Back in November I offered to dog-sit my sister Maxx’s 2 year old Yorkshire Charlie. I knew Maxx was very busy and I just wanted to hang out with her super lambing baby girl (yup, Charlie is a girl). One early morning I heard our yaya coming in my condo I thought she was just dropping off a few things so I just stayed in bed and didn’t bother getting up. She locked the door on her way out and I tried going back to sleep. I heard a light scratching and my sleepiness went away when I found Charlie in my living room!!!
I was so happy!!! Charlie never barks, she’s so chill and she just wants to snuggle with you while you go on with your everyday activities. She was perfect for someone like me who has never really had a pet (I accidentally killed my hamster Sabrina when I was a kid and my turtle Stonefox drowned a day after I got her). A week passed by and my sister missed her baby. I literally cried when she asked for Charlie back. I was so heartbroken because I’d already bonded so much with her. It happened to be the week of our birthday and the night she picked up Charlie she gave me her present – my own little dog!!!
Once again I cried buckets. The sight of this bear-looking creature was too much. She was the cutest thing ever!!! I instantly knew that I would love her forever. Jim and I came up with so many names. Some as cheesy as Cubcake, some as bad ass as Batman – but I ended up calling her Chewy even if she looks nothing like Chewbacca. She keeps chewing everything in sight kasi. Days later I realized that if I called her Chewy it would reflect on her personality and she’d just keep on chewing everything! I started calling her Joey because she jumps so high like a baby kangaroo! It was perfect because Maxx’s girl doggy is named Charlie so it made sense giving mine an androgynous name as well! Also, Winona Ryder plays a tough girl writer named Josephine in Little Women so that’s Joey’s whole name hehe.
Joey is not at all like Charlie. She is SO not chill, she is very makulit but that’s because she is still a puppy. I did not sign up for this, I used to tell my sister. Hahaha! That’s why you shouldn’t give pets as gifts to people. They might not be ready for such a big responsibility. But each time I look at Joey, I remember I love her. I was so game to bring her up right. I got Joey when she was already 2 months old. I bought a pee mat from Dogs and The City. It had fake grass on it. Literally the moment I set it down on the floor, she went on it and instantly peed on it!! It was such a proud moment for me.
I also have this Housebreaking Aid. A few drops on the pee mat, make your puppy smell it and she will know she should pee there. You can also just use newspaper but my dog likes to shred it to pieces so I don’t recommend it. I actually don’t need to use this anymore because she knows where she should pee already. Thank goodness because this Housebreaking Aid smells so awful.
She is still a bit confused and she pees on the welcome mat or kitchen mat at my friends’ places. She also doesn’t like peeing on the pee pad or her cage when there’s already pee on it. You’ll have to regularly change the newspaper (duh)! Don’t worry she just needs a few months of your full attention – as compared to raising an actual child, this is no sweat. Also, more importantly, do not forget to praise your dog when she does the correct thing. Baby talk to your dog, it’s the tone of your voice that she will understand and not your words. Pet her and say she’s a very good dog!
Since I am the one who actually cleans up after my dog (no yayas except when I’m at taping), it’s best to have a trash can with a lid on it for disposal of her poops and used newspaper! It’s also recommended to place her pooping/peeing station near a window so your place doesn’t stink up! I have disposable plastic gloves, paper towels, disinfecting sprays, and odor away sprays as tools for cleaning.
During Joey’s first night with me I was so afraid she would wander off while I was asleep and bite some cords, electrocute herself or burn my place down (I have worst-case-scenario syndrome) so I put her in a cage. I didn’t want to put her in bed beside me because I was so scared she’d fall off and break a limb. I put her cage right beside my bed.
Cutest thing!!! But I woke up and she had pooped in her cage and stepped on it so she was barking to wake me up. Thank goodness she’s not the type to eat her own poop like other puppies. The next night and all the other nights to follow she was free to roam around while I slept. For a good month, she would bark at me every morning or while I was trying to sleep. I learned that as long as I switched off all the lights, she will know it’s sleeping time and she quiets down. It was my job to keep everything in places she can’t reach. It’s like having a child. If you leave something precious lying around and it gets broken, you can’t get mad at the baby! It’s useless to get mad because it’s your fault.
I’ve had 3 cases of destroyed Havaianas and 2 mutilated USB cords. In fairness she doesn’t really chew on things that are plugged in but if I leave a charger plugged in and she sees the shiny end of the USB, she will chew on it. I’ve since learned. Prevention is key. When she chews on her toys, praise her to let her know that she is chewing on the right thing and keep your shoes out of reach. Ice cubes will help ease the pain of teething.
Look at how tiny she was
She used to sleep like an airplane haha
It’s very important to invest in chew toys!
My favorite purchase is this Kong. My friend told me about it and I swear by it. You just have to learn how to use it correctly.
At first I just put a little bit of treats in it and gave it to her. She’s a very smart dog so she figured out that rolling it will make the treats fall out. I had to make it more challenging so now I fill up the bottom part with a little bit of her dog food (about 10 pellets of Royal Canin Indoor Junior), put some cheese shavings or cubes on top of that, broken up pieces of bacon treats (make sure some are big enough to block the big opening of the Kong so it will be challenging for her to get it all out), then add a very small amount of Kong Stuff’n on top and a little bit in the small hole at the bottom. Kong Stuff’n is like a bottle of cheese spray except that it comes in different flavors and they are specially made only for dogs. Joey’s favorites are peanut butter or liver. This will keep your doggy preoccupied for about an hour. This educates and exercises them. Such a brilliant invention. I plan on getting 2 more Kongs so I can stuff them with different recipes and just keep them in the freezer. They’re available at Dogs and The City. Make sure you get the proper sized Kong for your dog! There are many videos and recipes online – Google is your friend :)
Grooming her is best done while she’s distracted. Joey hates having her hair brushed (mana kay mommy, gusto messy hair!) but it’s essential to keeping her hair beautiful and untangled. Pomeranians and most puppies generally have ADHD so distracting her while grooming is what I do. She takes her bath once or twice a week at Pet Central, Eastwood.
Exercise is very important to lessen your dogs chewing! She chews because she is teething, she chews because she’s restless. Getting at least 30 minutes of exercise daily makes a huge difference in her temperament. If you just got your puppy and she hasn’t completed all of her shots, walking her is discouraged because she might catch fleas or parvovirus from other dogs. If this is the case, just keep her at home and always have play time with her. Because I live alone, I can’t really walk her outside daily because I have so many things going on. This is why I hired a dog trainer from ASZOO. His name is Edwin and he really loves Joey.
At first he would just train Joey here in my condo but now that she’s had all her shots, he trains her outside. This training is already her exercise! You need to reinforce training by not spoiling your dog.
I learned from the book Dog Training for Dummies that you should try to take NO and BAD DOG out of your dog training vocabulary. Your dog reacts more to positive reinforcement. Giving treats must be random but praises should be constant! Sitting and staying are the most important commands she needs to learn. This helps when she goes batshit crazy whenever she sees you preparing her meals, when she licks you so much your toes get drenched, when she jumps on you and her nails hurt you, etc. You have to be very patient. She is not a bad dog. She’s just highly excitable. Tell her to sit and stay while holding her dog bowl. Slowly lower it and if she moves, take it back and remind her to stay. Hold it for 3o seconds/1 minute/5 minutes, make her wait so she learns. Walk around while telling her to stay. Show her who’s boss. If she listens, reward her with her dog bowl and pet her lovingly! Joey is getting so good at this that even when I put her dog food right in front of her, she will not eat until I clap and say good girl. Every morning I have to get up at 7AM to feed her. She used to bark every morning for a good month until she accepted that I am her master and not her servant. She still jumps and begs for me to wake up but it’s just a few whimpers and no more barking AT ALL. You will have to train yourself to get up and reward her before she starts barking. Once again, praise her for not barking!
If you have a small dog, it is very important not to spoil them because they are prone to small dog syndrome. In people, that is known as Napoleonic complex named after Napoleon Bonaparte who was very short but overly confident. Small dog syndrome makes your dog feel like they can do whatever they want. They will look down on other dogs and tend to fight with them. Joey always bullies Charlie. I think it’s because she feels very playful and Charlie is so anti-social so Joey gets frustrated with her. I am slowly letting her socialize with other dogs now that she has completed all her shots.
She gets to hang out with Heart’s dog Casper because we both bring our dogs every taping day. They sometimes get along, other times Joey gets too gigil. This is the hardest part, teaching her to be more friendly with other dogs. I think she just needs to be around them more. The sit and stay command will also work very well during meeting other dogs. As long as you show her who’s the leader of the pack (YOU) she will always listen to you.
Don’t forget to spend quality time with her, too. Joey loves me so much because I love her enough to research and read up on what’s best for her! Do the same for your doggy!
For more photos of Joey, follow me on Instagram: www.instagram.com/saabmagalona :)