After a long day, we were all more than ready when bedtime rolled around. I’ve decided to try a crate and pen arrangement for her, meaning she doesn’t need to be taken out every few hours during the night. With Willow, that’s the method I used; I would set an alarm for every couple of hours and take puppy outside to empty. The time between alarms was set back by fifteen minutes every night. It worked really well, but was exhausting. This time, I’m trying the alternative method.
By having the crate inside of a pen, it means she has her “den” area and, at the opposite end of the pen to the crate, she can have a “toilet” area, with puppy pads. If she needs to toilet in the night, she can do so without me needing to attend, and far enough away from her bed that it’s not distressing.
Even so, this first night is a massive change for her. It’s the first night she’s ever spent away from her litter mates and everything she’s ever known, so she’s bound to be feeling vulnerable, scared and lonely. So, I set up camp next to her pen, so she knows there is someone there for her if she needs it. I put a large doggy bed by its side for me, in lieu of a mattress!
The first night, This Little Doggy was rather unsettled. She cried a fair amount, although it seemed not to be anything related to distress, and more of a running commentary, since she made the same noise whether she needed the toilet, was eating, or playing with toys.
The benefit of the pen arrangement, not needing to get up in the night, didn’t exactly go according to plan that night; she went a lot! I lost count, but she had around six or seven number 2s (“shog dit”, as my Dad would call it), and each somewhere I could tell she’d end up rolling in it if I didn’t pick it up first. Still, on the back of my overnight drive from Andorra and the early start to pick the puppy up, it didn’t seem too unsettled a night for myself!
Night two was far better. This Little Doggy’s digestive system had kicked into gear and she only needed one wee overnight. With only a few seconds of “conversation”, I think she’s now ready to be left alone, so I’ll be trying to get to bed tonight. Wish me luck!