Life lately is all puppy, all the time.
Puppy pee, puppy poop, puppy cuddles, puppy love, and more puppy pee and poop.
Things sure have changed over the past two weeks. Being a “puppy parent” is no joke! I never expected it to be easy, but it’s proven to be quite the roller coaster.
Here’s what’s changed since we adopted Ellie two weeks ago…
My running has actually improved. I either don’t want to be away from Ellie or I know exactly how much time I can be gone before she’ll need to go to the bathroom again. (Eh, OK, not exactly how much time, but I try to guesstimate.)
Lest you think I’m actually doing quality running, let me clarify: My running has been terrible and pathetic and lazy all year long. My mileage is OK because I’m just motivated enough to get out the door, but each individual run is junky, lazy, and filled with stops, walk breaks, and excuses. I walk up every hill, step, and slight incline because it’s “hard.” And in my mind, it will get easier by not doing it. Science.
Since we got Ellie, though, I have eased up on the stop breaks and the walk breaks and the excuses. My time feels more valuable now. I don’t want to waste it checking Instagram (for the fifth time in 2.5 miles) at Engineers’ Gate. I get out the door, I run, and I come home.
But I’m not doing any other workouts. I’d rather spend $34 on toys, treats, and pee pads for Ellie than spend it on a SoulCycle class. I don’t belong to a gym, and I’m just not motivated to lift, foam roll, or do any type of bodyweight exercise. It’s total laziness, and I own it.
I’m pretty tired. Ellie is an OK sleeper. She likes her crate, but she tends to whimper a bit around 3 or 4 AM when she needs to pee. Granted, half the time Brian or I will get up to let her out (“potty?!” is a phrase we say 3829 times a day), she just wants to snuggle and have her belly rubbed and be adorable.
I eat breakfast at 3 PM sometimes. Yesterday, for example, it was suddenly 3 PM and I was like, “Oh, I should eat a real meal at some point today.” Time just slips away.
That being said, Ellie eats far better than I do. While she’s munching on organic, grain-free stuff, I’m over here shoveling an entire wedge of Brie in my mouth. For “breakfast.” Clean eats. So blessed.
I was emotional before? Ohhhh I’m emotional now! The first few days were the hardest. The very first day we had her, I refused to leave Ellie’s side. The second day, I left her [to go to SoulCycle, naturally] and I was a wreck. I felt so bad.
I’m slowly accepting the emotional side effects that come with having a puppy. When we first got her, my cousin warned me that I would cry at some point along the way. I underestimated that prediction. I cry all the time. I am an over-protective helicopter parent. I am obsessed with my dog and am struggling to ease up. I always have my eyes on her, making sure she’s not eating something she shouldn’t or sleeping somewhere that might be too cold for her precious paws.
When she does something right, I’m wildly proud of her. And when she does something “wrong?” Ugh.
Yesterday, Ellie was being a little monster all morning. Nipping, barking, generally being an asshole. At one point, she pooped. Not on her pad or outside. Just in the middle of the apartment, as she does. So there I am, picking up her poop on my way to take her out, and I tripped over her leash as I walked to the trash, dropping the pile of poop wadded up in a paper towel in my hands, and it splattered everywhere. It was a literal mess.
And then she looked at me with her actual puppy dog eyes and I wanted to hate her but I couldn’t. To me, you are perfect.
I feel so proud when people on the street gush or say Ellie is cute. As if I had anything to do with it.
Brian is blowing my mind. I won’t get all sappy and cheesy right now because I’m temporarily emotionally drained, but seeing Brian with Ellie is the best. He has such natural instincts with her (I do not; I am a horrible “mother” and no longer want human children) and he will occasionally just reach out to hold my hand and make some comment about “our little family.” It’s cute and surprisingly not sarcastic. But I’m also really thankful, because he’s been very patient with me and all of my puppy parent shortcomings.
Oh, except that I hate him. I hate that when I’m really struggling with Ellie (like when she just won’t. stop. biting. me.) and I’m completely frustrated, he can swoop in and make it all better. I get jealous and kind of furious because he’s so much better at this than me. HOW DARE HE?
I am — for once — struggling with rules and discipline. Normally I love these things! But with Ellie, she sometimes doesn’t like the “rules” and I want to break them. BUT I DON’T. Or I try not to. Because I want a good dog, not the dog no one is allowed to play with because she snacks on human faces and arms and legs.
We had a private dog training session on Sunday, which was helpful for all of us. We learned all kinds of things. I mostly learned that Ellie responds brilliantly to Brian, and not at all to me. COOL, ELLIE, COOL.
The trainer told us that Ellie “is clearly super motivated by food and attention.” That’s my dog!!!
I just want to watch my puppy. I’ve always been more of a “sweatpants & sit on the couch” girl than a “get dressed up and go out” person. And now that we have Ellie? All I want to do is stare at her. For hours. Like a psychopath or predator, eyeing its prey.
I miss Scandal. That’s not really related to anything, and it hasn’t even been good for like, two seasons. But still, I look forward to its return. Same goes for Orange is the New Black.
I always have company when I’m in the bathroom. When I shower (LOL that’s rare), she’ll sometimes poke her little head in to say hi. When Brian’s not home and I don’t shut the bathroom door, Ellie will just chill out, waiting for me to be done.
I wish I knew how/was willing to take the time to curl my hair. All you girls who do that, you look really nice. I haven’t showered since Saturday.
I love nachos. Again, unrelated, but it’s something that’s on my mind right now. I like them with chicken and cheese and pico de gallo and jalapeños. No beans, no sour cream. Do you want to have a nacho party with me? RSVP IN THE COMMENTS. Or just show up.
I’m so happy to be healthy going into a new year. I’ve been feeling great since mid-September (I flared a bit right before the wedding, which was really cool timing), and I am grateful for every healthy day, night, run, walk, and breath I take. Lucky Ali.
I am totally and completely unprepared for the holidays. Brian and I are doing a tour of the east coast: New Hampshire to see my family, and then Boston and Rhode Island with his family. Ellie will be along for the ride, which will be an adventure I’m sure!
I never decorated our apartment for Christmas, I didn’t do holiday shopping (with the exception of a few online purchases), and I haven’t baked any Christmas cookies. I’m hoping that once we hit the road headed north on Wednesday my inner Rockette will kick in. GET IT? KICK IN. LOLOLOLOL.
I love you more than ever before. As inconsistent as I’ve been with blogging this year, it’s been really incredible feeling an ever-present support system. I so appreciate all of the kind words, advice, and general kindness sent my way throughout wedding planning, the Crohn’s flare, the wedding, the honeymoon, and life with Ellie. Thank you for being my friend. My best internet friends.
Love, Ali, Brian & Ellie Cristiano
PS I still haven’t changed my last name, so I’m still Feller. I think the City Clerk’s office lost our marriage license. We have not received it and I cannot get a human on the phone to help me out. YOLO!
I cried 50% of the first year we got our dog. One evening, I called my husband crying and saying, “I think I’ve ruined him!” I was a bit obsessed with doing everything perfectly (house training, obedience classes, the best food) and my pup was not 100% perfect like I thought he should be. I laugh about it now. And honestly, I think our dog turned out be to an awesome dog. Awww…now I want to give him a hug.
Aww.. I miss my puppy.
Congratulations on the beautiful wedding!
I got a 12-week lab/hound mix in May (Lewis <3) and I TOTALLY get the crazy puppy-mom emotions! I hate leaving him. And he can be a terror – aka he must be kenneled when I am not home because I live in a studio and it is impossible to puppy-proof, or he will destroy something! But he loves to snuggle and is incredibly social with people and other dogs, so clearly my solution is when I move in January (from the west coast back east, AND from a studio to a hopefully 2-bedroom) to settle in and get him a friend! Logical? Just a single lady and her dog babies!
Aww Ellie is adorable!!
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That pup of yours *is* so adorable! Thanks for the pics of her every day. It’s a guaranteed smile maker. I always thought dogs were too much work for me, so I opted for kids instead. I figured the kids would eventually be able to take care of themselves 🙂 (and it’s true!!) If kids are in your future, you will be a pro!
Ali, so great that your health is solid right now. Ellie is the cutest!
I’m a rare commenter though I’ve been following you for years (congrats on your beautiful wedding day!!) but I must ask – JUSTIN BIEBER SORRY CHOREO CLASS OMG WHERE? MUST TAKE IT NOW.
I am so happy you have found the most wonderful awesome love of a puppy!! She is SO sweet!! Cocoa is crazy and totally like a child but that hound dog face makes my heart melt every.single.time!! Puppy parenting is the BEST. Cocoa is not a pleaser so she pretty much does what she wants but she is perfect to us!!
OMG! I am so relieved to hear that someone else feels emotional and cries about anything having to do with the pup. I was the same way!!! I remember the first time I realized that she could swim – I felt like such the proud parent. You both will be great pup owners. Merry Christmas to you and your family. I too have been reading your blog for years and never really commented until now. And I’m very happy you’ve been feeling better!
Totally coming over for the NACHO Party, life complete and I will even bring doggie treats for Ellie. So glad you are going into 2016 feeling healthier! Have a wonderful holiday road trip and a Happy New Year!!
When I got Duncan, my labradoodle he was 11 weeks old. I barely ate that first month. I also was freelancing from home at the time and my life revolved around potty training him and separation anxiety (both of us!). I lost 10 pounds that first month. He will be 7 years old tomorrow and I can tell you the novelty never wore off. I love him so much and enjoy his antics. And I cry when he is not feeling well or if I have to leave him home alone. They are better than human children in some respects. Enjoy the journey. And don’t feel bad that Ellie responds better to Brian. That’s totally normal.
Ohhhh puppy bites. We got our dog at 10 weeks old and I thought I would never go without cuts or scratches again. It seems like it will never end, but it will eventually fade and you will hardly remember the marks on your hands, I promise!
I’m IN for the nacho party! In fact, the family and I were planning to have a giant tray of nachos for dinner tomorrow night! I’m making the guacamole as we speak! 🙂
I just got a cat and can completely relate to the undying love and obsession with a pet who immediately becomes part of the family. Ellie is amazing!
Absolutely yes to the nacho party. I will also bring The Babysitter’s Club.
Happy holidays to your little family! When’s the nacho party?! Yum now I want some!
Over the years of reading your blog, you seem as though you are becoming really domesticated
Haha I’m not sure if that’s meant to sound positive or negative? Either way, I have been freelancing for the past year, so I work from home most days. I still generally suck at cooking and dusting as often as I should, but…I guess I’m “becoming domesticated?” (And I promise my showers aren’t REALLY that rare!)
Only positive! I have been a male reader of your blog since 2012, I have always loved your style of writting and wittiness… Cheers!
Ellie is adorable, as are you. I hope you have a wonderful Christmas!
Can’t believe you met Michael Flatley!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I just saw Lord of the Dance on Broadway.