2 articles Tag puppy

Maureen – One Year On #PethoodStories

We’ve been asked by Petplan Pet Insurance to tell you one of our Pethood Stories.

When we lost Chuck back in December 2017, we said it would take us a long time before we ever considered getting another dog. When he passed, we told the girls our belief that energy can never be destroyed which means that his energy would pass into something else and maybe that energy would find its way back to us one day, but we expected to be a petless family for quite some time.

Then, a month or so later, my friends dog had a litter of puppies and one of them was born with a broken tail which looked EXACTLY like Chuck’s. I showed Husband the picture and it took us about 30 seconds to decide it was too much of a coincidence and we needed to have her. I messaged my friend and thankfully the puppy hadn’t been reserved by anyone else, so she was ours. We had to wait until she was ready to leave her mum at 8 weeks and we decided that we’d keep it all a secret from the girls and surprise them.


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We spent weeks making surreptitious arrangements, buying a crate, a puppy pen, a bed, researching Petplan Pet Insurance and all sorts of other stuff that we had to try to hide from Sausage and BB, but amazingly enough we did it. On the day we were due to collect our puppy, we didn’t even tell the girls where we were going, we just said that we had to go somewhere to collect a package. In fact, our sweet, trusting babies didn’t even realise what we were there for, even when we were standing in my friends’ living room, surrounded by puppies!

It’s been a maaaaaad year. Having a puppy is a shock after having an elderly dog who was already trained to do everything when he got him, aged two, but actually the toilet training and other stuff all went amazingly well. She’s a really intelligent, enthusiastic dog who fitted in with our family from really early on.


We’ve had ups and downs – one low point being when Maureen managed to steal a chicken skewer from a plate and swallow it, stick and all. Leaving her at the vets to have emergency surgery when she was just a few months old was really hard, but she made it through and we learned a LOT from that day…mainly not to ever leave plates unattended.

Next Tuesday marks a whole year since Maureen came to live with us and it’s gone so fast! She’s grown into such a fabulous dog, and although she’s still a boisterous little monkey at times, she’s loving and loyal and an absolute pleasure to be with. She’ll never replace Chuck, but she’s taught us how to love again after losing such an important part of our lives and for that, I’ll always be grateful.

So, here’s to Maureen. A year as a Crammond and carrying on your brother’s legacy of being stubborn, greedy and the best kisser in the whole house. We love you, Beansy.

For more Pethood Stories and the results of the Petplan Pet Census 2018, head over to their site. This post is in conjunction with Petplan but all thoughts are my own


Tips for Puppy Toilet Training

As you many know, if you follow me on social media, at the beginning of March we added a new member to the Mum’s the Word clan – Maureen the Pup. Having a puppy has been a real learning curve for us as Chuck was already 2 when he came to live with us and needed no toilet training, but we’re doing pretty well so far. Here are a few tips that we’ve picked up along the way:

Think about your floors!

Whether you like it or not, puppies WILL have accidents, of both the wee and poo variety, so if you haven’t got something convenient like Karndean flooring, you’re going to have to deal with mess. We got a rug from freecycle for our lounge, so that the majority of the carpet is covered and we don’t mind the odd puddle on a free rug, but we also dotted puppy pads around in the early days, as she often had her “accidents” in roughly the same place.

Take them out regularly

Just like when you’re potty training a toddler, getting them to go to the loo really regularly is the first step to cracking toilet training. Husband and I try to take Maureen out at least once every 30-60 minutes, and at the moment we take her out on a lead and try to get her to go in the same place every time, as this will teach her to go there once she goes independently.

Invest in a carpet cleaner

Husband and I have a Bissell hand-held carpet cleaner, and honestly, it’s been an absolute godsend for cleaning up after Mo’s accidents. It can be filled with an odour-busting spot cleaner and can be used to vacuum liquid out of carpets, making it perfect for puppy puddles! I think life would have been much harder without it.


Most dogs are fairly food motivated, which means that giving them a treat as a reward after they successfully pee or poop outside will be more of an incentive for them to do all of their business outside. Do remember to adjust the amount of food you’re giving them if you’re treating regularly as you’ll end up with a very chubby puppy!

Watch for cues

After a while, you’ll start to notice your puppy’s behaviour or body language change when they need to go out, and acting on these cues is important to develop the communication between you and your dog. As soon as you see them acting like they need to go out, take them and make a big deal of praising them afterwards.

Be Patient

Toilet training a puppy can be frustrating at times – a puppy can do every single wee or poop outside and then randomly go on the rug, and although it can seem like an act of defiance or like they’re being naughty, this is rarely the case. Puppies get caught short, or sometimes we miss their cues. Be patient with them as getting cross will just make them fear you, which isn’t conducive to a good training environment.