Finally, Cooper is here and although my brain is off track due to a massive lack of sleep, I cannot simply skip these first 48 hours of our life together.
Last Saturday we drove 4 hours up North to meet and collect out little boy. In my imaginary world everything would go smoothly, from a stay in a lovely hotel and Italian dinner that I booked weeks in advance to cuddling with Cooper the same day before heading back home on Sunday morning. In reality it turned out to be such an emotional roller coaster that my body couldn’t cope with the excitement too well. I was ill, my body was shacking from an adrenaline rush, I had a migraine and only wished I could get through Saturday and get home.
But meeting Cooper and his family was wonderful, absolutely wonderful. His mum and dad were gorgeous and came to me for a cuddle and kisses. And Cooper simply fell asleep in my arms as if it was utterly natural.
And on Sunday we picked him up, put in a wicker basket lined with a linen bag, vetbed for extra softness and a couple of puppy blankets, and drove back. We were really worried about Cooper feeling uncomfortable or experiencing a call of nature, but the little guy slept through the journey waking up once in a while just to give me a quick kiss or chew his toy before nodding off again.
Upon arrival, feeling very tired and unsure of the new surroundings, the pup sweetly settled in his new bed, surrounded himself with a few toys and fell asleep for a couple of hours.
The rest of the day and first night were spent playing, cleaning, eating and sleeping and, luckily, Cooper liked everything. I moved to the sofa to keep him company 24/7 and take him to the garden whenever nature calls. And yes, having a little pup is tiring and the sleep is pretty much non-existent for me now, but he is absolutely worth is and such a sweet little bundle of joy.
Diet-wise, he was raised on Royal Canine Puppy Junior given to him three times a day at 9:00, 15:00 and 21:00, but since I wanted him to be on Royal Canine Cocker Spaniel Junior and eat a little earlier, I began making little swaps at every meal to allow his digestive system get used to the new food without problems and moving feeding time by 30 minutes.
On Sunday he had RCPJ all day, on Monday I replaced roughly 1/5 of RCPJ with RCCSJ at breakfast, then 1/4 of RCPJ with RCCSJ at lunch and dinner. Today I gave him 2/3 of RCPJ mixed with 1/3 RCCSJ and will keep doing so until he is fully on RCCSJ. Weight-wise, Sunday menu was 50g RCPJ x3 (but he seemed very hungry afterwards), Monday – 45g RCPJ + 15g RCCSJ at breakfast and lunch, 40g RCPJ + 20g RCCSJ at dinner (and although he still woofed it down at a speed of light, he seemed satisfied and slept better), Tuesday onwards for at least two weeks (until he is 3 months old) – same as Monday dinner.
As of today the food is “served” at 7:30, 13:30 and 19:30, which gives him enough time to empty his bowels at night before going to bed and also less time between waking at 5:00 for a little play, nodding off until 7:00, going to the toilet and then having a meal. Seems to work well so far.
We are still establishing a proper routine, but he already remembers to ask for a garden toilet most of the time, which is blissful. To teach him, I simply watched Cooper for a day to see how his behaviour changes when he’s about to do something, plus took the pup outside after every nap, meal and at night and waited for him to relieve himself – normally happened within first 5 minutes or so. Of course it’s not perfect yet, but it’s only day 2.
His taste in toys changes every day and I am glad we stocked up well this time. He loves to chew ropey toys, Becco bone and blankets and has a special relationship with his puppy playpal – sort of catepillar-like toy with projections of sorts and a noisy buckwheat-filled insert.
He knows his name and since he follows us everywhere I use “Come” cue to play-teach him recall. Today we also tried a puppy collar – Coops was ok to put it on, but wasn’t 100% about wearing a new accessory, so we will try again tomorrow.
Love him to bits.