We didn't ask for it. And when our three grown children surprised us with a new 10-week puppy last week as we celebrated Jennifer and my birthdays, let's just say the tears Jennifer shed were not tears of joy.
A puppy? Arggggh! We're too old for this.
But then…. well, if you're a dog person, you know what happened…how those little bright eyes and that sappy, ears-down joy that they show when they first see you every morning soon turns you into a gushing doofus.
It happened to us. Like I said, we didn't ask for it. Our kids knew, however, that ever since Tai, or 12-year-old Norwegian Elkhound died after a short illness last summer, our hearts have had a hole in them. Tai loved our Roadtreking life. It is hard not to find a photo or a blog post from our four plus years of traveling in which he wasn't part of the action.
He got recognized in our travels so much that he was a celebrity in his own right. And when he died, we received literally hundreds of condolences from our readers and podcast listeners.
We always knew we would get another dog. We just weren't ready yet. Our kids apparently thought we were.
So here we are trying to train a puppy who is non-stop energy. Housebreaking has been pretty much 24 x 7. We've bought books and guides and crates and toys and have devoted pretty much full time all week long to not letting him out of our sight.
The challenge is far from over.
We've named him Bo, in honor of Tai, whose full name was Taibo. Like Tai, Bo is a Norwegian Elkhound, our fourth over the years. Always one at a time, thank you. How people with two or more do it is beyond me.
We have had to change our travel plans for a few weeks. All the experts say young pups need two to three weeks of a calm, regular schedule and pretty much constant time with their humans for proper bonding.
We have introduced him to our Roadtrek CS Adventurous XL motorhome, where he will spend a lot of time once we start moving out across North America. He seems to like that same spot between the two front seats that Tai had claimed. We're now outfitting the Roadtrek with a doggy seat belt and some other things to make traveling with a puppy a bit easier.
He seems to find it very comfortable and travels well. We've taken him for a series of short rides and let him spend extended periods of time in the Roadtrek. He shows no stress or anxiety. You can see from the photos that he has spent time looking out all the windows and finding the best spots.
Already, a week into this sudden life intrusion by a new puppy, he's sleeping through the night. He seems to know his name, too.
But, man, this puppy training is a lot of work. Our lives have been turned upside down and I think we're both still a little shell shocked.
Wish us well…