What I’ve Feared All My Life

Lexi's birthday

One of our favorite annual Birthday traditions is a Daddy/Daughter date to Friendly’s Icecream Shoppe.

This is a really random post that has no spiritual implications but I have a confession…something I’ve feared for 38 years…

Dogs.

Yep – it’s lame I know.

It’s been a problem that has hounded me (no pun intended) since I was a child.

I LOVE people. And when you are afraid of a family’s dog – let’s just say – that family…does not love my fear of dogs.

I’m a huge inconvenience to have over because these poor dog owners ie. my real life friends – have to put their dog in the basement or their bedroom or laundry room or outside.  Oh – it’s so sad. I hate that I have this irrational fear.

So you say.  Well, what happens if they don’t put their dog away…sometimes I keep my cool. For example, at Christmas time my husband’s brothers dog walked through the house (a 90 lb dog that had gotten out of his cage) and I kept my cool.  If it had decided to actually hop up on the couch with me or barked at me – well the composed Courtney would have left the house and a frantic one would have showed herself.  I would probably jump on your back for a piggy back ride!  (Just saying I think that could happen – I wouldn’t really know from experience or anything. lol!! ;) )

So the story goes like this.  Alexis loves loves loves dogs.  She collects stuffed animals that are dogs, reads books about dogs, watches youtubes about dogs, begs for one all.the.time and insists on petting every dog we pass wherever we are (which is usually a deep breathing exercise for me).

So my husband is allergic to dogs. Praise the Lord! We have an excuse not to get one!  So it was easy to say – “sorry honey, but daddy’s allergic.”

Until one day my husband said – let’s get her a fish or a rabbit or….do you know where this is headed????

Yep – a puppy. Let me introduce you to “Snowball”.

puppy 1

Alexis turned 9 this past Tuesday and her dreams are coming true – (this could be a nightmare. Lol.).  This sweet puppy is only 2 weeks old, so I have 6-8 weeks to prepare for the arrival.

I have never had any pets before – another weird fact about me right? Not even a gold fish friends!

It’s time I face my fears.  Now I’m not real brave…because this dog stays quite small.  She’s a hypo-allergenic Bishon. But it’s a start.  You have to start somewhere right?

puppy 2

So dog lovers- any advice for this first time puppy owner?  I have no clue what I’ve just gotten myself into but I’m excited and looking forward to tackling this fear in 2014!  Maybe, just maybe if I come to your house – you can let your sweet dog roam free without having to give me a piggy back ride! Lol!

Do you have a dog – what kind?  Help me set my expectations for what’s coming into our home – I’d love to hear!  And does anyone know where I can get tranquilizers for my visits to Petsmart and the vet?  Haha – I’m kidding…well half kidding.

Walk with the King,

Courtney

Comments

  1. Tabatha says

    We have a rough collie. HUGE dog by comparison. All I can tell you with a puppy is it’s like having a baby in the house again. House training, bark training, collar training, no chewing training, leash training…. literally like having a baby or toddler again. But on the flip side, dogs are so much fun and loving. Having a bad day? Your dog will still be happy to see you! I had a huge fear of big dogs and never wanted one and well now we have Lizzie! haha! She’s been a blessing to our family and I’m sure your little pup will be too! Oh and my kids help to care for Lizzie when it comes to letting her out, cleaning up after her in the yard and feeding and watering her. :) Good luck!!

    • says

      I just got an iPad so am not sure how to reply using it: I am a veterinarians daughter so I had all kinds of pets….raccoon:). As a puppy love on it. Bishons are lap dogs so put this puppy on your lap when you are sitting and relaxing. They are small so you won’t ever have to worry about a large dog around. One note about Bishons…they can be very yippy and hyper…as I would with all dogs I would recommend a puppy training class so you can nip the yippy and hyper . You should go with your daughter…..a big fear for you because it is a dog(s) training class….many dogs, but when Snowball knows you and your daughter are the Alpha “dogs” in the pack ( family) it will go along way in training and teaching obedience to your puppy. Just as we need to train our children, we must also train our pets. Also….a cage is a must….I know it sounds cruel but it becomes home to them and a safe place for a small dog when lots of people are around and a place for them to go if you have a visitor who is afraid of dogs:).

  2. Dawn says

    I was always a cat person and I got a dog thrown at me too. And the biggest thing I can tell you is this dog will most likely end up being YOUR dog! :) it will follow you everywhere bc you are the ‘alpha dog’ of the house. And even though they can be a full time job, you will LOVE that dog (eventually – ha ha). That’s the main reason I never liked dogs, because they truly become family. You will love snowball – I promise.

  3. Jessica says

    Courtney, I am the exact opposite of you…I have had a dog just about my entire life (all almost 29 years) and I can’t imagine not having one in the house. We currently have a 6 1/2 year old Great Dane/Mastiff mix who is about 140 lbs and can look over a six foot fence if he is on his hind legs. But he is as gentle as can be. My best advice is to find a place to do obedience training. Just the simple stuff, not intense tricks or for dog shows, but sit, wait, down, bed, leave it, etc. This worked wonders for us and the dog listens to us as well as the kids now.

    Good luck and enjoy your new adventure! Thank you for sharing your heart…it is a blessing for me.

  4. Heidi says

    I hope you didn’t buy the puppy! I have a rescued Shih-Tzu dog, named Alex Doggie. I had never had a dog before, but when our son was 7 1/2, we went to a shelter and were very overwhelmed with the choices! Too many dogs are waiting for homes, and Alex Doggie instantly stole my heart. We have been so happy to have a dog, and cannot remember life without him! Enjoy pet ownership :)

    • Shannon says

      Being a person with pet allergies, if I ever decided to get a dog, I would buy from a breeder rather than adopting from a shelter. I know there are a lot of dogs that need rescuing but I could not take a chance on having a dog that wasn’t a purebred and end up returning it to the shelter due to my allergies.

      • Amy says

        Shannon, I thought the same thing. We thought we couldn’t get one from the shelter either because of my allergies. We checked several times in person for a hypoallergenic dog and finally saw a new dog come through online. We went down to meet her and left filling out paperwork. I wasnt sure how my allergies would do but I didn’t react when we met her. We weren’t sure what mix she was either and whether or not she would shed. We were able to bring her home at the end of that week. She is the sweetest dog and does not shed. I’ve never had a reaction to her and neither has anyone else. Another bonus is she was only a little over a year old when we got her and already housebroken. No training required. She is the perfect fit for our family. We think she’s a terrier standard schnauzer mix.
        Please don’t rule out shelters. You never know what you will find. :)

  5. karen says

    Hi, just reading your post and though it seems funny to be so afraid of something as a grownup it really hinders a free life. (Knowing from experience). My SS class is reading through a book by Dr Caroline Leaf about toxic thoughts and retraining our brains using scripture (http://21daybraindetox.com). Amazing material, the science proves the Biblical and/or vice versa. Would highly reccomend especially since you recognize its a very real fear.
    On the dog end, i have ZERO advice. Got a puppy 8 months ago and she drives me nuts. On the positive side though, i was never a dog person but now i love the our little monster to pieces.

  6. Mary says

    We have a bichon! My husband is also allergic, but our bichon doesn’t bother him. It’s so great that they don’t shed :) They’re good little dogs! He only got to 14 lbs and he doesn’t bark too much (just to let us know someone’s here). He’s also really good with kids and, as long as he gets his walk, he just relaxes around the house. Oh! And he pretty much potty trained himself! I think you picked a good breed to start with!

    • says

      My neighbor has a Bichon! “Lambchop” is her name, and she’s a the sweetest dog. If she’s out in the yard and sees that we’re outside, she immediately runs to the fence, tail wagging, looking to be petted. She loves to give kisses, too. :)

      She rarely ever barks — just at squirrels, but hey… Dogs need to “talk”, too, right? My neighbor has taken Lambchop for obedience classes, so she’s a very well-behaved dog.

      Best wishes with your new puppy! And, also with overcoming your fear! Good for you for taking that step! God will bless that. ;)

  7. Amy says

    I have always had dog. I have had a dachshund, a poodle, a shihzu, a lab mix, a bloodhound mix, a beagle mix, and a chow mix. The hardest thing was crate training & potty training. My parents currently have a bichon who is a fantastic dog, they are pretty smart so it should train easy. Maybe having this one from a small puppy will help you overcome your fear.
    Couple things I learned & had the vet backed up: rawhide bones can cause gas & other tummy tissues. If the dog gets a tummy virus cultured yogurt works for them just as well as us.

  8. Amy Cherbony says

    I just wanted to say that I’m really proud of you Courtney. Way to face your fears because of the love you have for your child. I know that 2014 will be a freeing year for you in this area. Isn’t the Lord so good, that He knows all our fears (whether big or small) and He doesn’t want us to be bound to anything? :) I know that as you have trusted Him in so many other areas, He will see you through this journey of faith. And it’s going to be GREAT. Some might say, you can’t over-spiritualize this- but I think the Lord cares for every little part of us- even our fears and nothing is too small or big to be overlooked by Him. So girl, you’ve got this through Him.
    Blessings to you and your family!!!
    PS – We also have a dog- mini dachshund. He was a rescue- and he’s quite over-weight! LOL! He’s on a diet to lose 10 lbs- but we love him and call him our own. :)

  9. Jodi says

    Oh Courtney! I can so relate. I grew up with cats, never dogs. I have also always been terrified of dogs. My husband quickly dismissed the idea of adopting a cat after we got married and insisted on a dog. It is hard to resist (or be scared of for that matter) a little, fluffy, 7 lb puppy so I agreed. That 7 lb puppy is now a full grown 65 lb black lab and my best friend!! I LOVE my girl and can’t imagine life without her. Since you will have the dog from a puppy you won’t be afraid of it because you will know its personality/behaviors, etc. My girl is so loyal and loving. I will echo some of the above comments though, a puppy is a full time job at first…it is just like having a toddler running around the house (except without a diaper on!!!). Potty training is intense! but so worth it!

  10. sandy farmer says

    Pretty much all you have to do to overcome your fear of dogs, is see dogs (or your dog) in a whole new way! I have lived in many different places. Town, country, in-state, and out of the country, And I can tell you having a dog is a good thing.

    While just recently spending 8 years in the country, our dogs were our PROTECTION. They killed snakes, and chased bears up trees. (We lived in Northern Ca at the time) Our small toy poodle (that stays in the house) always alarms us if someone is coming near our front door.

    When you get a puppy, it has the chance to grow up with your family. Dogs see family as their family. This puppy will grow up to help protect your kids and you! They did a survey once asking home invaders what they feared most, and they said dogs. Dogs will die for you.

    You wait and see, this puppy will soon be a great addition to your family. Your kids will grow up and remember great memories with their family dog…and so will you!

  11. says

    We have always been dog people. We have a schnauzer/Yorkie mix. He doesn’t bother my husbands allergies, doesn’t shed, and at only 7 pounds – is quite easy to handle. My kids are 7 and 4 and enjoy the responsibility of feeding him, keeping his water refreshed, taking him for walks in our yard and playing with him. Losing a pet 2 years ago also helped us to explain death and grief in a very real way. Having a pet has been an overwhelmingly positive experience for them.

    I would strongly suggest obedience classes and crate training.

    Best of luck!!

  12. says

    I found a book while staying at a vets house. It’s out of circulation but you can find it on amazon used if you wait and watch. It’s EXCELLENT and will really help you a lot. It’s called The Ultimate Puppy (bright colored little work books- not the big book under the same name). It even gives step by step training for children to follow and has a chart of dog adolescence (when to expect them to test boundaries, how long they need to be crate trained). etc.
    Entire title:
    The Ultimate Puppy Toolkit: A Complete, Fun, Step-By-Step guide to raising a happy well-adjusted dog

    If you can find it I can’t recommend it enough.

    Here is a “review” I did on my old blog: http://jacobandgeorgia.blogspot.com/search?q=ultimate+puppy

    Hope this helps!
    Georgia

  13. says

    We have a Maltese – small, hypo allergenic dog. I never liked dogs- I wasn’t afraid – just didnt care for them. Then, there was Kasey. What I have learned is, no matter who in the house “owns” the dog- the dog chooses his or her friend. I am Kasey’s. :) I have grown to love that little dog.

  14. Chanda Sue says

    Our dogs are members of our family. We have always had dogs and currently have four. Start by finding a great veterinarian and ask them to suggest a trainer. In all honesty dog trainers do more to teach pet owners how to communicate with their dogs than anything else. Having a trainer come to your home for puppy school lessons can make a huge difference (right from the start). Dogs can sense fear so try to be as calm as possible (perhaps a glass of wine before hand :0). You might want to take a little blanket or something that all of you can touch to the puppy while he is still with his mom. Giving it to your puppy with your scent on it will help the puppy to feel more at home when he arrives to his new home. It will include the smell of his mom and siblings by the time he moves in with you. Do some reading on Bishons to give you more information about what to expect about the breed. I will pray that God eases your fears so that you might fully enjoy all that a dog can bring to your life. I look forward to hearing how it goes, I am so happy for your family! There is an old saying as to why Adam named the canine a “dog” because it’s name is a reflection of God’s and an earthly indication of just what unconditional love looks like :0)

  15. says

    I had the same irrational fear ever since I was bit by a small dog as a child. I HATED going over to dog-owners’ houses! Then I married a coonhound breeder and the rest is history! It took me awhile, and I still am nervous around unfamiliar animals, but I am MUCH more comfortable around dogs now that I’ve had them in my “family.” I hope you fall in love and that the new puppy helps you come to love all of God’s creatures with a little less trepidation!

  16. Jessica says

    Courtney,
    You will grow to love that little puppy, and might I add I’m a bit jealous, I’ve always wanted a bichon!
    I have an English mastiff, about 165-170 lbs, huge big baby! He is very friendly and good with children however he looks like a small horse and sounds like a mad mama bear so that scares people a lot! I commend you for facing your fear for the heart of your child, I think that is precious and very selfless! You are amazing! Good luck and sweet puppy dreams!

  17. Kaytie says

    Oh Courtney! I had the same fear growing up. I dreaded or didn’t go to friends’ houses that had dogs. I would throw up all the way to my grandparents’ house because they wouldn’t put their dog in another room. People were telling my parents I needed counseling, but my mom was convinced that The Lord was telling her to buy a puppy. She did, and I was afraid for about a week, but God used a tiny dachund puppy to bring healing to me and mend relationships in my family! I was in middle school then, and now have a healthy caution of animals I don’t know, and a dog of my own. He is able!

  18. says

    I agree that dog is going to follow YOU around because you’re the alpha and you make the food and you’re in the kitchen and you’re the one that makes it feel safe because again you’re the alpha. OR it will follow you around for above said reasons but LOVE your husband so when he sits down it’ll jump in HIS lap or HIS tummy. Hahahaha I love that I get out of that. We have a toy poodle because we are all allergic. I also love that excuse for let’s see horses and cats and rabbits. You name it sista, I’ve used it!

    At least your daughter is 9 so she can help/do the puppy responsibilities. I think getting it from such a little puppy you will be helped through this and probably cure your fear of little dogs at least.

  19. says

    I think it is different when they are your dog. Not to scare you but recently I got bit by a strangers dog. Crazy accident but God used it for His glory. God miraculous stopped the bleeding after we prayed and we were able to witness to the owner of the dog and the doctor at the hospital. So I get what you are saying about your dog fear. Living in Africa there are stray dogs everywhere and I get freaked out. However, we have our own dogs and I am not afraid of them at all. Chandelle our Australian Cattle dog is 3. Cheyenne our Rat terrier is 1 1/2. Sam our German Shepherd is almost 6 months. And we inherited a dog with our house- Red. She is older but we don’t know how old. The puppy stage is difficult with chewing, house training, and in general training. Lots of work but worth it. Snowball will love you and snuggle and become a member of the family.

  20. Dana says

    We also have a Bichon (a Bolognese, not a Frise) and he is a sweetheart. This family of dogs are “companion” dogs meaning they love to be WITH you- their adopted family- all the time! My dog, now 9, still loves to snuggle, lays at my feet when I’m watching TV, follows me to the bathroom, plays like a puppy with his toys, loves being rewarded with treats for doing things, and is a good little watchdog to boot. I agree with other commenters that it is very likely YOU will become Snowball’s favorite person in the family. =) I’m sure this is the beginning of a very beautiful stage in your family’s life- enjoy!

  21. Stephanie says

    I have been around dogs all 37 years of my life. My dad raised beagle’s growing up and my sister and I had the responsibility of feeding them in the evening. We always had lots of dogs and I can remember a time that we had around 30, puppies included. Out of all the dogs we had a had a few pets, but it wasn’t until we got a black cocker spaniel that I fell in love with a dog. He was a great dog and would not only fetch the ball, but would also kick it back to you. Then 11 years ago my husband and I brought home 6 week old bundle of fluff, our Katie girl. She was a golden retriever and so sweet. She was our baby and a great way to deal with our infertility struggles. She was the best dog! Once she worked her way into being a house dog, she slept by my side of the bed for 11 years. We had to say goodbye in August due to bone cancer and I miss her so much. But she taught me so much about God and his unconditional love, loyalty and protection.

    We also have a golden, Zeke and his 7 years old. We’ve had him since he was a puppy also. He is a crazy and fun dog. He is so loving and would love nothing more than to be a lap dog. But at 90 pounds that’s it bit hard. It’s been neat to see him over the past 8 months become the alpha dog.

    Dogs are wonderful! Enjoy your new bundle of fluff.

  22. Susan Smith-Allen says

    Hi Courtney, What a precious baby! I have a white Chihuahua that is named Snowball. He is my little companion and baby. I live alone, so he is my precious world. I have to take him out like every three hours to go to the bathroom. He is pretty good at holding it through the night. I take him out as soon as he wakes up, then I feed him and take him out after an hour then every three hours (give or take a 1/2 hour here and there. Put papers down in an area where there is no rug in case you aren’t able to take him out or if you go away. You will figure it out in time. It is a full time job with a puppy, and yes, they are worth it. Have fun with your Snowball. It is wonderful having a pet. You will fall in love with your puppy, don’t fear it. All they want is love and you have plenty of that to give, so don’t worry.

  23. Kelly K says

    Awe! How cute!! I can understand your fears. I grew up with dogs. We had miniature poodles which were actually toy size when I was a kid. They were great dogs! I had my senior picture taken with my little Ebony! She was all black. Weighed maybe 4 pounds. The most loving dog ever.

    Now I’ll also say that when I was 10, I was attacked by a huge dog while out riding bikes with my Mom. I grew up in a rural area. A potato farmer lived next door and a vegetable/dairy farmer lived up the road. This big HUGE dog came charging out of its yard as we rode by on our bikes, ran around my Mom and bit me in my leg :( 32 years later & you can still see that scar. So I’m very wary of large dogs that I don’t know. I also don’t wish to own a large dog as people are more afraid of them.

    Yes, we have a dog! Bandit! He’s 3/4 Boston Terrier & 1/4 Jack Russel mix. Got him 5 years ago. He’s a medium sized dog. Weighs 22 pounds & has been a great addition to our family! I applaud you for putting your fears aside. This little pup will bring you such joy!

  24. Peggy Jarvis says

    I am not afraid, but never wanted a pet in the house. I finally caved and allowed a cat when the girls wer 10 and 12. For 17 years that cat was mine. She decided anddid not change her loyalty until my first grandchild came 11 years later. Then she adopted Laurel. I was crushed when she died. I am sure you will love it since you are going to grow with the puppy.

  25. Dawn Revis says

    I have 3 Jack Russells, yes 3! What’s funny it’s like having 3 more kids and they all have different personalities! They are 3, 6 and 12 almost 13. A lot of work at first but oh so worth it. I would suggest to crate him at first. You can find a lot of info on the internet about this. After mine were house trained then I just let them roam free. I have hardwood floors except in the bedrooms so everyone knows when they leave the house to close all the doors. Especially if you do not want to come home to an unmade bed! They love to mess up a perfect bed!! Just like a baby they will make messes! Just don’t give up. He will be on a schedule before you know it and part of your routine. What a blessing a dog brings to your home!

  26. says

    Read up on doggy training and take some lessons. The best way to own a dog is to own one with good manners. This will require effort and time with the puppy, but it is well worth it, especially for a non-pet owner like yourself.

    You are one brave momma. Tell your daughter she is a lucky girl and very loved.

  27. Ellen says

    Having a puppy is like having a baby. They require constant care and attention. Also, like a baby, the best training is typically of the “train the parent” variety! Owners must take the necessary time to consistently work with their pets. If you put in the time and effort required early, you will have a well behaved and well loved family member for years to come. Get training help…go to a puppy class or a dog trainer. It will be money well spent.

  28. Alicia says

    We got a hypoallergenic dog too!! Labradoodle!! We love her :) The best advice and money spent was sending our dog to a trainer right from the breeder. She spent two weeks with a trainer in her home that potty trained her, crate trained her and socialized her. We got her about 12 weeks and had only a few accidents and was already sleeping through the night!! We paid $400-600, can’t remember but totally worth it. She also started teaching her to sit, stay, come and walk properly on a leash :)
    She has truly been a blessing to our family. Congrats!!

  29. Joy says

    We have a 12 year old Sheltie (looks like a small collie). I am not a “dog person” but I AM a Charlie person (our dog’s name; our last name is Brown). He has been my loyal companion & friend through the years. He goes wherever I go & he knows so many words he scares me sometimes w/ his smarts! He cuddles me when I’m sad. He’s doing very well for 12 but I know my days with him are limited. I give thanks to God for the friend he’s given me. Everybody needs a “good dog” I always say. Can he be disgusting sometimes? Well… he IS a dog. Dog’s have their own ways & reasons but they really can be a man’s (or woman’s) best friend. Enjoy you little friend… he/she will love you unconditionally! : )

  30. Kim Kuneli says

    Courtney,
    You couldn’t have picked a better breed for your family! I am a dog lover, had one all my life, but found out at age 40 that I had severe allergies to them! So bummed, but decided that our next dog would be a bishon so that the allergies would not be a problem. She is the joy in our life! Always happy, so smart, loves our kids, sometimes sits in their laps while we homeschool. You won’t be sorry! I’ll be looking forward to the post ” MY new best friend!” lol Prayers for an easy adjustment for you all! Just so you are prepared~ when they run in circles around the yard or around the furniture as fast as they can~ the bichon blitz~ they are filled with delight (or sometimes have just been a bit naughty ;) ) and they just have to get the energy out!

  31. Hollie says

    The puppy is adorable! We have a 90-lb lab/golden retriever mix. He’s a wonderful dog who is great with our kids. I would highly recommend taking an obedience class. We trained our dog so many important things – to drop something on command (important when they start biting something they shouldn’t…like a shoe!), stay, down, sit, come (another dog came into our yard and our dog took off running after it until we shouted “come” which saved our dog from running into the street). We feel obedience class was the most important investment we’ve made for our dog. Make sure the same person takes the dog to obedience classes each week and that everyone in the family knows all of the correct commands. Our dog was so confused when my mom came to visit and she told him, “Sit down!” :)

  32. says

    I have always had a cat or dog or both at the same time. Currently we have two indoor cats, one I’ve been feeding outside and a dog. We know the dog is 3/4 Jack Russel but are not sure of that last 1/4. She looks like it could be Corgi. LadyBug is the sweetest, most cuddly dog. She does have a HUGE bark for such a small dog. For some reason she thinks that if she barks at someone they will pet her. She must think she’s just having a conversation with people by barking. There is a big difference between her,”Hey pet me!” bark and her vicious,”Get off my lawn, mail man!” bark. Which is comical, because she loves the mail man. I forgot to mention that LadyBug was supposed to be my daughter’s dog, she’s only 4 though. LadyBug decided she’s mine. Follows me everywhere. Cries if I leave her, even more so than my daughter does. :) Good luck!

  33. Jennifer says

    I had never had a puppy before, until my husband and I got our Toby, a miniature dachshund, at 8 weeks old. I had no idea what I was getting into when I said yes to my husband and that cute puppy face! It is a LOT of work to train a puppy, but don’t let that discourage you! They DO get trained, even though it may seem to take longer than expected, it will happen, and the time it took will be so worth it! And a dog will love you unconditionally! I think God gave us dogs to show us a little glimpse of His love, and also to bring us joy. (Toby is so funny and makes me laugh all the time!). I too was scared of dogs as a child, but we ended up getting my uncle’s dog when I was still in grade school, and he was a wonderful companion.

  34. says

    When we got our first puppy, we learned having a hot water bottle/ jug for warm water (filled with warm water) and a ticking clock were ways to help the puppy adjust to being without his mother – so he and you could sleep at night. Hope all goes well.

  35. Rebecca B says

    Hi Courtney!
    Personally, I have always lived with a dog, even though I am not a dog afficiando. I don’t know exactly how that works, but the truth is I’m not horribly interested in dogs per se, just the dog (currently max the poodle) who resides with us. All our dogs have been small and needed grooming. We have a phenomanal groomer! I love picking Max up when he’s all fresh and clean, with a dapper little kerchief on his neck.:-) Max is crated when we leave the house, and until very recently, at night. I think that is the best way, just because it keeps them safe while you’re gone or sleeping. Also, they seem to consider it their own little bedroom.
    4-H has a dog program, so if there is a club in your area, you might consider having your daughter and her pup join. Max was a project for my older daughters, and they had fun and learned a lot together. I did the same when I was a kid.
    I think the best thing about Max, is that he has a job in our family, and that is giving comfort to the afflicted. He feels personally responsible to drape his furry little body alongside or in the lap of his patient, whether the are suffering heartache or headache!
    I think you’ll enjoy your new baby quite a lot, even though you are not a “dog person”.

  36. says

    I too was afraid of dogs for years. Then I became a mom, and 4 boys arrived over time. A dog? Of course! We have boys! And so I had to learn. =) Our dog came to us as a drop-off, very pregnant and ready to have puppies. And we’ve had her ever since that day about 5 years ago. We couldn’t ask for a nicer dog! She came well-trained which was a benefit to us.

    Then we began boarding dogs as a job for our older boys. The dogs’ owner introduced us to Cesar Millan, the Dog Whisperer. We learned a lot about how dogs “think” and it has helped me to understand how my response to them can trigger things I don’t like. We were able to get a series at our local library.

    I am pretty sure you will learn to love your little dog! They have a way of getting into your heart! Yo can do it!

  37. Mel says

    I too have lived with the same fear my entire life and we even had several farm dogs during my childhood. It Can be very debilitating! I will tell you that about 5-6 years ago my husband and I decided to get a beagle puppy. Growing up with the puppy can help and having my own dog also desensitize me somewhat to my fear of other dogs. I still fear the barking, growing, jumping on me kind but once they chill out I can feel more calm too. You will start to recognize in your own dog the signs of being aggressive or just being a dog that will help you with others. Good luck!!

  38. says

    Potty training takes a long time. Up to a year. Get a crate. She will just have to spend a lot if time in crate until she learns to control her bladder. Buy a book on potty training puppies. And realize that just because your daughter wanted one that she will not always be the one taking care if it. You will. Trust I have been down this road! Lol. Good luck!

  39. Gail says

    Puppies chew incssantly the first year.
    Dogs want to be part of the pack, at about 6 months they start understanding rules…consistancy is main thing. They will do things to fit in.
    Use only 1 word per command. Doesn’t matter what the word is, just use 1. Hush not same as quiet or be still.
    Don’t use a high pitch voice ( like a puppy) use a lower tone (lead dog) if you want your dog to take you seriously.

  40. Sheila says

    I’ve had dogs all my life-small to medium size pure bred and mutts. My beagle of 16 years passed away in October and I didn’t think my husband, who never had dogs until I came along, would agree to another dog since we are now empty nesters. But he surprised me for Christmas with a Boykin Spaniel. She is 5 months old today. She has been a lot of work, just like having a baby, but she has brought me immeasurable joy. I’ve taken her to pet training since she was 10 weeks old and she does great. She visits the nursing home each week with me to see my mom and everyone loves her and she loves them. I’m planning on getting her certified as a therapy dog once she is old enough. Crate train her. It is the easiet way to house train and it is not cruel. She will find security in the crate. She may cry the first couple of times but not long. Just like teaching your baby to fall a sleep on their own. It wasnt easy listning to them cry but you knew what was best for them and you. Puppy teeth are like razors-give her plenty of dog toys to chew. Have fun and enjoy. You’re going to get so attached to her.

  41. Gina says

    I have no advice, but just have to thank you for honestly sharing your fear. I, too, am terrified of dogs, and never would be brave enough to get one for my kids! Kudos to you for punching your fear in the face!

  42. Dena Johns says

    Prepare yourself for LOTS OF HARD WORK! It’s almost like parenting another child. However, you will have a friend for life, and once trained….they really are a joy. Just be prepared for lots of time training, training, training….and it would probably be beneficial to go to a puppy training course (but you will have to be around other dogs for that…. just so you know). I’m sure your daughter is thrilled and she will be a big help. And, yes….. a crate will be your friend. Get one…. it helps with sleeping at night and with potty training. When the puppy is potty trained and well behaved, it may not need a crate anymore, but in the beginning it will be a must. Enjoy!

  43. Sara Crocker says

    I would advise training your new puppy to go into his crate on his own. We taught each of our dogs to go to the crate for sleeping and “puppy timeout”. Now when they hear the word ” box” they go to their crate or sleeping spot to calm down.

    Enjoy your new four-pawed addition!

  44. Stephanie Sprouse says

    Hi Courtney,

    My comment and encouragement isn’t so much about dogs as it is about fears and overcoming them. I had a fear of elevators for 13 years, due to being trapped in one while pregnant. The Lord completely delivered me this past week and has healed me. I now walk in freedom. The elevators that used to make me anxious, heart race and hot flash, no longer do. I am proud to say that I took my grandad to the dr this week and rode the elevator twice without getting anxious or fearful. A complete miracle for me. So how did I get to this wonderful place of freedom? I want to share with you. Our pastor preached Sunday on anxieties & mentioned that many people have a fear of someone walking up to them wih a feather & tickeling them. He brought this point up to show that many times our fears are completely irrational & comical. I thought man what are the chances of someone coming up to me & tickeling me with a feather, slim . Which led me to realize that the chances of being stuck in a elevator again are slim too. I’m sure I’ve risen in one hundreds of times & only been stuck once. And the one time I was stuck The Lord protected me. Although I was trapped with 2 Spanish men & 2 elderly women, who accused the men of mashing too many buttons & the lady on the end of the elevator phone said everyone was gone to lunch & it would be about 30 minutes, I thought I would be raped & loose my baby & be trapped 30 minutes but the Spanish men opened the doors I between floors & we exited within 10 minutes. He Lord ultimately saved & protected me. Realizing if my worst nightmare of being trapped in an elevator happens again, The Lord is with me & will protect me, so what should I fear. I wen home and prayed to God asking him to forgive me for coming into agreement with the enemy tha I was afraid of elevators. I ask he Lord to remove this fear. The. I ask him to replace that whole in my heart wih his love, grace and peace & he did my friend! I woke the next morning with a motivation to tackle the fear like climbing a mountain. I took my grandad to the dr and rode elevators with no fears. This fear that has plagued me at museums, vacations &. Hospitals, no longer will! I am free & who The Lord sets free is free indeed. I pray for The Lord to set you free of the fear of dogs & that you enjoy your daughters new pet. Maybe this recent experience of mine can encourage you to be an overcomer…

  45. Stacie says

    Like you I never had pets growing up- my mom was allergic. But when I got married, my husband had a dog- a little white bischon :) He has since passed away and now we have a bischon/toy poodle mix. We LOVE our little dogs- they’re adorable, friendly, loyal and loveable. And you can take them anywhere pretty easily. You will love your little bischon! Puppy training was interesting and it is like having a baby. Ours was up at least once a night to go out, since she was so little, but that stopped after a few months and she sleeps pretty well through the night now. Use lots of treats to reward her and crate train so she has a little home and a safe place to go when you’re not home. Enjoy! They’re the best!!

  46. Debbie says

    Courtney.. congratulations on you (future) new family member!! Having just got a(nother)puppy 3 weeks ago – I completely understand what you are going through. As many have said it is exactly like a new baby… getting up at night – many… many.. trips outside (aka diapers :)) teaching to play / chew with the right toys, etc… Enjoy your new family memeber… and this is certainly a wonderful opportunity to help your daughter grow in her knowledge of responsiblity (but I will also say – just like with your kiddos… you will be the primary “new mommy): ~~~ God bless :)

  47. kl says

    Your puppy is PRECIOUS! Congrats to Alexis. I know that she is one happy girl! You’re an awesome mom! – My advice… you play with the puppy too. When it gets to your home, touch it. Hold it. Pet it. If you try to grow with it, it will be your best friend too and you will see that there is nothing to fear. Your new puppy is a baby. Just like a human baby. You have the chance to ‘mother’ it. And we all know that you’re a great mom so this will not be a problem for you!
    Good luck and God bless! (Keep us updated!!)
    P.S. I was afraid of dogs until I got a 6 week old puppy about 10 years ago. :)

  48. Linda H says

    Oh, Courtney,

    Good for you! Your life will never be the same! You’ll come out braver, stronger, bolder…………….

    I, like Alexis, love, love, love dogs. I’ve always had dogs; I’ve trained dogs; showed dogs; been a 4-H Dog Club Leader; taught adult obedience classes. Really, raising a puppy is a lot like raising children, only easier. (I’ve also raised and trained 5 children!) You don’t want to let the cute puppy do anything it wants for months, then have an adolescent dog who is a terror! Manage and guide it into right behavior from the start and you’ll have a dream dog.

    Go to Leerburg.com in Menominie, Wis. They have a TON of free information and sell dvd’s on raising and training dogs. They are balanced between positive training methods and corrections. They are associated with the Michael Ellis School of Dog Training, and they are the BEST site I’ve come across for sensible training. They are so generous with help and information. You are at a prime opportunity, since you have several weeks before your adorable puppy comes home. I’m seeing a homeschool unit study!

    By the way, one of my daughter-in-laws has a Bichon named Snowball!

    God bless you. I have really enjoyed following your blog and studies for a couple of years now. Thanks for speaking truth and love.

  49. Joyce says

    A good choice. We have a 12 yr old bichon that we dearly love. He is very clean and will clean his paws like a cat would do. He doesn’t smell doggy as some dogs do. He has a very sensitive spirit. Likes calmness. Can’t say enough good about him. Also, very smart. Enjoy your new friend.

  50. Jeanne says

    A new family member! I always called our australian terrier my 4th child! He was an easy pet to train!
    Crate training is wise. The crate was Ozzie’s domain; he would always go to his crate when he felt insecure. Our little Ozzie has been gone 8 months now but his crate still sits in the family room; can’t bring ourselves to let go just yet. On the day we settled our last child into college we came home to find that our Ozzie had passed away…double heartache…empty nest…sort of! A year before, much to our dismay, our son brought home a lion-headed bunny; kept behind a baby gate in his room…Ozzie would not have been kind to “Zeus”. Well, he has free run of the upstairs and is a happy bunny and crate trained! If someone had told me that one day I would fall in love with a bunny I would have told them they were crazy. Well, guess what! God knew!

  51. Lisa says

    We have a Shetland Sheepdog (Sheltie). She has been a wonderful addition to our family, a great blessing. If I were to give any one piece of advice to someone about to get a puppy it would be this: Be consistent with training. A dog’s behavior is a direct reflection of its owner. If the dog is well-behaved, it is only because the owner invested the time to train it. Too many times people act as if the puppy will just suddenly develop good manners; it doesn’t work that way. In the same token, babies don’t simply become mannerly children on their own either. My daughter was 10 when we brought our puppy home. She had already spent several weeks reading dog training books from the library. She spent her lunch break & several hours after school training her new puppy. She chose to train the puppy according to the ways of a wolf pack & we have never regretted it. Everybody comments on how well-behaved she is, even the vet. I’m not saying this to brag, just to show that they truly can be a blessing. She is the only dog in our neighborhood who stays in her yard (without fencing of any kind). So, be consistent in training & you will never regret bringing this beautiful creation of God into your family. As for your fears? I think this cute bundle of fur will win you over. They are worth the effort.

  52. RejoicedOver says

    Thank you for sharing your heart and your fears with us!
    I struggle with fear, too, mostly the ‘what-ifs’ kind of thing, but it is a real issue in my life that I have to constantly lay down before the Lord and fight back with Scripture (i.e. Psalm 3:5-6, 4:8, 56:3-4). But a couple of weeks ago, I came across this Scripture: “For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” 2 Corinthians 10:3-5 I was reminded that prayer and Scripture are the weapons I have to fight back against this stronghold I have allowed to be built in my life; encouraged to know the stronghold can be demolished and reminded to take those fearful thoughts captive. I always tell my littlies when they have a bad dream or are scared in the night, to take those thoughts captive — to push them away– and to replace them with ‘whatever things are true, right, lovely, of good report…’ Anyways, just my two-cents worth from where I’m at in my journey.

    Regarding the puppy — she is adorable!! When I realized the Lord was leading me to marry the man who would be my husband, I actually had this conversation with the Lord: “But, God, he has a DOG! I don’t like dogs!” So funny, she actually did become like family to me. :) I agree with the others, though, that training is a must and will allow your family to enjoy her even more!

  53. MFox says

    I can only tell you how excited I am for you and I look forward to all of your posts about how much you are learning about Christ’s love from your sweet puppy! Many are also afraid of a relationship with Christ. They will “hop on someone else’s back” to avoid HIM! However, once they meet HIM, they realize that He has been loving them all the time, despite their responses to HIM (i.e., unconditional love)! That is the greatest gift I have ever learned from my nine dogs (Irish setter, Boston Bull Terriers, Shelties, & Golden Retriever) over 35 years…unconditional love! They are such a precious example. No matter what you look like, how you treat them, etc., they come right back, ready to love and kiss and snuggle.
    We learned that the best way to test a puppy’s temperament was to lay it on it’s back in your arms. This will tell you how trusting it is.
    As with Christ, we are not asked to be pastors and then accept HIM. First, you accept HIM, then you grow in a relationship with HIM, then you walk in your calling. So, get your house ready, then get your snuggling arms open, and then get a leash so you can go on walks together; and I’ll get ready for your posts on that precious unconditional love you are experiencing!!! Can’t wait!

  54. LeeAnn Cobbs says

    Awe!!! that is so sad, dogs can be SO loveable. I do understand your fear though. I think it’s GREAT that you are starting with a puppy to raise. I think you will come to love him and hopefully your fears will subside. I’ve had dogs my whole life. Cat’s too! Grew up around cows, ducks and horses too! Animals are great for helping to relieve stress. Here are some scriptures that may help.
    2 Timothy 1:7

    New King James Version (NKJV)

    7 For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.

    Genesis 1:28

    King James Version (KJV)

    28 And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.

    Love your sister in Christ,

    LeeAnn

  55. Arielle says

    HANDS DOWN the best advice I ever got was this: train your pooch to ring a bell attached to the door when he wants to go out. My dog will walk to the back door and nudge a bell (that’s tied to the handle with long ribbon) with his nose every time he needs to go outside. It’s amazing. I never have to guess and we hardly ever have accidents.
    Best of luck with dog ownership! I bet before too long you’ll be calling this fur-person a member of the family! ;)

  56. Stacy Wiebe says

    I feel for you! I’m terrified of cats and every time I go to my sister’s house they have to put the cat in the basement. And it usually escapes and I end up on the couch screaming :) You are a very brave woman for facing your fears for your daughter. I don’t know if I could do that for my sons. I’ll be thinking and praying for you that you end overcoming your fear and loving that puppy.
    Stacy

  57. says

    Courtney I am feeling ya. I was little I was bit in my face. So dogs scare me too. You are by no means lame because you aren’t a fan of dogs. What I have come to know over my years is it all depends on the owner and the breed. I have many of my friends who own dogs. They don’t force their pups on me at all. But I do put my hand out and give them a rub on the head. Will I ever own one, umm the jury is still out for debate on that. But I know a few of my friends I love their dogs. I let them even lick my chin every now and again. Go visit this pup if you can and get to know it. Spend time with friends who have dogs. Talk to your friends that was my big time support. I still don’t like small dogs. they seem to more barkers and biters to me. I am comfortable from like Beagle on up. My fav by far of hanging out with is a Great Dane. They are gentle giants. A friend of mine was a breeder of them and they are big lap dogs. I wish you the best…..

  58. Emily Patzer says

    As a person with three dogs two of them over 70 pounds the best way I can think of for you to get over your fear besides prayer is bringing your sweet little puppy home and spending time with it. You will soon see dogs are not as scary as you think. They love you just as much as you will come to love it

  59. Brandi says

    How Precious! Alexis must be elated and what a gift your giving her, yourself and the rest of your family. Dogs are true family members and best of all, your starting from the puppy stage. That means you and your family will be the only influence your Bichon will know.

    My husband and I are dog lovers and have always had a one or two. We feel absolutely lost without having a dog in our family. We just lost our beloved, 17-year old Cocker Spaniel. He was the sweetest and most gentle dog we’ve ever had and his passing has been devastating – it’s like someone pierced my heart and ripped a piece of it off. It’s hard losing a loved one – he will always have a piece of my heart. It’s been said, that no matter how many dogs you have in a lifetime, there will always be “the one” – “the one” that touched your heart in such a way that leaves impressions so deep that the pain of loosing them is extremely tragic – “the one” that lifted your spirits on your darkest day – “the one” that licked your tears away on your saddest day and layed beside you until you can muster then energy to pick your head up and continue plowing through this side of life. Well, that was our beloved, late 17-year old Cocker Spaniel (Scottie). Our sweet baby is in heaven with his brother and sisters – I believe pets go to heaven. How could God create such sweet, awesome companions and not have them go to heaven? All pets go to heaven – I’m convinced and am holding onto that :-) Hope you don’t mind that I just carried on about our loss – it’s really the first time I’ve written about it. Thank you for allowing me to babble – I think God must have intended your post today to inspire me to open up about, so thank you Courtney.

    On the positive side, we decided to rescue a Cocker Spaniel, did our research and away we went (16 hours away) to pick up our approximately 1-year old baby up from Georgia. He’s such a charmer and full of life and spirit. I so love our dogs the same way I love our human family members. He’s a blessing in our lives – and we are elated to have rescued such a sweet little charmer and gave him a 2nd chance at life.

    Onto your request for input on dog ownership – I’m certainly no professional but I do come with 21+ years of dog ownership experience. I’ve done it wrong and I’ve done it right but that’s the way you learn. In my experience, the biggest favor I did for myself and my family was to ensure that our dog(s) knew that we (human mom, dad and children) were the ones in charge. They must always listen to your commands and respond. Training takes time, patience and a calm approach. Dogs are so keen on human leadership and require boundaries, just like children. Socialization is extremely important – we spend A LOT of time with this – the results have always been outstanding. So outstanding in fact, that our friends, family and passer-buyers commonly ask how we got such a nice dog that behaves. We chuckle – this is not something that dogs are born with, it’s trained behavior and is well worth any dog owners time to invest in.

    Have you heard of Cesar Millan (The Dog Whisperer)? He’s amazing with dogs – we’ve learned quite a bit of new information through him. He has a television program and a website http://www.cesarsway.com/

    May God Bless your new little blessing coming into your family. I’ll have you in my prayers for the transition. Looking forward to reading more blog posts about this little sweetie.

  60. Cindy says

    I am so excited for you! Really!…..What a blessing she will be in your life! My parents have had 2 Bichons and they really are wonderful companions! I’m telling you….. she will melt your heart….just wait! What a perfect first dog! I will be praying for you…. but you have made the right decision truly! You have blessed Alexis like you just can’t imagine! Thank you for putting aside your own fears and stepping out in faith to not only please someone else…..but as we all know…. Jesus foremost! Well done, good and faithful servant!

  61. says

    This post made me think of the new section I am adding to Sassy Modest Mom. It is called “Eating Frogs”. lol I got the idea from the Mark Twain quote “Eat a live frog first thing in the morning and nothing worse will happen to you the rest of the day.”
    Maybe you need to pet a puppy first think in the morning. By the time your doggie gets big enough to bother anything , you will have that fear totally under control. This would make a great share in my Eating Frog section. Thanks for sharing!
    http://sassymodestmom.com/eating-frogs/

  62. Jami says

    Oh…you just made me chuckle…my friend was the same way…well she wasn’t scared of dogs…she just hated them…her husband finally convenced her to get a dog and she loves it..it has turned out that the dog loves her more then the kids he was bought for…I on the other hand love dogs and have 2 labs..one Is 5 and the other one will be 12 in September…they are apart of our family…my husband is gone all week for work so Jackson (the almost 12 yr old) keeps me warm when my husbands away…you will do fine…congratulations

  63. Miriam says

    We have 3 dogs, a Rottwieler, Aslan, (120lbs of pure love), an Australian Shepherd, Fionna, (65lbs of protection) and a Chihuahuah/Corgi Mix, Flower, (18lbs of spunk and attitude). Fionna was attacked by another dog about 5 years ago it was bad, surgeries, 6 months of recuperation and 1 year of her being afraid of her own shadow. So when my husband announced he wanted a Rottie we were apprehensive, best advice I can give you is visit your puppy as often as you can, hold it, get it used to your scent, and at the same time you will not only get used to having the puppy around but you will get to know it’s personality. By the time it’s ready to come home you will both be well acclimated to each other and not only will you not be as apprehensive with the puppy but it will know what to and not to do to make you feel comfortable. That’s what we did with Aslan, and every time we visited him after he was born which was almost once a week, we brought Fionna with us to help her out too. He’s huge, but he is the sweetest thing you’ll ever meet, all we have to do now is get him to understand he’s not a lap dog. LOL.

  64. Michelle says

    Lol and I want to get a bernese mountain dog which is giant compared to your new family member lol

  65. says

    I’m not a dog lover either. We are on our second puppy. It’s much like having a baby. Lots of training. I agreed to a dog if I wouldn’t have to do anything I didn’t want to do with it – like clean up after it… and my family has kept that bargain. Our first we had to put down after 10 years and we now have a new one who is 2. I’ve never cleaned up a mess – they all take very good care of him and he’s well trained, which is half the battle – like kids – everyone enjoys a well trained dog.

  66. Lori says

    Two books: Mother knows best, the natural way to train a dog, a mommy wrote the book on how to love and train your puppy and The art of raising a puppy; monks in New England have many books on training dogs starting in the puppy stage! It will be life changing! The dog and the books!

  67. jacqui says

    Hi! I grew up with two dogs and the best thing I can share with you is this: I believe Father God designed them as a tiny expression of Himself ~ the love a dog shares is absolutely unconditional, generous, kind and incredibly good. You will find yourself on the receiving end of a beautiful love blessing ~ I wish you joy! jxxx

  68. Claudia says

    We have a dog, a miniature Australian Shepherd, her name is Lexi. I used to hate taking her on walks because she likes to bark at every dog she sees and because she would always work really hard at getting off her leash and so I would freak out that a dog fight would occur right in front of my eyes {and my kids’ eyes} and that I would be hauled off to jail for owning an aggressive dog. Until, I discovered that my dog is not aggressive at all, she is super friendly which is why she barks and gravitates toward other dogs. I had to let go of my fear for my dog to learn how and when to say hi to her furry friends. It took years but we are now at a point where Lexi can be out of her leash and I no longer fear a dog fight before my eyes. :) My advice to you is to train your dog and to realize that dogs are very smart and will be as friendly, or not, as you let them be. So train, train, train that puppy and you’ll won’t be sorry you have a dog.

  69. says

    You chose a great breed–I always have and always will only have bichon frises! My childhood dog was a bichon and they are simply amazing for kids and families. So cuddly and goofy and loveable! Since they don’t shed they do have to be groomed on a regular basis or they get matted and the breed is prone to bladder stones–something to watch out for. They are so silly and happy and will bring so much joy to your world! They always want to make their family happy and are pretty easy to train. The best part is how excited they get whenever their family arrives home. I predict lots of happiness and love heading your way and I am so happy for your family! Don’t hesitate to contact me with any questions at all!

  70. Carissa D. Huffman says

    We always had dogs growing up. We have a cat these days. Bischons are cute, but can be quite jumpy and spazzy (my parents have a Bischon-mix, and my aunt and uncle had 2), and can be very possessive of their people.

    Puppies are like babies–there is a lot of support needed at first–but they LOVE their people unconditionally. Snowball looks adorable–you can do this!

    What a lovely thing to do for your child!!

    Carissa in eastern Iowa

  71. Donna says

    Hi,
    We had never kennel trained our dogs. They were either outside pets or housetrained (or almost). We took in a cocker spaniel about 6 years ago and she was kennel trained. We didn’t want to leave her out while we were gone in case she tore the house up so she stayed in her kennel. It was GREAT! It was so much less worry, comforting to her/the dog, cleaner, organized and more. We now kennel train all of our puppies from the very beginning. We take them outside about every 45 min to 1 hour in the beginning. We give them a treat when they “do good” outside. We also put them in the kennel at night to sleep with a treat. They associate the kennel with good things not punishment. They will not use the bathroom in their kennel unless they are small and still learning. Taking them to vet or somewhere is so much easier too. I strongly recommend kennel training now to everyone. It isn’t hard except for the frequent potty times in the beginning. Also when you feed them, you need to take them outside after about 45min to 1 hour. Hope this helps! Puppies/dogs are GREAT and you will be so attached to Snowball very soon. Just wait. Donna in Alabama

  72. Emma says

    Awe, Snowball is so gorgeous! I think you’ve made a good choice nice and small, can easy occupy someone’s lap! We haven’t any pets yet, and I know the kiddies would love a dog!
    We had dogs growing up, Jack Russels! so I remember it was quite a challenge at first for doggie settling into their new home; And for my parents too
    The one dog kept us up all night for a few weeks, barking thru the night I think she was a little nervous. just show them kindness but be firm aswell. I remember our one dog went through a ripping up stage, so make sure she has toys to play with! Put news paper or something in case of any accidents at night.
    I remember our girl dog had a phantom pregnancy, producing milk and would nurture this one toy, her baby! We couldn’t get this toy off of her for trying! Lol!
    My Mom thought it best to have her spayed, so that’s what they did. It did stop them occurring. I remember reading in our dog owners book for that particular breed to carefully socialize them with other dogs. Both our dogs were friendly and loved to meet other dogs and play! The little dogs do tend to bark when anyone comes to the door, they let you know who’s about! I’m so pleased for Lexi, her birthday dream come true!

  73. Sharon says

    Oh Courtney, I’m afraid of dogs, too!!! Always have been, but don’t know why. We didn’t have pets when I was growing up. My Mom doesn’t like any type of pets, I must take after her. Anyways, I’ve tried very hard not to let my fear of dogs influence my daughter. She is 4 years old and has always been afraid of dogs, too! For example, when we are at the park or in our yard and the neighbors dogs are out or if someone walks by with a dog, she freaks. Wants me to pick her up, etc. I’ve tried to explain that most dogs are very nice, and also that most dogs are on a leash, which means they cannot just walk over to us. I am pretty sure I have never shown my true reaction of how I feel around dogs in front of her. Can she just sense it??? My husband would LOVE to have a dog. He grew up with them. It wouldn’t even be possible to just settle for a cat, because I don’t like them and my daughter is allergic to them. You are one brave Mama! I hope you learn to love your little pup and that in turn will open the doors to loving other dogs.

  74. Patty says

    What a Beautiful Choice! You WILL never regret this decision. My Sister had one and what LOVELY pets they make. One thing I do remember is just how delicate they are. You can see the pure and pink skin through their coat. They are gentle and very delicate. You and your daughter will melt with the loyalty and LOVE these dogs will give you and nurturing her will be instinctive and pure pleasure! God Bless You All! Belated Happy Birthday to Alexis! PS: The pictures of your puppy have sure melted me! Best Wishes!

  75. says

    Cortney, I did laugh when reading your post today. Thank you for your honesty.
    We had a Bichon and he was just brilliant. His little owner (my step daughter) got him when she was 4 and he was truly loved and spoilt. Often treated like a mobile toy, but he never objected. They are the perfect child’s pet.
    Dogs need to know who is the pack leader, have a routine and regular exercise and stimulation.
    May I recommend Jan Fennel’s book The Dog Listener. She did wonders for how we view our dogs.
    As a dog lover, I would also like to congratulate you on not sharing your fear with your children (I’ve seen too many children scared if dogs because Mummy is) and for allowing Alexis to have a dog despite your fears.
    Good luck in your build up and enjoy the little bundle.

  76. Becky says

    Prepare to fall in love :-). I have no doubt snowball will become one of your best friends, ha! I believe God uses animals to teach us things…just wait, you’ll see.

  77. Loran Wilburn says

    Get a crate and use it for house training. Exercise will keep your new family member happy and less likely to tear things up. Cesar Milan has a great book called Cesar’s Way.

  78. says

    Oh my goodness how cute!! I’m sorry you have a fear of dogs. :-) We have two and they are wonderful. For few years my son (born after we had our older dog) had a severe dog allergy and our poor dog, Ginger, had to be confined to her own area of the house. Recently my son out grew this allergy (praise the Lord) and so what did we do? We got a puppy!! http://www.artistichandsoffaith.com/?p=1909 His name is Sherlock. :-) Advice? Well I don’t know that I have much advice other than to reassure you that God is their Master and the His Holy Spirit dwells in you. :-) So don’t fear them. :-) Dogs will love you, protect you, and drive you crazy just like your own kids do. :-) They are very worthy companions though. :-) Cesar Milan has some wonderful videos on how to work with dogs on YouTube. I used his videos for instruction on how to introduce my two dogs and they are buddies now.

  79. Rebecca Rojero says

    Dear Courtney, I have the same fear. All my life, don’t know why. Like you, my children wanted a dog too. We did ended up getting a small dog, she was a young puppy upon arrival. I would love to say I was cured of my fear but reality is I wasn’t afraid of Her…but still afraid of others. My son got older moved out & bought a Boxer puppy. He would bring him over, a very hyper puppy wanting to play with my dog who I think was as afraid of him as I was. There came a time my son no longer could care for his 3year old Boxer, so yes, he came to live with me. I fell in love with him & overcame my fear of him. It took my lil dog bout a year to feel comfortable near him. BUT I am still afraid of all other dogs! Oh & the vet…my stress level goes Sky high, I always have to make appt as soon as they open & ALWAYS take someone with me… I will be praying for you…

  80. says

    Basically teaching a puppy not to bite is the same as the mom does. Yipe sharply and they will back off. Our dog became soft mouthed as a result of this training. Soft mouthed means I could have my hand in his mouth and he would not bite down which is important when you have children also.
    On a spiritual level, fear is not from God! How many times does the bible say ” Fear Not”. I had a fear of heights and as I trusted God more, it went away. My graduation from fear of heights was I went on an 8 series zip line. It was a trial but I got through it with Gods help and enjoyed the rain forest it was in. I don’t fear heights anymore. God Bless. Also try and wait till the pup is 10 weeks as that is a better age for it to be weaned.

  81. Judy Grieve says

    Courtney, I rarely comment, but I always read.. the person you speak to when you say, tell me something! On this post I have to comment. Bichons are the BEST dogs. We had 2 wonderful Bichon Friseés we LOVED so much. Great with kids, wonderful around other dogs, loving dispositions, one was a quick learner and the other, well he learned but at his own pace.

    But we learned very early that there are NO bad dogs. There are bad owners. We took a puppy obedience class and I would recommend that the whole family go so that you are all on the same page. The same loving guidance you give your children- boundaries, discipline- works for the dogs. Crating gives the dogs a “safe haven”, a place they can go and curl up in peace.

    I believe you will love this sweet being because she will do everything to get you to love her.

    As puppies, ours loved, loved, loved, socks. We had to be diligent about removing the temptations.

    I hope you find joy in raising this puppy, just as you find joy in raising your children because Snowball will become another child.

    I know you will share adventures. And I hope you see Snowball as a God wink, an encouragement, as you work out this challenge.

  82. Daphney says

    Courtney,

    You are going to be just fine! in fact you are going to fall in love with that little sweetie! I have a Bichon named Prissy, she is 8 years old and my sweet little baby. They are the sweetest, most gentle dogs, and they are always so happy. Congrats to your family on its newest member!

  83. Amber says

    Oh man can I feel you! I was NOT a dog person either and this Christmas I had a scenario similar to yours unfold. Let me just say that the Lord has used this cute little fluffy pup (German Shepherd! EEKS! Hub’s favorite. Nothing like diving in to the scary end of the pool head first!) to show me some really NOT CUTE things about myself! (A quick synopsis: I had no idea that I had some anger issues lurking under the surface! Also, sin in thought life and honesty — thinking one thing, while smiling through for outward appearance. Yuck. And, finally, allowing fear to control me in many areas!) It has been purifying. LOL! And I do believe after working through some serious heart issues of mine that I didn’t even know I had … I really, truly, DO love this dog! So, be prepared for whatever God may use this dog to teach you. Praise God that He loves us so!!! Then, be prepared to fall in love with that pup. For me, it was “love comes softly”. LOL.

  84. arlene says

    Congratulations on your newest little family member. Like you, I was not a fan of dogs….was petrified of large dogs, especially the roaming in the neighborhood ones…they send me running still. I currently have a maltese AND…are you ready for this…a chocolate lab. I had to get over my fear of large dogs and my husband wanted a big dog and while I’m still pretty apprehensive of those roaming in the neighborhood dogs, my lab (did you hear that? MY lab) is a sweet, rowdy, funny dog and my maltese is just as sweet as her name…Daisy:)

    Know this….Snowball just might become YOUR dog when the newness of a puppy turned dog happens. Remember those sleepless nights when your little one was a baby? If you don’t, you soon will. Sorry for being a “Debbie Downer.” hahaha The best thing we did with our maltese was get a playpen. She slept and ate on one side and on the other side, I had her pee pad. We kept this arrangement until she was able to go outside once she received all of her shots. I kept her play pen in our bedroom so that she could see me and not panic being alone…gotta remember she’s coming from having her siblings around her all the time and she’ll miss them.

    Love on her; take her places and before you know it, you’ll be in love with YOUR dog. hehehe

    Enjoy!!

  85. Michelle says

    I predict that li’l baby will be sleeping at the foot of your bed in no time flat! I have always had medium to large dogs. Last February, God sent us our Roxie, a 10 lb, white ball of mutt-firecracker, who was rescued from a neighboring county shelter (later closed for its inhumane treatment of the animals there). Roxie is a maltese mixed with whatever breed of dog that is CONSTANTLY happy! She is pure love. I hope you find as much joy in your new ball of fluff as we have in her – and all of our big girls as well. Remember, dogs are a lot like children…they each have their own personality (our golden retriever, Katie, continues to be the ultimate teenage girl!), but you can cultivate and nurture that personality to have as your new best friend the best doggy that ever lived. :-)
    Good luck!

  86. says

    Courtney, This is Ken (your husbands brother)

    If it makes you feel any better, the dog you refer to getting out of his cage, is Piggy. He is actually not 90 lbs. He is a 130 pound bull mastiff. So…. That makes you feel better……. :-)

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