and click on the "buy it now" button on eBay to get a $10 car seat that I thought was "way over the top" last week (and still do when the price tag is $79.99 at Petco) because I know darned well I'll never get her back in that crate again but that's my own business.

Laurel will never become president of the United States or discover a cure for cancer, but she'll never become the next unibomber or a drain on society either. She's my new best friend and investment in my own health, physical fitness, and value as a human being and she is all the dog I need even if she doesn't weigh three pounds yet.

Of course she can sleep in my bed, enjoy tastes of butternut squash soup from my thermos on the trail, get spoiled rotten on family holidays like Christmas, and do other things Chis with younger parents can't because I already finished raising my "people puppies".

I've got a ton of leftover fabric scraps and yarn scraps and just need patterns to turn that old, sentimental garbage into a ton of cute puppy clothes as well miniature long underwear, rainsuits, and other winter hiking gear.

Spaying is absolutely not happening before puberty and if the vet takes issue it should be easy enough to smile politely and say something along the lines of "My check isn't coming until X but I'll tell my kids what you said. Maybe one of them can help out with a loan".

I think I kinda like being a "crazy old Chihuahua lady" in training.
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Old 11-21-2018, 04:51 AM
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I think you should switch her kibble (Purina to TOTW) very slowly so her tummy and her can adjust. She might not be picky just maybe you switched to fast and it was different for her. I'm sure she won't be a Purina dog forever but I do believe if your dog does well in a certain brand and it works you should stick with it especially for those who've tried many different brands.

Yeah posting in different fourms and editing is just for spam but hang in there and soon enough you'll be able to post and edit freely.

What do you mean a crash course on handling, nutrition, behavior around food? If thou have any questions feel free to ask but I'm sure you probably have more knowledge than I do lol

I've gotten my dogs their vaccines at a low cost clinic (its a pet shelter that has a vet clinic open to the public) and they survived so I'm sure your pups is just fine.

I'm glad you have each other. You seem to really have a bond and giving her the best possible life.
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Old 11-21-2018, 03:39 PM
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I have enjoyed reading your posts. You sound like a good chi 'mommy'! Just a thought-- please do not drive with your dog in your lap! I have a 'ferret' carrier that works just fine and my chi's love them. I seat belt them into the car seat. They have driven to New Hampshire from Chicago in them. Of course we stop every 2 hours and let them stretch their legs. Just remember a crate or carrier is really a place for a pup to sleep or be confined for awhile. If you do not teach her to accept confinement she might be panicked when she HAS to be. Lord forbid, there is an accident and you and her were injured--she'd be in a kennel or vet. I have Iris pens for my 2 chi's with the carriers inside with comfy bedding inside. They love 'em. One of my chi's just had a dental, and I asked the vet to put her into her carrier to recover from the anesthesia.

as for the food--just switch very gradually. Try the Taste o t Wild kibbles as a treat maybe?
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  #8  
Old 12-03-2018, 05:17 AM
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Susan, you're absolutely right and I'm sorry if I accidentally made you lose any sleep worrying about this. Even my mother, who used to love driving down Skyline Drive and the Blue Ridge Parkway with her Shelties in her lap, stopped doing that long before the turn of the millenium.

I was afraid I'd never get Laurel back in her crate after the "Brittany Spears" incident, but she's the one who went in willingly. We use it in the house when I need to check the mail, take out the garbage, or any other possible risk of lost puppy or squashed puppy since I live on a busy street and the cat wasn't supposed to go outside when he lived here but he did get out fairly regularly, at least once a month or so. He survived long enough to come back but Laurel can't any more than she "has nine lives" or "always lands on her feet"--she's not a cat just because she's the size of one, she's a DOG and she could die!!!!!

Of course I had my eye on a cute pink puppy crate that looks more like the ones I remember from my own childhood, but Laurel likes the cat's old crate better because it's small and cozy and darker than what my mom used for her Shelties and it's small enough to be an appropriate car seat in my small car.

The $10.50 eBay puppy booster seat was a no-go. I'm trying to teach this baby how to walk on a leash. I hike a lot. She has no interest whatsoever in sitting in the booster and looking out the window so all she does is struggle to get out so she can crawl in my lap.

Of course she can't, but she's learning to ignore or despise the THING attached to her harness that won't let her!

Nope. Not going to work. I'd feel so much more foolish if I'd paid the $79.99 pricetag at Petco but it would still be just money and Laurel is my dog. I can't repurpose a kid/grandkid car seat either, so the crate it is until she's old enough and wise enough to give the $10.50 booster another try.

In the meantime, crate time is ALWAYS received with waggy tail and wiggles of anticipation: she never knows for sure if it means a day in the forest or a few minutes while I check the mail but she's an optimist.
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