Here's part 2 of Hershel the Little King! I'm really happy to be able to write about our journey getting him and welcoming him to our new little family.
I went to pick him up with my brothers after work because Josh was working. Our original intention was to bring him straight home to the apartment because I read that the puppy would be confused if you take him anywhere other than where his new home was going to be when you pick him up. Our Dachshunds at home are around 12 years old and they're very spoiled. They don't have a lot of interaction with other dogs and have no interest in doing so. So we were very excited to be able to introduce them to the new puppy. Hershel was very quiet on his way home. He stayed in the back with my youngest brother and nestled his head into his arms. We figured our house would be his second home anyway, so we stopped there first.
Their first meeting was really cute! Miles immediately stopped wagging his tail as soon as he saw I had a puppy in my arms. I stayed close by and ready in case the meeting wouldn't go well, but they played nice! I was happy to see that my Nena took to him immediately. We're guessing her mommy instincts kicked in when she smelled his puppy smell because she usually walks away from anything that doesn't interest her. She's the princess of the house. The meeting was brief but so sweet. Miles unfortunately does not like Hershel very much, but we hope that changes over time. He's just a grumpy old pup.
December 19th is also Josh's birthday, so we had a celebration at the apartment with my family! My dad is usually pretty mellow but around our dogs he turns into a cuddler. I was nervous about them meeting because he was the first to say he didn't think getting a puppy was a good move, but it went much better than expected! He couldn't let go of him and was so warm with him <3
Miles and Nena have been settling into having Hershel around when Josh and I come home to the house. We like to visit the house about once a week and we always bring Hershel with us. My family adores him but they're also getting used to the energy a new puppy brings into the house. Miles is still grumpy with him and Nena likes to slam her paw on him when she's had enough of his nipping on her mouth. They play and steal each other's toys and share treats. We do our best to show Miles and Nena that they are still our babies but also getting them to accept that there is a new baby and they have to be nice with him.
I was fortunate enough to be able to spend two weeks with Hershel on my own while Josh had to go to work. This was filled with a lot of excitement and not enough sleeping. We knew we wanted to crate train him and potty train him to go outside, but we weren't sure about everything else. We bought some potty pads so he would have an option when we left him at home while we were out, but he did not take to them. At all. He was actually very good about peeing when he was taken outside and would hold it in until we took him out! He still doesn't really like to go on walks but I think that's because it's been so bloody cold here! When it gets warmer we'll be able to enjoy walks and running together with him. We forgive the accidents at home when it's just too cold for him outside. Most of the time he just cries and sticks by the door when we take him out so we just bring him inside ;-;
He didn't take to the crate very well, and hearing him cry at night was too much for me to bear. We put his bed in the bedroom with us and no crate and he just cried all night to be put up on the bed. When we slept with him in the bed we were terrified of squishing him since he was so tiny resulting in us not sleeping. Eventually we put him in his crate in the living room in a cozy spot between the couch and the chair and spent the day trying to get him comfortable in his crate. When we went out we would leave him in his crate and hope he didn't pee. Eventually he chose to be in his crate, especially when he was scared or didn't want to do something (like take a bath or when the vacuum cleaner was out), so we finally succeeded with that! He still keeps his ears up for when we wake up in the morning and barks until we take him out to potty and then he joins us in bed until we are ready to wake up. I think he really likes this because he usually assaults us with kisses and burrows under all the blankets.
At first Hershel really loved sleeping on our chests and whenever he got a chance, but things slowly changed. We noticed he would find things the second we'd turn our backs and make them his personal chew toys. This includes coats, sneakers, hoodies, socks, bras, underwear, etc. He doesn't do any damage to them and we suspect he likes these things because they smell like us.
Christmas was our first holiday together with him! Mana came over and had a little gift for him that we still die over. She got him a little shirt that said "I believe in Santa Paws" <3 At the time none of his sweaters really fit him and this fit perfectly so we put it on him so he could stay warm. Christmas was so much fun because I don't think we'll ever get enough of seeing Miles and Nena try to get along with Hershel. He's so full of energy and excited to play with them and they're just GRUMPS. He runs in the house and immediately jumps into their beds and steals their blankets. Nena was very accepting of this for a while and oh our hearts when she finally let him sleep in her bed <3
I always get Christmas presents for our dogs and this year I got to buy a third bag for Hershel! The presents always include a bunch of their favorite treats, a new blanket and a few new toys personalized for them and their likes. Miles absolutely adores Christmas because he knows his presents wait for him under the tree and he has to wait until midnight to receive them. He tears his bag open and surrounds himself with all his toys while he eats his treats. Hershel was more interested in watching Miles than tending to his own gifts XD We were very happy to see Nena excited about this year's gifts as well! I think she got in the spirit <3
When we first brought Hershel home, I think our biggest worry was if he was going to be able to be on his own when we went to work. I don't get home late but it would mean going straight from work to home to make sure he was ok. He's had a few episodes where we had to take him to the vet and be told it was going to be ok. We tried strictly feeding him his puppy food but he eventually grew bored of it and became more interested in what we were eating. My puppies at home eat homemade food and they have eaten it for years. They're perfectly happy and healthy. We didn't want to feed him food we made for a while because we know the puppy food has essential nutrients puppies need to grow, but we couldn't escape for long. We make him his own meals and mix it with his puppy food. We keep the puppy food out for him all day to make sure he has the option to eat if he wants, but he eats it sparingly. He looks forward to rice and chicken for dinner that he eats with us!
I'll go into our vet experience and how we're presently doing with Hershel to wrap up this story. He's not as tiny anymore and he's much more rambunctious! I hope you're enjoying reading this journey <3