The First Week With My New Puppy.

I have a puppy. Holy crap.  He’s so much harder to take care of than sourdough starter.  And yet – nobody mentioned that. Not a single person I told said, “You know it’s gonna be harder than raising sourdough starter don’t you? ” What the hell, people?!

Listen, before we even get into this post with its assortment of terrible, blurry pictures of the 8 week old puppy, I have to wonder out loud – why didn’t I get something easier to take care of? Like a soufflé. Or 17 babies.

At least when you bring a brand new baby home it just lays there. Yeah, it might scream for extended periods of time but you can eliminate that problem with a $2 set of earplugs and some Gin.

Speaking of elimination, were you aware that a puppy needs to eliminate every hour? Or maybe he doesn’t. 🤷‍♀️ It’s a game of risk … and chance! Will he go? Or won’t he? You could roll the dice and wait 2 minutes until you yourself have finished peeing while being stared at by a dog to take him out, but then you run the risk of having two messes to clean up.

Again. WHY people, why?? Just a little nudge and – Hey, remember that time you always kill your sourdough starter?

The First Week With a new Puppy

Is completely exhausting. There’s no time to get showered or groceries and definitely no working. Your time is divided between making sure it only eats inside the house and only poops outside of it.

When I first started thinking about getting a dog a couple of years ago, I imagined me and my pup creating beautiful portraits together. Me behind the lens, he standing regally, staring directly into the camera with a certain glint in his eye evoking the spirit of his mentor Tyra Banks.

The reality of portrait taking with your new puppy evokes something a little more avant garde than your standard Vogue shoot.

You are not on mushrooms. These are the portrait shots of my dog …

I’m quite proud of this one. I was taking a photo of his face. Yes, it’s his ass, but it’s *almost* in focus. A soufflé on the other hand will certainly move during a photoshoot, but in general is much better behaved.

Have I mentioned I ate a fistful of dog kibble by accident?

Instead of walking around with my phone constantly I am now walking around with a treat pouch. Dog does something good – I give dog treat. Dog doesn’t attack my ankles – I give dog treat. He knows exactly what to do to make me give him a treat.

It is the Pavlovian response in reverse.

Near the end of the week I sat at my computer with the treat pouch on my lap, the dog at my side and a small bowl of mixed nuts beside my laptop.

I don’t think I need to explain it any more than that but I would like to say that the treats were surprisingly fishy.

I’d like to really hammer down on the fact that I didn’t just put the nut sized handful of treats in my mouth and spit them out. I chewed them. Crunch, crunch, crunch. Yup, this makes sense – nuts are crunchy, deduced my brain.

But they’re not fishy.

Not wanting to waste food and feeling moderately irrational after the shock of it, I walked over to the dog’s food bowl and spat the partially chewed treats in. I felt like a seagull feeding her young.

Oh. I didn’t mention that? I thought I had. K. Moving on.

I can’t say for sure, but from what I remember upon waking up from a terror faint, this was the exact moment he got the Zoomies for the first time.

We were outside for another supermodel photoshoot. The above photo is a very accurate representation of how that went for us.

The Zoomies last from approximately 6 – 7 p.m. and involve chasing imaginary scary things, biting the air, biting my pants, biting my feet, biting while doing somersaults, and generally terrorizing anything in his path.

That’s right. Between 6 and 7 he becomes a predator land shark who trained with Cirque de Soleil at some point.

This is normal.

This is another shot from the Zoomie photoshoot. That’s a leg. I believe. If I gave this one above a zippy title I could probably sell it to one of the more forward thinking art galleries.

In this next shot I came very close to photographing almost half of him.

In the end, over the course of 3 weeks I got one photo that I could use for identification purposes on a flyer if I had to. If, say, my puppy was carried off by a gaggle of little girls wanting to smooch and dress him up like Ariana Grande.

So that is the photo I have left to the end to introduce you to my new blue Standard Poodle …



If you’re fan of the show Shameless you probably instantly recognize the name Lip. That’s exactly where my new puppy’s name came from after a long list and several days of being called STOP THAT, You’re so cuteeee, Hi Puppy! and OMG that reeks.

I didn’t really want a human name for him but he ended up being Philip with the nickname Lip because it felt right. The same way saving a large handful of potato chips at the bottom of the bag so you can eat them tomorrow as a snack at 4 o’clock feels right.

I’ll continue trying to get a good photo of him. Maybe one where he’s actually looking at me for instance. I could take one while he’s sleeping but that feels like cheating. Also it would be a terrible photo because being black, when he sleeps he just looks like a hairy snow tire.

Over the next 2 years his coat will clear from black to blue. I’ll explain more about what a “blue” poodle is in my next post on Philip.

Philip’s breeder ultimately selected him for me based on his personality and temperament. Aside from the Zoomies every night he’s the calmest, nicest puppy I’ve come across.

After being home one week he could sit, lay down (with luring), wait and walk at my side.

And he requires a lot less feeding than sourdough starter.

→Follow me on Instagram where I often make a fool of myself←

The First Week With My New Puppy.


  1. Jenny W says:

    YaY You!! Lip is gorgeous, I think lol!
    You can not go wrong with any Poodle/Poodle mix breed, they are so darn smart!
    I am currently owned & managed by Oliver, a GordonDoodle. Mom is a Gordon Setter & Dad is a Standard Poodle – Best Dog Ever :)
    Just wait until he’s full grown and gets the zoomies, in your house, at Christmas lol!!

    • Karen says:

      It’s O.K., he won’t have far to run in here at that size. I suspect he’ll probably learn to bounce up and down for his full grown zoomies in the house. Like Tigger! ~ karen

      • Carol Davis says:

        I have an (almost) 7 year old Labradoodle who is often called “Tigger”. He is still full of energy but super smart and more fun than a child (I’ve had 3- children, that is). You will probably enjoy him more than you can imagine.

      • Karen says:

        He’s smart and stubborn which will make a highly entertaining combination I’m sure, lol. ~ karen!

  2. Grammy says:

    Philip is a beautiful boy. I would call him Phil, but if his mom wants to call him Lip, that’s who he is. Since you’ve been a cat and chicken person for so long, this is going to be more of an adventure than you’ve imagined. I’ve been owned by so many dogs over the course of my long life, and yet every new one brings something completely new and different to me.

    My current boy, Frank, is a red labradoodle and he is a perfect combination of all the worst and best traits of both his parents. Super smart, hilarious ball of crazy. He’s six and finally beginning to settle down a little.

    Philip is going to teach you more about yourself than you wanted to know, until you know it and then you will be grateful to him. He will also eat things that are precious to you, so keep those things out of his reach until he’s past his puppy stage. I so look forward to more posts about your wonderful boy. You two are both lucky to be embarking on this love affair.

  3. Gail says:

    The blurry photos gave me a laughing start to my day. 🤣

  4. Benjamin says:

    It’s Lip’s house now… He’ll probably end up with his own blog and social media following. You got a really handsome dog there Karen. Congratulation dog mom !! 🐩

    • Karen says:

      Not until he learns to photograph and write himself because I certainly don’t have time to help him with it. ~ karen!

      • Karen but not that karen says:

        Never seen Shameless….I think Philip is a fantastic name…and you can always tell people like me who don’t know anything about the show or Lip, that you named him after the late Prince Philip…because of course he the dog will be a prince…PS. How is Ernie doing with the Prince?

      • Karen says:

        Ernie is doing well! She’s not a fan yet but she isn’t anxious or upset so that’s very good. ~ karen!

  5. Chris says:

    I am reading this at 2 in the morning…can’t sleep – too much on my mind and my list – and here I come across your email, your real, down to earth email. Your photos are life! Out of focus and ass first – it sums it up beautifully!! Thank you for being real – for being human – for showing your true side! I can totally relate!
    As a pup mom of 2 Doodles – Enjoy, embrace, count to ten, take stock in paper towels and good dog treats!
    Philip – Can’t wait to “see” more of you and hear about your adventures!
    (Great book about a Standard Poodle…”Travels With Charley” – I highly recommend!)

  6. Kaisa Kupila says:

    Congratulations!! I knew it is going to be some kind of a doodle…..but I never heard of Blue Standard Poodles…..Live and learn. He looks gorgeous and now doubt we will be seeing lots of doggy fashion ideas in a future,
    Love the name btw. Lip was my favorite character in Shameless. Happy Doggy days to you.
    Mummy of 5 pavement specials from Amsterdam.

  7. Maria says:

    Awwww, my friend’s mom bred and showed toy blues internationally. Such beauties. Wicked smart, be careful to make sure you aren’t the one being trained!

    • Karen says:

      Oh he’s already trained me to the point that I worry I’d be susceptible to falling victim to a cult. I mean, he trained me and I didn’t even know it! Terrifying, lol. ~ karen!

  8. Krista says:

    Oh, you’ve got one of THOSE have you?

    My son and his husband decided to ‘rescue’ Archie eighteen months ago, otherwise known as The Black Blur.

    They used to be party people, three holidays a year, popping into trendy bars all over London without a second thought.
    And now …

    You’ll be inundated with advice, Karen.

    I’ll just send you a knowing look.

    Much love,


    • Karen says:

      LOL! Thanks. It’s been under 2 weeks and I’ve already received countless tips. Some great, some terrible, all well intended, I think. (Unless people are conspiring to help me raise a monster dog for fun, which is entirely possible.) ~ karen!

  9. Amanda says:

    Love standard poodles so much. We brought home a Pyrador less than a week ago. She’s awesome and utterly exhausting. Looking forward to all of your stories and training tips! And, the blurry butt pictures are real!

  10. Kae says:

    Move all your shoes, and anything else you hold dear, to higher ground. You can train them out of biting, but until those milk teeth are out you should definitely err on the side of caution. The amount of single shoes I’ve lost to puppy teeth….

    • Karen says:

      He’s particularly fond of my garden boots. I just finally moved them this morning when “leave it” became – if I chew on this boot she’ll say leave it and then I’ll get a treat. ~ karen!

  11. Kate says:

    Karen, I NEVER leave comments, but this time I can’t help myself! This post has been my life for the last 5 months! You have no idea what you’ve gotten yourself into!! Im sitting on my sofa, a lump of exhaustion after a day with my 6.5 month old standard poodle pup, Brody. He’s adorable one minute, Cudjo the next! Smart, fast, crazy cute, and deviously laughing at me as I lunge for the leash trying (unsuccessfully) to catch him.
    If you want any pointers on keeping your sanity while raising a puppy, don’t ask me! I’ve tried just about everything. However, as any one who knows me will tell you, nothing has worked, I’ve completely lost it!
    Signed, Hopelessly in love with Brody

  12. Terri says:

    So happy for you! Welcome to doggie world.

  13. Pamela says:

    Poodles of all sizes are fantastic companions. I had two toys who travelled to Europe with me ten times. Felix & Devil were black & adorable & extraordinarily intelligent. They were well trained (I trained dogs for many years as a profession) & went with me everywhere. Work, vacation, home, repeat. (The pluses of small dogs that don’t shed.)

    Philip will be a forever friend who will bring many years of joy. ❤️

    Keep posting about your journey 🐾

  14. Margie Driscoll says:

    There is no better match than a standard poodle. I am on number 2. My first was a male black standard that sadly passed after 16.5 years. Despite my objections (how could another ever steal my heart), after 6 months we found a phantom standard poodle (you can look them up), she will never replace my first love – but she loves us just as much.
    Congratulations on your wise, obviously well-researched choice. Hope to see lots of pics of your new glorious life together (poodles are great on paddle boards) – they keep you young!

  15. Vikki says:

    Having had about a dozen dogs in my life, this looks like fun-and-games to me. Congratulations! you now have a new exercise program. Oh….and a Very cute puppy! I’m looking forward to lots more photos.

  16. Kristina says:

    The best news is those sharp puppy teeth will fall out, they lose their “baby” teeth just like humans. No one told me this. I was horrified when my year old dog came up to me & spit out teeth from my friends puppy ( puppy was chewing on him & they got stuck in his furry mustache). . ..

    • Karen says:

      LOL! Eek, yup, that would be quite terrifying. I knew they lost their teeth but didn’t reallyyyyy realize what it was like until my sister sent me a picture of her puppy Boo Boo’s teeth that she found around the house. It was a bit shocking! ~ karen!

  17. Sharon says:

    Soooo cute. Philip. Congratulations.

  18. Randy P says:

    Congrats on making the solid commitment to raise the beastie.

    Just so you know –

    Adult dogs can hold their pee for up to 10-12 hours if needed, but that doesn’t mean that they should. The average adult dog should be allowed to relieve itself at least 3-5 times per day. That’s at least once every 8 hours.

    Which is a way longer stretch of time than a 72yr old adult male can hold it….. or so I’ve been told. lol

    • Excellent point, Randy.

      The hourly trips outdoors with the puppy will eventually extend to two hours , three hours, etc.

      I found that urinary “accidents” were more MY FAULT than the puppy’s, i.e. maybe I brought him inside too soon, or waited 20 minutes too long before bringing him outdoors to do his “business”.

      A reliably potty-trained dog is such a joy!

    • Karen says:

      He’s very good. I take him out at midnight and then he holds it easily until 8 in the morning. Phew! ~ karen!

  19. Ella says:

    So handsome! But Lip?? No, another nickname will come. My guy is Austin but for some reason I call him Popsie. My last dog was Teddy but I called him Bubba. No reason for it…just happened. Blues are stunning. Congratulations!

    • Elise says:

      What about Flip?

    • Jan says:

      I call my dog Bubba, too. His name is Fergus.

    • Karen says:

      No, his name really is Lip, lol. Philip for introductions. If you had seen the show Shameless you’d understand. ;) ~ karen!

      • Motley Crew says:

        Oh Karen!
        Lip! Love Love Love!
        And, Yes Shameless Lives On! Bless You
        When I asked my 32 yr old daughter if, she watched the show, she was clueless. I explained to her, Shameless made me feel better about myself & life in general.
        I agree, training puppies is the equivalent of Special Forces Training in the Military. Good Luck

  20. Emie says:

    I’m sitting here past midnight with my 8 month dog who has the Zoomies. The Zoomies are REAL and no joke exhausting!

  21. Jill says:

    Poodles are very very smart. Almost as smart as mini aussie shephards, which i have. So smart she is 5 years old and still has accidents in the house. Lol

  22. Leslie says:

    Too adorable. Although I haven’t seen too many blue poodles! Too pretty for ‘Lip.’ Still, congrats!

    • Karen says:

      He’ll change over the next 2 years so even I don’t know what he’ll end up looking like. The blues are all a bit different. He’s Lip around the house and Philip when I have to call him. And for formal introductions of course. ~ karen!

  23. Maryellen Burdwood says:

    Welp. Yeah! That IS rather what puppies are about! In a couple years, he’ll calm down, all will be well! In the meantime… .. um. You have a puppy! yay! So glad for you!

  24. Jane says:

    Love, love, love standard poodles. If I ever had any dog other than an Irish setter it would be a standard poodle. I look forward to seeing Lip around town.

    • Teri says:

      You could emulate my son and have one of each…red and black is a lovely combination and two big dogs with the zoomies is, um, interesting. Do not stand without being braced!
      Teri on the Left Coast

    • Karen says:

      I love, love, love them too. Always have and I always said I’d get one. There used to be an Irish Setter in my neighbourhood years ago – they’re beautiful! ~ karen

  25. suzanne says:

    Beautiful babe. Welcome to groomsville.

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