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A Puppy Named Milo

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#1 *Ghania*

Posted 18 May 2009 - 09:16 PM

For almost two years I’d resisted a further addition to our family.  As some of you may know, I’ve decided that I’m quite content with three children. However, it wasn’t a fourth child I was resisting. It was a dog.  

My youngest child, Maya, suffers from asthma and I was worried about the effect of a dog on her condition.  So I often argued that although I’d love a dog, we couldn’t possibly get one and take the risk of aggravating Maya’s condition.

Fast forward to a couple of weeks ago and welcome into our already busy lives an adorable 9 week old Pomoodle named Milo.  I lost the “asthma” argument when it turned out that there were certain breeds that were generally safe for asthmatics, Pomoodles being one of them.

The kids are understandably smitten.  What I wasn’t counting on is that I also would fall in love with the little black bundle of fur.  Which is just as well, because puppies are a lot of work and you’ve really got to love them to get through the first few weeks.

I’m not sure why I finally caved in to the kids’ obsessions with having a puppy. Perhaps it was the thought that they were now old enough to look after a puppy and would obtain a number of benefits from having a pet. Apart from the well documented health benefits (reduced stress and lower blood pressure), owning a dog is a pretty good way of teaching children to become considerate and responsible beings.  Factor in hours of fun of playing with a very active puppy and you have a formula for happiness. Well, for the kids that is.

While I was counting on the kids falling in love with Milo and spending heaps of time lavishing their attention on him, I wasn’t prepared for the chore of housetraining a puppy. Apart from teaching Milo that shoes aren’t toys, that Barbie dolls are out of bounds and that dry cement is not a food product, there’s the still on-going task of toilet training him.  

I thought my toilet training days were over when my youngest, Maya, was toilet trained over 18 months ago.  I remember thinking gleefully that I never had to worry about cleaning somebody’s pooh or having to worry about accidents around the home.  It appears that was not to be.  For the past couple of weeks I have cleaned up more puppy pooh than I’d like to count, wiped countless “accidents” and repeatedly disinfected our home.  While Milo is improving – he now manages “to go” on his toilet training mat 75% of the time, his still prefers to relieve himself in my room and most often it’s under my bed, in a hard to reach place that has me bumping my head and cursing the moment I agreed to get a puppy (although that only lasts for a moment or two).  I thought toilet training a child was hard enough work. Trust me, it’s even worse with a puppy!

But apart from house training Milo, I have to admit that agreeing to get a puppy was one of the best things I’ve ever done.  Not only has he brought much joy in to the children’s lives, he has also become my companion often falling asleep in my home-office during the day, sleeping in my room during the night and bringing me many smiles with his playful and cheeky nature.  

And the good news is that three weeks on, Maya has not had a reaction to Milo’s fur and enjoys many hours cuddling up to her “baby”.

Do you think dogs and kids are a good combination? Do you have a dog or other pet and how has that benefited your children? What is your favourite memory of your child(ren) and pet(s)? I’d love to hear your stories.

Also, if anyone has any tips for toilet training a puppy, please let me know….I could do with all the assistance at the moment!

Edited by *Ghania*, 19 May 2009 - 08:55 PM.

#2 Armagnac Daddy

Posted 21 May 2009 - 01:44 PM

You'll be fine, got it the right way around. Our cats, bless their cotton socks, are still getting used to the kids and their new place (sadly a little lower) in the pecking order.

Of course they still sit above daddy!

#3 banem

Posted 21 May 2009 - 09:40 PM

I hate to spoil all the fluffy feel good stuff about puppies (and kittens) but the ironic thing is your cute little pet is a carnivour that will eat through thousands of kangaroos (or fish if its a cat) during its lifetime. Being a true animal lover I can't justify supporting the kangaroo meat or fishing industries just so I can have a cute little pet. Our family is entertained by a possum at night, we have frogs and lizards in our yard and enjoy visits from various wild birds.
So you can have pets without contributing to the slaughter of other animals.

#4 muppet

Posted 27 May 2009 - 10:35 PM


I just stumbled across your post, actually through a link in the top feature box, I never ususually stray from my state section lol

Anyway I loved reading it!

I have actually been toying with the idea of bringing a puppy into our family for a couple of months now!

No allergy problems here but my big concern is the age factor of my children.

I have 3, like yourself, aged 6 and a half, a just turned 5 year old and 2 year old! I think that the older two would be ok but am a little worried that the "baby" might still be a little young, in regards to rough play with puppy, respecting puppy etc.

Can I ask what age your childern are?
Also how do you find them with the puppy? Ie do you think your youngest is old enough or would you of, in hinsight maybe waited a little longer or do you think you could of actually introduced the youngest to a puppy even earlier??


Thanks for your time original.gif

#5 *Ghania*

Posted 28 May 2009 - 08:40 PM

Hi Alexandra, my kids are 3, 5 & 1/2 and 7. I find they are all fine with the handling the puppy. My youngest has been frightened a couple of times when Milo tried to nip her pants (he's teething!) but now understands to gently push him away from her if he continues to pester her.

The elder two are really good with him, especially the 7 year old (a boy) who spends most of his free time running around with Milo.

i have to admit though, that having a puppy is quite full on although i've heard its gets better once he's a little older. Milo spends a lot of time indoors so i've spent a lot of time in the past few weeks housetraining him and its still a work in progress. I've been extremely busy with work the past few weeks so it has been a little extra stressful having to train a puppy and get him and the kids to develop mutual respect etc BUT its doable and workable and i now really enjoy his company during the day (i work from a home office).

Re your last question - i think my youngest is old enough to handle the puppy and really enjoys having him to herself when she's not at preschool.  She likes to cuddle him while watching her favourite movie or to place him on her lap while on the swing and sing him nursery rhymes.

I think a dog is a great companion for kids if you can get beyond the work involved for us mums in the first few months.  

Hope this helps!


#6 kjwombat

Posted 03 June 2009 - 04:57 PM

Toilet training is always fun. I do not have a kid yet but do have a furry child who is 15 months old. The key with toilet training is to plan ahead and be patient. Chances are you're not going to like what I have to say, but I have discovered it works. Dogs never go to the toilet unless they have no other choice in places where they sleep/rest. If he's going under your bed while sleeping in your room with you I would suggest getting a crate. The other thing to do to stop him from sneaking off on you while you're working is to tie a tether to your belt. That way you can always see what he's up to and he will tell you when he wants to go. The other thing is to predict when a toilet stop will be necessary, for example after a meal. Block off the area that you want him to go on and make it free of distractions. This is where the patience part comes in. You do not (and I mean not) take him out of there until he goes. When he does go give him a treat and stacks of praise. Also, when you catch him going in the right place make a big fuss and give him a treat. He will eventually connect the dots. the other trick is that once he is trained intermittantly reward him for continuing to go where you want him to. This way he'll always believe that peeing on the toilet matt = treats.

#7 gabbigirl

Posted 03 June 2009 - 08:08 PM

Hi,  a puppy! my favourite thing after babies.  We have a 3 yr old lab and a 10mth old DD. Don't have many toilet training tips (my carpet is testament to that!) but the joy and happiness that dog has given our family is beyond anything this former dog sceptic has experienced.  Hope you have the same fun.

#8 *Ghania*

Posted 04 June 2009 - 10:16 AM

Thanks kjwombat for the tips. I'll be getting on to them right away. He is improving somewhat but still has too many "accidents" for my liking.

#9 hm6

Posted 05 June 2009 - 08:21 PM

We actually got a dog from the RSPCA nearly 10 years ago for my eldest child's 10 th birthday - I was not a dog person but the promise can with moving the child & moving schools and soon after Sam arrived. I would have to say we have loved him from the start our youngest was only about 2 & 1/2 when he arrived and he was great with her & visa versa - they were companions right from the start especially when the older three were at school. He was always gentle with her even when to my horror one day she took a bone off him - he didn't ever worry. Our biggest problem was she use to share all her food with him  - we had to stop that - not good for either of them!! Our children have mostly been pretry responsible - my older boy has always taken him for walks & they will still play lots with him & now that they're older - poo patrol!!. Sorry for the long post but he has been great & yes we have possums too & he never bothers them they live in our trees & they are left alone.We also have frogs up the backyard & he nevers bothers them either.

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