168 hours with Max

Max the poodle joined our household last Friday, so we are now 168 hours into being a family with a dog. It has been something of an adjustment. My husband takes him out in the morning, the 11-year-old does before school, my husband does through the day, and then the big kids do again after school. We have toddler gates up that also serve to keep Max in a set area of the house where he can get into limited trouble.

The most challenging current part is managing the interactions between Max and the 6-year-old. Think two rambunctious little boys, who just happen to be different sorts of animals. I have managed to teach the 6-year-old not to hurt the baby (mostly) so I guess we’ll just have to keep stressing “gentle touch! Gentle!” but this is a significant source of current stress. On the other hand, when the 6-year-old had time off school this week, he sat at the computer with Max on his lap for hours. Just cuddling.

I have never been a fan of the “dog” smell, and while poodles aren’t known for being terrible on this dimension, I’m still aware of it. I welcome advice on bathing and how to keep the house from smelling this way.

He is definitely a cutie! I’m still working on my dog photography skills — though I still have not achieved great Instagram style photos with the babies after almost 14 years. My current obsession is those Instagram families who are all in their photos in matching outfits. I wish they would discuss the staffing that makes this possible.

Many baseball games this weekend, and hopefully the soccer that was rained out last week. Plus rock climbing, but since that’s indoors, it always happens…

If you’re a dog family, please tell me about your pets and when you got them and any memories from the first few weeks! (and if you feel like sharing your instagram handle I’ll go look at your photos too!)

15 thoughts on “168 hours with Max

  1. So exciting — he’s adorable!!

    Less than 24 hours after getting our yellow lab {Lola} we had her at the emergency vet for eating a {neighbors!} toddler sock — luckily she hasn’t been back since!

    Our last dog Murdock is what my blog/IG is named after. He was my first pet ever. 🙂 I still miss him every day!


  2. About the dog smell: Don’t bathe the dog too often, it isn’t good for their coat or their skin. Only if really dirty (like rolled in something or played in mud), otherwise every two months is plenty. I use “dog body spray” on my corgis when I brush them, this is sold on amazon and in pet stores like PetSmart.

  3. I am so interested in all of the parts of your decision making about adding a dog to your family! My husband and I have NO interest in owning a pet but our six kids keep begging for a dog. I think two in particular could really benefit from a pet. How will you handle in when you go on your weekend adventures and day trips as a family? Do the kids actually help clean up any messes?

  4. We use those doggie moist wipes that you can buy at Petco (on the dog, not us, ha). They help freshen the dog up between washings. If I run out of those, I wet a paper towel and put a little essential oil on it and wipe the dog down. Brushing also seems to help, as does frequently washing his bedding.

  5. Regarding the “dog” smell: I find that puppies have a stronger smell than grown dogs. So you may find that the smell lessens as Max ages.
    Also, time spent outdoors will increase the smell. (“Outdoor” dogs have a very strong scent that I dislike, as opposed to “indoor” dogs.)
    Enjoy!! Max will give every one of you 100% unconditional love for his whole life long!

  6. Yay! Congrats! We’ve had 3-4 cats forever but just added a dog to the mix over the summer. He is @chipweitl on Instagram. The first few weeks are a lot, but once they are potty trained and sleep all night it gets better (similar to children…). We did invest in training and it has been worth it. We do weekly baths and wash all of his bedding weekly too. Also, a monthly “spa” appointment for him for a deep clean and nail trim. It’s only been 9 months but I don’t remember what life was like pre-dog!

  7. We got a red golden doodle named “Pumpkin” on Halloween. I am not a dog person but she’s grown on me.

    The best dog freshening spray was the Walmart house brand one in baby powder scent. I feel like the first month of dog ownership was a productivity killer but now she’s not a huge time suck. We’ll see how summer travel goes. As of right now we have a planned baseball tournament in Louisiana over memorial day weekend and the neighbor has volunteered to dog sit. Still trying to figure out what we will do with her for longer trips.

  8. Frequent washing of his bedding and any blankets/pillows he uses will help with the smell! Also, I think you’ll get used to the smell very quickly — I remember I used to notice the dog smell, but after several years of having dogs, I’m never even aware of it now! Be careful not to bathe him too frequently because it can be really bad for a dog’s skin/coat. I bathe my dog about once a quarter (unless he rolls in something gross, then it’s more often!), but some groomers say you can bathe as frequently as once a month without drying out their skin too much.

  9. How sweet! We added an air purifier to the room our puppy hangs out in the most. Along with frequent vacuuming and not allowing him on the furniture, it mostly keeps the pet smell down.

  10. We have a standard poodle, Reggie, he’s added so much to our family since we got him last June – frequent photos at cathy0536 … To those who are unsure about dogs – they do entail some work but getting out for a walk daily isn’t a bad thing and they’re one of the best ways to connect with teenagers. We’ve seen far more of my 16 and 13 year old sons since getting him!

    1. @Cathy – this is one of our hopes – that the dog will be something of a positive influence during adolescence. We shall see!

  11. I find that washing the dog bedding frequently and using the Arm & Hammer carpet deodorizer powder is a great combo to keep away the dog smell. You sprinkle it all over the carpet and vacuum it up 15+ minutes later, love that stuff. Totally worth the effort for the love of the pup 🙂 We also like that it forces us to get outside and walk multiple times a day.

  12. Max is gorgeous!

    Here is a picture of the puppy that lives at our house:

    Regarding the matching pyjamas on Instagram, please do yourself a favour and listen to Under the Influence podcast by Jo Piazza – episode is called “if you build it, they will come”
    (it’s a documentary-style podcast on Instagram life)

    PS I also highly recommend her book, Charlotte Walsh loves to win!

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