I have come to post basically desperately needing some positive support, stories of positive experiences, and to be talked down ... I'm a wreck these days.
This will be a long post - be forewarned and forgive me.
First some history.
June of this year I lost the love of my life Honey - a 12 year old Brittany Spaniel. Sudden liver failure, possibly due to the ingestion of a toxic mushroom. My heart is still severely broken and will probably never heal. I've accepted that I have to live with this horrible pain and lonliness without her.
We have a remaining dog Daisy, who has been a great comfort to me in the last several weeks. We have bonded and I've fallen in love with her. she will never be Honey - no one will - but she is a great friend to me and is unbelievably dear to me.
We brought home a new puppy two weeks ago at the age of 8 weeks. She is a Chihuahua (larger type) that will grow to be about 9 to 10 lbs. It took two weeks for Daisy to be OK with her being here, but they reached a milestone yesterday and Daisy let the pup lounge in the crook of her belly. She still shows a little concern and jealousy, but all in all, is doing extremely well.
The main problem is me. I am completely overwhelmed by looking after this puppy. I have read so many books and articles, blogs and forum posts, and so many of them tell me to do different things - so I'm totally confused - what is the proper information?? I am overtired from getting up every 2 hours every night to pee the pup. And now I'm freaking out from all the horror stories I read online in regards to raising a puppy. Back in 2001 when I brought Honey home, I don't remember doing any of these things. I remember she had a few accidents, but I just cleaned them up with regular cleaners and we moved on with life. I never took her out every two hours during the night. Suffice it to say, she was completely housebroken by the age of 3.5 months. I recall being able to leave her on her own - WITH MY 2 CATS - at the age of 4 months - I remember it so clearly because it was 9/11 and I had to go to my mothers home. The weather that day was gorgeous - the mood - solemn.
So why is it I am reading all these things i'm supposed to be doing, that I didn't back then because I just didn't know any better - and back then, I ended up with an incredible, wonderful, gentle, housebroken and super loving little dog?
Do I really have to get up 3 times a night for the next 6 months?? How is it my Honey was completely trained at 4 months without all that, but now, every trainer, book, blog, article, and forum post says it is needed? I'm not opposed to getting up in the night to help my little pup out, but honestly, for half a year??? I'll die without sleep. I'm already feeling ill everyday and feeling like a zombie.
I also remember crate training Honey ... but not for long. She was sleeping up in my bed with me by 4 months. I'm not sure why these days, everyone says that crate training has to go on until complete potty training at around 8 months old. Was Honey really that much of an exceptional dog, or are there just way too many "internet dog experts" out there? I certainly don't think Honey was THAT exceptional. She was a puppy like any other puppy.
And lastly, I haven't left my house for two weeks because every one out in cyber space says that my puppy has to go out every hour to pee - no exceptions - because each accident further promises housetraining failure. I was going out shopping for food when Honey was 3 months old and she was fine for 2 hours on her own. Why is it now ... that is a huge faux pas?
I've also tried posting questions in Chihuahua forums because I was reading in many specialty forums that Chis are different. All I got from all the Chi owners is that Chis should be able to relieve themselves inside on pads. Chis need constant 24/7 attention and doting - that they need to be carried everywhere. I have to work and can't have a Chi clinging to my shirt snarling at ever customer that comes into my studio - I have to work to feed them and myself. And I've seen countless videos of vicious Chis that are ready to rip people's throats out. I am now terrified that I made a huge mistake in getting a Chi. Please - anyone - tell me those people are wrong; that Chis can be good dogs; and that it is not OK to let them pee and poo all over the house just because there is a little rain or snow outside.
OK, I've vented. I'm in tears by being so overwhelmed with everything I'm supposed to do so religiously. Can any of you out there please tell me your positive stories of raising puppies? Can any of you agree with me that there are a lot of "know-it'alls" out there that give almost impossible training guidelines? Can any of you tell me that Chihuahua's are dogs, just like any other dog, and capable of being wonderful, friendly, trained dogs, just like many other dogs?
I'm a mess. My husband says I read way too much on the internet, and most people that write all this are out of their minds. We have both raised wonderful dogs in our lifetimes and did it entirely without the internet, or dog whisperers, of blogs and books. Am I sabotaging my own success by trying to follow a million and one training techniques and even more rules that absolutely can't be broken or you will raise a dog from hell?
Please, if there are any reasonable old schoolers out there. Tell me to stop believing everything I read and give me reason to enjoy having this adorable puppy around. As it is now, all I have come to believe is that after this potty and crate training nightmare, I can look forward to a teething dog that will be ill all the time and destroying everything in it's path, and then after that, there will be a full year of a teenage brat that is basically saying UP YERS to me constantly.
I don't remember going through any of that with my Honey. I remember loving her to bits so quickly. If everything I have read is true, then why do people get dogs to begin with? And why wasn't Honey anything like that?
Again ... please help me with positive stories of raising puppies.
Thank you to any of you that can offer me some positive support.