If you follow me on social media, then you already know about our newest family member, Lemon Louise.
This sweet and cuddly little golden is also the reason I haven't posted in a while. Is dog mom brain a thing?
Life with Lemon has been super sweet, with a few sour moments. Did you catch what I did there... Anyways. The first couple of weeks with our baby girl was ROUGH. Not only did we have the normal puppy things to work through (no sleep, middle of the night potty breaks, biting, chewing, etc.) but our poor girl got a UTI within her first couple of days here with us. I'm not exaggerating when I say she peed every 20 seconds. It was horrible.
The first few weeks of hell aside (dramatic), it's been amazing. Our healthy girl is now 15 weeks old and she is sooo much fun. I couldn't imagine beach trips without her now. Or coming home to someone, other than Nick, that is super excited to see me lol.
I've gotten a lot of questions about where we found Lemon. We knew we wanted a Golden Retriever because they would fit our beach/water lifestyle. They also are just the absolute best and apparently get along well with cats -- although we're still working with ours haha. So because of being set on a specific breed, adopting wasn't really an option. We got Lemon from a breeder in Georgia. Before you get upset, we did a ton of research to make sure she was an ethical breeder. We drove 6 hours away just to make sure we weren't contributing to a bad situation. Our experience was amazing, June bred Goldens because she loved them, it wasn't all about the money. And she only has one litter every year or two, so she can really focus on the pups. We couldn't be more happy with our choice.
When people get puppies, it's super easy to just see the instagram highlight reel and think it's all just fluffy cuddles and puppy breath. It's waaaay harder than that. I'm not a puppy expert, but before I wrap up I'll leave you with a few tips that might help if you're planning on getting one.
Be prepared for the midnight potty breaks. I would even suggest setting alarms throughout the middle of the night up to a week before you get a puppy, just to prepare your body.
GET A CRATE. Obviously it's personal preference, but do your research because crate training from day 1 has saved our lives. Not only does it keep your puppy safe from getting into things, but it becomes their little home that they love. We lucked out with an easy crate training experience and Lemon has loved hers since the beginning.
Don't buy a bunch of cute collars and accessories for your puppy. Unless you're getting a pretty small breed, chances are your puppy will grow out of their $40 Etsy floral collar.. cough cough.. in just a couple of weeks. Don't waste your money. Chewy.com has a bunch of cheap options.
Do a ton of research and watch videos by well respected dog trainers. Going in with knowing the right things to do is super helpful. Follow @sayitoncedogtraining on instagram. He is from Pittsburgh and is by far the most well known trainer in the area for a good reason.
Take a ton of pictures. They grow so freaking fast.