Because Elvis is so small, we opted for a kitten harness rather than a collar and lead. The lead could damage his neck or strangle him. Elvis was not keen or wearing the harness at all! He tried to rub against the furniture to get it off, but to no avail. After attaching the lead, we picked him up and took him outside. We live in a flat, so the journey outside involved using a lift, stairs, and long corridors, which could have been daunting for him. Once outside, he was plonked on the ground. He was not impressed at all. He lowered himself down and looked up at us, as if to say ‘what are you doing to me?!’. He refused to move. He stayed still, in the huff, until we gave up and brought him back inside. We were in his bad books for around ten minutes, but then he settled in to his favourite spot, snuggled under blankets on the sofa. I’ve since done some research, and will try putting the harness on him for five minutes every day, to get him used to wearing it. I’ll also try putting a warm jumper on him, in case he was too cold. Although it was entertaining, it will have consequences in future if we cannot take him with us on days out!
After a traumatic first night away from his doggy family, we gave him lots of love and attention. I gave him fresh water and some fresh raw puppy food for breakfast. But he wouldn’t eat it. Getting worried that his blood sugar could crash, I put my finger in honey and let him lick my fingers. We sat on the sofa cuddling for a couple of hours. He was shaking with fear at first, but that soon stopped. He got scared again when my husband came through, or when the fridge or washing machine was noisy, but we kept cuddling him and he soon stopped shaking. Conscious that he’d puked the previous evening and hadn’t eaten since due to anxiety, I worried that he must be really hungry. I offered him a chew, raw food, a biscuit, water, but he wasn’t interested. Instead he wanted to follow us around and hang out. Eventually my husband started eating bacon, and Elvis looked intrigued. The cheeky little monkey wouldn’t eat his own food, but he did want Ed’s bacon! We were so relieved that he was finally eating. We gave him more bacon and some chicken straight from my hand. He grabbed it, took it into his crate, and ate it. It was clear he wanted more, so we happily obliged. He then started drinking water too, what a relief!
After locking Elvis in his crate at 10pm, we went through to our bedroom. At 2.30am, we awoke to loud howling. I had read that if we go and soothe him, he would learn that crying equals attention, a behaviour that we didn’t want to encourage. But it was heartbreaking to listen to. I googled for more advice. One article suggested that he may need the toilet. He had refused to pee or poo the previous day when we took him home, so this sounded plausible. We went through to the lounge where his crate was, and found him sitting on a wet blanket, crying and shaking with fear. We felt so sorry for him. We picked him up, gave him a clean bed, and took him over to the sofa for lots of cuddles. At that moment, he bonded with us. He trotted around the room then hopped back into the clean crate. He soon fell asleep, aside from the occasional whimper. He stayed in there until 8.30am, when I went through and picked him up for more cuddles.
The big day has arrived! We are finally picking up Elvis, our baby Chihuahua puppy! We turn up at the breeders house, a feeling of apprehension in the air. We feel a bit rotten for taking baby Elvis away from his siblings and parents, who he has spent every day with since he was born 5 months ago. Having read advice on how to prepare for taking a puppy home, we bring a small travel carrier, with a fleecy blanket and small toy inside. After saying his goodbyes, we start the long drive from Hampshire to West Sussex. Elvis was happy enough to go into his carrier, so we took this as a good sign. He whimpered a little on the 90 minute journey. Each time, we reassured him that we were all going to have a great time. Once home, the carrier placed next to his crate, I opened the door and he soon hopped out. Great first sign. But just as quickly, he hopped straight into his crate. Except for two or three quick scuttles around the lounge, he stayed in there all evening. We knew Elvis had a shy introverted personality. We gave him food which he didn’t eat. We gave him a chew, which he puked on. I briefly put him on the puppy pad, but he didn’t seem to want to urinate or anything. We didn’t want to scare him, and felt that he should choose to come out and explore properly in his own time. He eyeballed us all evening, but was too timid to come and say hello, so we settled down to watch Netflix. Our bedtime soon came, so we put a blanket over the crate and left the room. We hoped that he wouldn’t miss his canine family too much, and wished him sweet puppy dreams.