Thursday, June 16, 2011

Merlin's first few days at home!

Me & Merlin on the drive home from picking him up
WARNING:  I am becoming one of "those people"-----you know, the annoying ones who share tons of pictures of their puppy thinking everyone wants to see them....and talk incessantly about their puppy and his habits and quirks and potty successes and failures and thinks others want to hear about them. LOL

I'm sorry, I can't help it.  MERLIN IS JUST TOO CUTE!!! *smile*

So anyway....Merlin finally, after months of waiting, came home for good this past Saturday.  I would have posted about it earlier except I seriously could not pull myself away from him long enough really to even check emails...much less write posts on this blog!! *LOL*

So anyway...he came home on Saturday and it's been great so far.....

....Merlin is SUPER sociable and so he really took to me and Jason both immediately.  Jason's step-sister, Bridget, drove him to our area (because she was coming into the area already to visit a friend) and as soon she handed him to me, Merlin was wagging his tail and licking my face.  So he's super adorable.  He's actually been a dream for the most part, too, in terms of behavior and care, etc. I don't mean to brag (well, OK, maybe a little) but I'm convinced he's the most perfect puppy in history of the world!!! :)

We've already had a bunch of really great successes and milestones with him (pictures at the end of this blog post for those of you who don't care for all the little details!)-----

Potty Training:  Mary Jo, his breeder,  had already told us that he was puppy pad trained and knew to go potty outside most of the time....but we'd also heard horror stories about how hard Yorkies are to train.  I also knew that even well-trained puppies sometimes enter a new situation or environment and the stress makes them "forget" (either temporarily or forever) what they already have learned about good potty etiquette.  So I entered a little gun shy.  I don't want to jinx us, but Merlin really has proven to be kind of a dream when it comes to house training----especially compared to some of the horror stories I've ready about Yorkies online and in some of the many books we got to prepare for his arrival.  He really does consistently go potty outside already (and remember he's only just barely about 14 or 15 weeks old at this point)!  He is able to "hold it" all night long....and he even holds it during the day while I'm at work.  I have been coming home during lunch to let him out and then when I get home after work, as we're on a schedule, but interestingly, even though he's trained to use a puppy pad and I do leave one out for him during the day in case he has to go while I'm not home (he's TINY...and so is his bladder, so we know there are limits! LOL), he has literally only used his puppy pad ONE TIME since he came home on Saturday afternoon!   He's only had 2 minor piddle accidents---both in the first day or two and both upstairs on the bedroom carpet.   In both cases, though, he had just been outside and he NEVER tries (or tried) to pee anywhere else in the house and so think it might have been more about being too excited and not being able to control himself OR maybe some kind of "marking" behavior (because our bedroom smells like our cat, Demeter, for sure).  That hasn't happened again in a couple days now, though, so I think he's pretty well adjusted to what he is and is not supposed to be doing----although I will say he's a bit of a baby about going outside if the weather isn't nice....he doesn't like the wind or cold.  I know it TOTALLY sucks to even be TALKING about "cold" in mid-June....but the other morning it was just barely 60 degrees outside and he acted like we were going into Antarctica to pee! LOL  He also has made it fairly clear he does not appreciate going out to potty when the grass is wet (I'm sure because he's so tiny it means that wet cold grass rubbing his belly and wetting his pays, legs and tummy).  Anyhow...potty training has been going very, very well all things considered....especially fora dog so young and so small!!

Eating:  Merlin is eating pretty well.  I have to admit that at first when he came home I was a little worried because he didn't eat much and when I put food down he would take a bite or two and then ignore it...but we've determined he's just a little finicky (which I'm nobody to judge-----if you follow this blog closely you know that I have more than my own fair share of crazy food behaviors! LOL)....and also just that he's a tiny little thing and so he doesn't need to eat large quantities of food.  He's got tons of energy and hasn't had a single blood sugar issue (another common problem for Yorkies) I think he's doing very well in this area.  He has his first vet appointment with us (he's had several with Mary Jo already to get him up to date with shots, etc.) next Wed. so we'll see then to make sure he's still a healthy weight and everything, but I'm guessing he's perfect!

Walking:  He adores being outside.  I know lots of people we talked to and some of the reading I did said that a puppy may not be able to handle leash walking....but Merlin loves going outside...and actually the last few nights we've been taking him on quite the little treks!  We just walk around the neighborhood for 20-30 minutes at a time, but he's so tiny that I'm sure it's the equivalent of about a million miles----and he keeps up very well!  My only little concern about walking with him on the leash is his harness.  He's so tiny that the harness we had for him won't fit, so we had to get a smaller one....which ALSO is too I altered it to make it fit....but he HATES it.  When he has the harness on, he will barely move----but when you just put the leash around his neck or on a collar, he runs along like a race-car.  So we did get him a little collar----which is not ideal.  Yorkie's have infamously fragile throats and while he's VERY well behaved on the leash/collar right're really not supposed to use a collar because you could hurt his little neck/throat.  So I'm in the process of trying to get him used to wearing a harness still....and we're hoping when he gets a little bigger he'll be able to wear one of the harnesses we got for him that is more comfortable.

Socialization/PlaytimeOK, so Merlin is easily the cutest and friendliest puppy in the world.  He's not afraid of anything....he loves to play and he loves to cuddle.  He's bonded to both of us so well it's amazing.  He has a ton of toys (because I have every intention of spoiling him! LOL) and he loves to play both inside and outside.  He loves to cuddle and he loves to sit on my lap while we watch TV and just chew on a rope or sleep and snuggle.  He also is super social with other people.  When we're out walking he wants to meet everyone (which is a huge departure from both our cat, Demeter, and our parrot, Sarabi----both of whom would really rather we decided to become hermits and never see or speak to another living soul again...much less allow those people into our home----they HATE everyone except for us usually! LOL).    We are signed up to start a puppy obedience and socialization class starting in July so we're hoping to keep Merlin's friendly demeanor intact for the long haul!

Other pets:  Obviously Merlin is in a multiple pet home.  Sarabi (the parrot) likes to shout at him and watch him, but is otherwise non-plussed by his presence.  He is curious about her but seems to keep his distance OK.  Our cat, Demeter, on the other hand hates him.  She did nothing but hide and growl and hiss for the first 2 days he was here.  She is, as we expected, adjusting now....and she will come out while he's around---especially if he's being calm (as I type this for example he is napping between my legs on the ed and she is sitting on the nightstand about 4 feet away licking her paws.  So she's coming around....I'm not sure she's every going to LOVE Merlin, but I think she'll get to the point that she can tolerate him.  It sucks for the poor little guy, though, because he REALLY wants her to like him.  In her bolder moments when she gets too close to him, he gets very excited and starts to bounce around and yip and wag his tail because he thinks she is going to play with him and then as soon as he starts to bound over towards her she hisses and streaks out of the room! LOL

Other Little Accomplishments:  So among the other little things that are going very well are his schedule....he really seems to get it and able to follow it....which means that potty and playing and sleeping and everything are going very smoothly.  In fact, I know that puppies making it through the night is a big deal....but he came to us already crate trained and he has slept in his crate through the entire night every night since he got here.  I do have to get up awful early (like 5:30am) to let him out to potty but then he just comes up and lays at the foot of the bed for an hour or so while we go back to sleep.  When he came to us, as well, he was adamant about avoiding stairs.  He wouldn't go up or down stairs or steps of any kind so he had to be carried.  We live in a 2 story house with a finished basement and there is a decent sized step to get off both the front and back porches of our house, too.  Well...not even a week at home and Merlin has successfully figured out how to navigate both porches and all the steps in the house so he can follow us up and down the stairs as needed now! :)

So, anyhow, I'm sure you're all bored to tears (if you even read this far) so here's the are some pictures of our life with Merlin so far:
Merlin in his little bed in the corner of the kitchen (where he'll be spending most his days while I'm at work).

Could anything BE any cuter? Come on now!  Really?!?!?!

Like I said-----you know you're jealous!! LOL

Our first night home....Merlin and I playing with one of his MANY toys----a stuffed dragon that squeaks and crinkles!

Merlin has claimed this fleece blanket my mother made for us a few years ago.....

....and he has also decided the fringe around the edge of the blanket is for chewing! LOL

....and toes are apparently chewtoys, as well!! :)

How can you NOT want to look down and see this looking up at you?!?!

On the floor of our bedroom next to his crate.

Good morning, Jason!!!

Attacking his dragon toy.

That's Merlin in his playpen.  we got this really to put outside in the grass but for the time being it's where he's spending his days in the kitchen until we are CERTAIN that he can consistently either hold his potty or use his pad----in an effort to protect our wood floors as much as possible.

Lounging a silly little Tshirt that I got for him.....

.....the text on the Tshirt speaks for itself, obviously! :)

Look how butch he is.....athletic Tshirt and a football!!


Couldn't you just gobble him up!?!?!

Happiness is a perfect puppy!!! :)


  1. He is adorable. I have been checking everyday since Saturday waiting for a posting :-). In the spoiling department, do you give him treats? We just found Milk Bone has made a new size in their doggies bone We have been using the "puppy" size and breaking them in half for our little ones, but the mini is perfect size for tiny mouths! We use milk bone because they do such an awesome job of keeping teeth clean and strong.

  2. We do give him treats. He has some hard treats (similar to milkbone) that we got at a local pet store that are specially baked for toy breed dogs. We also have some treats that he LOVES which are a soft meat-based treat you have to refrigerate. They look like cocktail weiners. We got them at the recommendation of a listserve I joined that mentioned that little slices of hot dogs (in tiny bits) make a great training treat. So we've been using those treats to reinforce behaviors like good potty, climbing the stairs, and Merlin is even pretty close to understanding the "sit" command/hand gesture. They are the size of cocktail weiners and come in beef and chicken flavors. I cut it up into thin slices and then half the each treat we give him is about the size of dried black-eyed pea---because we don't want to overfeed him treats so he gets bad nutrition and/or won't eat his real food---but he sure loves them and scarfs them up!!! We'll probably use these treats when we start obedience classes, too.

  3. Thanks for the post and pix. Like Judy, I've been anxiously waiting for this update. Love his t-shirt and definitely agree with what it says. Sure wish I were closer to come play with him.

    May I be his California Godmother? Pleeeeeeze?

  4. How is Merlin? Update please - with pictures :-)