Dear Lola,

I am adopting a puppy and have been given a lot of advice about how to care for my new bundle of joy. However, I thought it prudent to seek out expert advice from a member of the species. What are your top tips for welcoming my new puppy to the home?


Crazy for Canines

Dear Crazy for Canines,

I’ve answered quite a few letters from desperate humans who were seeking advice on living with their canine friends, but this one has left me with a warm squishy feeling in the middle of my ribcage. Most humans, you see, are looking for training tips or wishing to purchase a magic potion to stop undesirable behavior. None have sought out my advice to welcome their new canine into the home, which I feel is the most important part of adopting a canine. Imagine being ripped from your home and placed into a new one without any warning. Then imagine being promptly told you can’t do this and can’t do that, you can’t jump on this and you can’t eat that. It’s positively monstrous!

Have a mountain of toy options for your new canine friend.

Do not actually pile these toys up into the middle of the room and let your new friend jump in. No, that would be a recipe for excited piddle on the carpet. Simply place a few toys throughout each room so that as you and your canine friend navigate the home, he can be directed to the items that are his to enjoy. On a side note, please hide your shoes before showing your new canine around the home. Even the most stoic canine can be tempted with a perfectly placed loafer filled with smells from each and every place you have journeyed. The blame for every chewed shoe lies with the human who left them accessible to the curious canine.

Offer a plethora of tasty treats and cuddle him frequently.

It is scary to sleep in a new home and your canine friend will need some reassurance. Nothing is more reassuring than a belly full of food. Just be sure not to overdue it or your newfound friend may leave you some ‘presents’ on the carpet. I can remember a time or two that my own dear Mommybeast was left cursing herself as she cleaned up a carpet – I’ve really perfected the ‘starving canine’ look that earns me a bit of dessert before bed.

Prepare a napping area fit for a king.

You spent hours placing your butt on various sofas before finally settling on the perfect one. Your canine deserves no less effort. It may be easiest, and less expensive, to journey to the pet store with your new canine and allow him to test out the bedding options for himself. I am, admittedly, a picky sleeper. After months of selecting her favorites, my Mommybeast took me to the store and put one of every bed on the ground for my perusal. I tested them all. There was a Goldilocks moment when I found the perfect napping pillow – the store employees actually applauded.

Install a waterslide in your backyard.

Okay, fine, you got me. This ‘tip’ may be more of a wish than an actual requirement, but I had to give it a try for the sake of your new canine buddy. There is just something exciting about the prospect of shooting out of the home and into a shallow pool of warm water, before trotting off to do your business in the grass. I imagine it would be very invigorating. Sadly, I haven’t convinced my humans of this necessity quite yet – but I never give up trying.


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