Summer

one month of dog

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alright, so it’s actually been over a month and a half now (hah) by the time i actually got this post out, so even though i’m stickin’ with my catchy title, it’s more like ‘over a month and a half with dog’.

ferdinand’s first month with us was a lot like you’d might expect when you get a new pet. it’s a major adjustment period, especially from a dog that spent a year living on a farm in a kennel with other dogs to a flat in the city by himself.

the bad

the first two weeks of the house-breaking process. i guess because he was one year old when we adopted him, i thought he’d be automatically housebroken in any situation and oh, how wrong i was. after a hellish first night (that i described briefly in my december photo an hour post), we decided the best course of action was to remove the beautiful cozy rugs from our bedroom so there’d be no accidents. this actually was a wonderful idea, not only for this reason, but it encouraged ferdie to sleep in his dang bed instead of on the wood floor. (this dog will sleep anywhere, as long as it’s near you!)

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every night, we moved his dog bed further and further away from our bed to its intended place, which worked like a charm. also, update for anyone wondering: he has still not taken to ringing the ‘go outside’ bell himself. he’s excited when it rings, but doesn’t understand that he can ring it. although he does know the words ‘go outside’ and leaps like a salmon from a river when he hears them. (that’s why they actually call them ‘rabbit dachshunds’, turns out – hah!)

there was also the brief realization, when faced with a great deal of 50kc bus tickets abroad (!!), that my life has indeed changed. i can no longer just hop on a bus at a moment’s notice. (i probably shouldn’t even really be doing that anymore anyhow because that does not fit in with my travel savings goal at all). i have since come to terms with the responsibility of dog ownership and have realized that it doesn’t mean that we’re limited necessarily, it just means we have to get creative, which isn’t as hard as it would be in the states vs. the very dog friendly czech republic.

also of major note: separation anxiety + the accompanying barking/whining/scratching. it is one of his only real hang-ups. we have our good and bad weeks. basically the poor guy just doesn’t understand why every day can’t be like the weekend (right?) and why must we leave him at all? fortunately the most we end up leaving him during the week when both alex and i are away is only about three hours.

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the good

after this adjustment period (about 3 weeks or so), ferdie has made amazing strides. he learned not only his (new) name, but +3 different commands. the pup does not bark in almost any situation, and now after over a month with us, won’t even bark or scratch much at all when we’re leaving the house. also, it only took him a couple of weeks to go from totally nervous/scared to walk on the sidewalk near cars, bikes, and skateboards, but now you would never know he was such a country guy at all.

he doesn’t need a crate, is now totally house-trained, is pretty good at communicating what he wants (laying in the foyer if he wants to go outside), and is so. dang. cute. does he know that he’s being this cute? sometimes i wonder.

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the surprising

he was not scared of fireworks! we took him to a new year’s eve gathering and while the other dog there was barking, ferdie took notice of the fireworks, and did not react. this is baffling – we think it may have something to do with being a hunting dog or being around hunting dogs in his first formative year. hooray!

he faced the ultimate cultural choice as for christmas, he was gifted both an american football and a european (soccer) football. i suppose unsurprisingly, he would not touch the american football toy and the tiny soccer ball is his absolute favorite. he will not betray his european roots, even though he knows english now. the whole ‘love of ball’ thing was for me particularly surprising as my childhood family dachshund had no interest in them.

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all in all, we’ve settled into that happy dog-owning phase where one really gets to enjoy their companion without any of that bad stuff. he is the perfect dog for us and we were so lucky to find him! now, to get his doggie passport in preparation for upcoming trips, both domestic and abroad this winter! (i’m always updating my travel plans on this page, if you’re curious)

would you ever consider owning a dog if you live abroad? if you are a dog owner, have you run into any struggles along the way or has it been smooth sailing?

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