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. Kelli says:

    Wow, I go away for a few weeks (ok, months), turn around, and BOOM! You’ve now got a dog! You live life right on the edge (or maybe “lip”), dontcha? Adorable, even in those “fuzzy” photos. One thing about poodles (of any stripe): they’re SMART. Like, can figure out how to open child proof cabinets smart. So beware.

    Did you get a poodle for the hypoallergenic-ness of it all?

    Congrats! Let us know how things are going in another few months when he starts losing his baby teefs and wants to chew on EVERYTHING! :-D

  2. J says:

    Mz Karen!
    So happy for you to have such a bundle of fun! She looks regal!
    I have memories of the Black Standard Poodle who ran my Aunt’s house-she was every bodies favorite, large and in charge.
    Do you think I could spray that bitter stuff on a cat’s tale? Or maybe something else? He is a big Maine Coon and he spends spare time over grooming his tail. He’s been to Vet multiple times and has a clean bill of health. His naked tale looks awful, and even with Cat Lax he pukes up hair balls once a week, that the dog chows down. I wish I could get him some relief! Have a wonderful holiday-and let us know how you handle her devouring Christmas decorations.

  3. Calli Knudsen says:

    Thank you for writing this. I laughed so hard I cried. Which is a nice change of pace from my regular crying I’ve been doing over the course of my first week with a new puppy! I had to stop reading several times so I could catch my breath and wipe my eyes and assure my husband that nothing was wrong with me. I’m so glad Google eves dropped on my lamenting over getting a puppy and suggested this!

    • Karen says:

      LOL! Yeah, creepy Google. I know exactly what you’re feeling. Once this first year is over with I’m going to do a whole post on all the things I Googled in my first year with a dog. It’ll get easier. Philip turns 4 months this week and he’s getting much easier. He’s still a wild monster – but with less frequency and better listening. Good luck! The first week is the hardest. ~ karen!

  4. Vanessa herrick says:

    Oh I don’t miss those days. We adopted a 5-month old blue nose pit bull terrier and he was the cutest thing you have ever seen. Complete with a giant potato head. However, the land-sharking and general house-tornado behavior meant that even with two of us, we couldn’t shower long enough to get the shampoo out of our hair, eat at the, same time and had to put gates all over the house to create “Safe areas” (hahaahaha) . He ate FIVE couches in his first two years, every shoe in the house and the only one who had any control over him was our incredibly cranky, 12-year old diabetic cat – Furiosa. We still have and love him. But I WAS NOT READY lol.

    • Karen says:

      Animals have WAY better instincts about each other than we do. There’s no emotion when a cat says “get the hell back” – they just mean “get the hell back” and the dog listens. My cat does the same thing to Lip. I wonder if I dressed up in a cat costume if I’d have better luck controlling him? ~ karen!

      • Vanessa herrick says:

        Yes, the “Get the hell back” attitude , and ” I have no issues with making you bleed, in fact, it amuses me” attitude. She means it, and it is applicable to all of us. I live in constant fear and admiration of her.

  5. Emie says:

    Congrats to you!!! We got a new puppy in April and just when you think you can’t clean up any more messes- BOOM! He’ll be house trained. Happens every time. Our pupper is mostly black too so when you find some good photo tips please share. So far I’ve relied on bandanas to give some definition but would love some other options.

  6. Evalyn says:

    I love Standards. Be prepared for very high energy for the next two or three years, after which he will settle down a bit and just be smarter than you for the rest of his life. My Standard lived to be 17, so you are in for a long ride. They look like aristocrats, are smarter than anything else on the planet, but still eat chicken poop and roll in stinky stuff. I’m very jealous.

    • Karen says:

      He needs to be engaged ALL the time. Engaged or asleep. IF he’s neither of those things he’s biting, chewing and being a terror! But if we’re training or learning he’s 100% on point! He’s really like me in that he’s happiest when he’s doing stuff, lol. ~ karen!

  7. Ditoslava says:

    Omg, you are so hilarious! I come across your post about vegetable seeds. As I continue reading your post I forgot why I was here because you completely amused me. Anyway, here I am checking out your puppy or sourdough care. Lol well, you made me laugh so hard. Thank you. Enjoy your beautiful puppy. Mine is now almost 5 but I remember the constant care. 😁😅💕💓❤

  8. em dirr says:

    Lip is a boss name for a poodle. He will now be equipped to not take shit from the other dogs for looking like a chick (I have a male pom so I know whereof I speak).
    As a fellow (but woefully incomparable) blogger, I guess a name like should tell you that I am all in for your canine adventures. There are three dogs at my house now and I am temporarily wayyy over my head. But I will suggest you take Lip to your glorious gardens and take naked baby photos of him there. We did that with our newest dude and they were sooooo cute!
    So excited for your poop stories.

  9. Erika says:

    I have a blue standard named Sophie! I adopted her as an adult and she is beautifully ombre — black to gray and back again. I am so interested to see how Lip colors (since I missed that evolution with Sophie).

    Have you fallen down the rabbit hole of YouTube dog grooming videos? Please do. You can totally do it. And I will totally watch.

    Congratulations on your new best friend! Sophie has changed my life.

  10. winnie says:

    lacy will not chew on YUK sprayed ..not to often …she likes to dig up rocks..and wood to chew on. I have 20 acres of rocks…she has broken one tooth. looks to come out. Lacy chews. I put on a chain for a collar..she chews on it..put cloth threw links, too cushion metal links… she still gets in her gets stuck. I had special thick leather made for collars, she chewed up. tried harness..they are as easy to chew as is collars. bought harnesses that cost $big bucks.. last as long as cheap ones…yes, take off when not walking..she gets them..she climbs on high places to get what she wants. 12 lbs of dog smarts. I was foster parent..23 2 kids of my own..taught school and drove bus..never had anything w so much ……..”get into all”.

  11. winnie says:

    LACY, shih tzu /poodle now 18 mos..chews up all collars & leashes..chewed 1 shoe age 8 mos then just gets shoes to put on the bed..she had 38 toys, squeaky. goes to fetch. gets angry unless you play threw..she brings back all..then demands more threw. I got her to bark as I am hearing impaired..she doesn’t back to go out or anytime except at the people that come to visit. then she never stops…she eats only what she likes nothing suites her…never had such an entertaining. stubborn, independent, loving, do only what she wishes. is not learning stay, sit, bark not run, I am on the other end of the leash. will she ever stop chewing? but will not eat dry dog food? last dog taught to obey signs..not Lacy. she had her own words.
    still I must ask her “do you want to go out” ? she never tell me…waits for me to take her.
    shucks (she had other owners 4 by age this to blame for her confusion?
    no pet hair everywhere, and she likes grooming. is not afraid of storms.. any suggestions on how to get her Not to chew…????????????

  12. Tracey Thomas says:

    I have been wanting to adopt a poodle of some sort for a few years now. I too have had cats in my adult life and dogs growing up on a farm in childhood, but childhood is a long ago thing. Love to know about your training of him as he seems so good at a fairly young age. He’s cute, beautiful and assume.

  13. Noreen McKechnie says:

    We have a golden doodle and even at 14 anything on the floor is there a game just be aware

  14. K says:

    Karen, if you want to see something almost as cute as your new puppy, look up Bunny the talking dog. She is a standard poodle (and her family just got a poodle puppy too). She uses buttons to talk and she says the darndest things.

    P.S. When I got my dog, I sprayed everything he could get ahold of with bitter apple spray. Shoes, cords, baskets. It helped a ton. That only left him the wooden baseboards to gnaw on… who would have known those had to be sprayed too. Good luck with your little terror

    • Karen says:

      Hi K! My neighbour dropped off bitter spray when I brought Philip home. She had a bottle leftover from when she got a puppy last summer. He’s been pretty good about leaving things but there was one spot on the carpet he kept trying to chew and chew so I sprayed it. Worked great! ~ karen

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