I have a brand new puppy! What an exciting time. I'm trying to enjoy each and every moment and it isn't always easy, particularly when life and work steps into our way. There is so much to do with a new puppy and it's so important to take advantage of those ever so critical first months of their lives for positive socialization and training.
I've been working with service dog puppies for years now so having puppies in the house is not new to me. However, having a young puppy is something I have not experienced in a number of years. More recently the older puppies come to me for their final training or to work on puppy behavior issues. So while I have puppies under the age of two in my home all the time... Bringing a little eight week old home is an entirely new ball game.
I picked up my puppy in New York which meant our first night together was in a hotel room. I wasn't sure what the night would bring. My concerns were on so many levels... Don't keep the neighboring rooms up with a barking puppy. Don't let her have an accident on the carpet. Don't set the president of having her sleep in the bed. Don't get a room too far from the exit.... The list goes on and on. How was this going to work? I thought I might have to sleep on the floor next to her crate and while I did get a room fairly close to the door I actually checked to see if opening the window and dropping her out for a quick pee was a possibility!
When it was bedtime I got ran the puppy out for her (hopefully) last trip out to go potty. Immediate success thankfully When I came back in I tossed her in the crate and got into my pajamas so quickly she didn't have time to think about crying. I sat down next to the crate and sorted through my stuff so I could lay out my "going out in the middle of the night" outfit. After all, I had to be ready and fortunately I had thought of that when I packed and had brought a nice big pair of sweats that I could toss on in a flash over my pj's, along with a pair of slip on shoes. OK, all set...
Well not really all set because now the puppy is starting to cry in the crate. I can tell she is tired but she is a puppy and this is her first night away from Mom and littermates. I sat next to the crate and she would doze off, but then wake and cry until eventually the crying won out and turned into full blown screams. My poor puppy. (Not to mention my poor neighbors)
I was just about to pull her from the crate and give up when my friend, who was traveling with me, and who also happens to be a breeder said, "Maybe she needs something to sleep on" I'm thinking.... "ya right... she has two big fluffy dog beds". What else could she possibly need. So, as if my friend could read my mind, she explained to me that puppies sleep in piles.... "Puppy piles" she called them, and that sleeping that way was probably what she was used to, so if I simulated a puppy pile she might settle in and do better.
I didn't exactly roll my eyes, but at that point I was willing to try anything. So I took a couple old towels and blankets and rolled them up creating shapes that simulated puppies. I placed them on the sides and back of her crate and put her back in. She poked around in the crate for a few minutes and started climbing on the rolls and then to my shock and amazement, she found her spot and fell asleep.
I was able to hop into the bed and sleep until she woke me at around 2am. I jumped into my late night puppy potty clothes and took her out. After we were done she went back into the crate and slept soundly until 5:30am.
All things considered it was a great nights sleep for both of us, thanks to my friends puppy pile suggestion. At 5:30am there was no going back into the crate. Puppy piles or not, she was awake and day two was about to begin.