Sunday, 16 January 2022

Meet Olive & Taking on a new puppy tips

 It's been a while since I did a blog post and I thought I'd start 2022 with news of our puppy Olive!

I wouldn't call this new news, especially if you follow me on Instagram as she's been with the House of Rayment since the end of September, but I can safely say she's very much settled into the household. 

So why a puppy now? Well Chris and I have been toying with the idea for 2-3 years now but we'd been considering moving house and changing jobs, so it felt like it wasn't quite the right time. Now that we're settled in our new house and jobs are sorted, it felt right to introduce a new member to the family and of course we opted for a rescue dog from Cyprus! (All  of our rescues are from Cyprus.) 

The rescue group we used are called Polis Pound, based in Paphos who were an absolute joy to communicate and liaise with. They were on hand to answer any questions we had and did a video interview with us to make sure we were the right fit for Olive. We knew we wanted some sort of spaniel breed again as we love their energy and running with them, so when Olive popped up as available it was an instant yes. Mum is a lab cross and with her beautiful ears it's believed her dad could have been a Springer. Once she's fully grown she is expected to be medium size. 

Olive in the Pound!

Olive was one of Lucy's beautiful puppies. The poor mum was dumped at the gates of the pound in a state after only a few weeks of giving birth to her litter! Thanks to Lucy being the perfect mum and with some extra loving care from the fabulous pound volunteers the pups are were ready to find their forever families and travel in September, making Olive 4 months old when she arrived with us.

Olive in the pound

Why a rescue dog?

We've always had rescue pets in our household. Both Harry the dog and Zara the cat are rescues too and they will always have a special place in my heart. I think because we know we've rescued them from a horrible alternative and also I'd rather save an animal than pay for one that's been bred for purpose. The number of euthanized animals could be reduced dramatically if more people adopted pets instead of buying them. When you adopt, you save a loving animal by making them part of your family and open up shelter space for another animal who might desperately need it. I don't think I could do it any other way now and I would highly recommend it. Yes we did miss out on a few months of her life initially but it was worth it in order to give her a loving home.

Since having Olive, she's settled in amazingly and we can't imagine life without her! Harry is also very much enjoying her company, especially after the cat went missing in May (which is another story coming soon...)


As well as being thick as thieves, Harry has been great at showing Olive the ropes and mentoring her which has meant her confidence has really grown since she's joined us. Equally Olive has boosted Harry's confidence as before she was here he was very nervous of laminate floors and wouldn't go into my study! Now however he will happily trot in and settle down whilst I craft away. It's lovely!


Holidays

Olive has already been on holiday too! After a few weeks of being with us we took her away to Wales for a week and she adored her adventures and new sights and smells.




With still being so young we didn't do long days of walking with her and had regular rest stops at the pub so she could snooze and we could get rehydrated? Ahem...



Socialising

We've made it a priority to socialise Olive as much as possible. From taking her on her fist walks around our village it was apparent she was a little nervous of other dogs, barking at them as they walked past. One of the best places we've found is Holly Lodge Farm and CafĂ© with it's enclosed fields for exercising and socialising dogs. 

Olive socialising with friends dogs at Holly Lodge Farm


As well we've had family and friends dogs over to the house for play dates with Olive which she has loved and now on walks she is excited to see other dogs rather than intimidated.

Taking on a rescue puppy

This is my second time around taking on a rescue dog and though they are all very different and have individual needs, here are a few tips that I've found help with them settling in:

- Their own little space. It's important to determine where your dog will be spending most of their time. Pick a room that’s the centre of activity at home so your soon-to-be family member won’t feel isolated. The kitchen is often a good option as it’s best for easy clean-ups. We opted for the kitchen/utility area as the floor is wipe able for any accidents or spills of food and drink!

-Dog proof your home!-Make sure the areas where your dog will be spending most of it's time during the first few months are dog proof. Things such as moving anything precious out of the way that could be chewed, electrical items and cleaning items put on a high shelf. 

-When you’re out of the house. Create a temporary, gated-off space for your pup where they can’t damage or eat things. This will be his area whenever you’re not at home. For us we've chosen this as the utility with a baby gate to section it off from the entire kitchen.

-Register your dog's microchip. I did this as soon as we got our pets home. Be sure to register your contact information with the chip’s database company. 

-Bringing them home. Your new dog should be safely secured. When we collected Olive we were instructed to bring a slip lead with us. They may find the car trip stressful so having them in a safe place will make the trip easier for them. We bought a dog car seat and filled it with a blanket, lined it with puppy pads and attached the seatbelt which goes through the bottom of the car seat to ensure puppy is secure. It's also important to remember that you could get fined if you're driving with an unrestrained pet in the car!

- Introducing puppy to existing pets- Its important to get them introduced to your existing pets. We did this by getting Harry and Olive to meet in the garden on a lead. Initially Olive barked at Harry but soon they were sniffing one another and happy in one another's company.

-Giving puppy a tour. Once home, keep your dog on the leash and lead  from room to room - spend a few minutes in each room. Show them where their food and water bowls are.
-Take him to his own little safe haven. Take him to his toileting area immediately. Spend some time with him so he gets used to the area and can relieve himself.

-Settling a rescue dog at night. It is not unusual for puppies and even adult dogs to cry on their first night in a new home – remember that they are away from what is familiar to them! You may wish to put their bed in your bedroom for the first few nights, as being near you can help to provide a source of comfort. Another tip I have is to put a worn t-shirt in their bed. I've found this comforts a new puppy, having your scent near them in their bed and helps them to settle in.

New Pup Shopping List

Before bringing puppy home, its important to be prepared with a bed, food bowls, lead, harness etc. Here are a few things I bought for Olive in case you're interested and full disclosure, they're all green/olive green because she's called Olive!

Forest Green Dog Collar- Sophie Allport

I've found this really hardwearing and looks really smart too!



















Bubbles & Fizz dog Toy- Sophie Allport

As a prosecco lover I couldn't not buy this for olive, plus what an adorable and non-tacky dog toy!












Waterproof Washable hardwearing Olive Green dog bed- Amazon

This bed has been an absolute lifesaver with Olive having accidents. The entire bed unzips so the cover can be washed and the padding too. It's very hard wearing and durable against her claws!

















Fleece Blankets- Amazon

These have been perfect to line beds, take in the car or pop on the sofa when Olive wnts to come up for cuddles.

















Leash Harness Set- Amazon

We didn't use the collar but the leash and harness were a great beginner set for when Olive was small to get her used to being on a lead and on walks. 


So that's little Olive! I hope the tips in this post have been helpful and you'd consider rescuing a pup rather than just buying one. There are so many dogs and puppies that need rescuing. If you're interested in the stories behind rescuing Harry and Zara, check out this post.

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