We started our journey of adopting our two paps at the advice of our vet. We had lost one of our 14 yr old pound puppies, Dodger. Hunter, his surviving litter mate, was so depressed that all he did was sleep and would barely eat for months. The vet asked if we’d considered getting another dog. She then went on to ask if we’d consider two. She said that due to Hunter’s age, and general old puppy slow-down, that one would try to follow him everywhere and pretty much make a nuisance of itself; but if we had two puppies, they would look to each other for entertainment more than him. We felt certain that emotionally and financially, we could add another two dogs to our family. Thus began our search for a breed. We tossed around more pound puppies, but decided that we really wanted small dogs this time around. I loved the Cavalier King Charles markings, and my husband loved the face and attitude of the Chihuahua. Neither appealed to us both. We also knew we needed dogs that could easily acclimate to another older dog, and be okay w/ two pre-teens…our sons. We also like a little attitude in a dog. With all that in the list, our research lead us to the Papillion, and eventually Swan Creek; and what a perfect choice it was! We picked up our new babies, Benny and Smalls, when they were 8 weeks old. At 16 weeks old today, here’s what we’ve found to be the truth about adopting two Papillion puppies at the same time. Disclaimer: These truths may not apply to all Papillions, but are true of ours in our house:
1. Hindsight two months later… getting two was most definitely not a mistake. Our Papi Babies are a huge blessing!!!
2. The ride and first day home was a snap because they had each other to turn to and play with. – There’s comfort in the familiar.
3. Beware of taking them out of the house…you will be mobbed by women and small children who think they are the most adorable puppies in the world! I’m sure this is normal for most puppies, but you get this times two w/ littermates. Most common question is “what kind of dog are they, they are so neat looking”, oh, and “look at those ears!”. The attention is crazy, but who can blame them?
4. Know that when you have two Papillion’s you have double the help on your handyman endeavors!
5. A wonderful thing about having two puppies at the same time is that they always have a friend. I think it’s easier to have two than one. A single puppy will always look to you for their amusement, 24X7. With an instant playmate, ours look to each other for their fun, and just keep us in their field of vision at all times. Also, in the beginning when they were feeling scared, lonely, or just plain exhausted, they had each other to lean on.
6. Ok, this is a sensitive subject in our house, but it’s gotta be said…collars. They are necessary no matter the dirty looks, spinning, scratching, or general temper tantrum throwing you get as a result of putting them on.
7. It wouldn't be fair of me to concentrate fully on the cuteness of our puppies. What they say about Papillions being the smartest toy breed is true. They are wicked smart, and train very easily (Smalls taught himself to sit by watching Hunter without a day of training from us); but with that comes a stubbornness and curiosity that at times is hard to contain. With two of these guys, it’s double the trouble. We had to learn to be smarter than our Paps! Rules to live by:
- Choose a metal or hard plastic crate over the more convenient or aesthetically pleasing tent-like material crates and pens (they figure out very quickly how to unzip things…you heard me, unzip things). This advice will save you time, money and your sanity in the long run!
- Give them new toys, but not all at once, change them out regularly, they tend to get bored fast and will look elsewhere for entertainment. A bored pap is a destructive pap! Or, you can choose to let them wrap your packages for you. Your choice.
- Provide different types of chew toys and bones, or say “bye-bye” to all the wood furniture in your house. Don’t believe me? Ask my office chair! Side note: a new bone almost guarantees like 30 min of silence in the house.
- They love their treats and will do anything for them, including building complex structures to climb upon to get to them. Lock up the treats!
- If you like your shoes, whatever you do, don’t leave them out. Warning: They have a special affinity for teenage boy’s flip flops!
- They are hoarders! Once they steal a toy, shoe or other object, they will take it back to their bed for safekeeping. They will climb into the big dog’s toys and steel those too, even if they sometimes get stuck and fall asleep while trying to get out because there wasn't as big a pile of toys in the basket as the first time they were in there!
- Never yell at or swat at your Papillion. They are little dogs with big dog attitudes. Ours respond best to a low pitched “no” and ignore them for a few minutes more than anything else. Papillons need discipline just like children to feel secure and grounded! Ignore their wines, barks, and general bad attitudes (that they will copy off each other) in their ploy to get their way. Remember, they are smart, and learn very quickly how to get what they want. If disciplined properly, they will quickly grow out of these behaviors. Benny and Smalls almost never talk back anymore.
- If you have a raised darker space in your house, a Papillion can be found sleeping in it. In our house, that’s under the coffee table!
- If you have a dog on senior dog food, you now have to feed the dogs separately because the puppies will do ANYTHING to get to the big dog’s food bowl! Don’t know why, just one of those mysteries of life. Same brand of food and everything.
- Finally, if you can’t find your Papillion, look in the sofa, they are most likely looking for change to call out for a pizza!
9. Last, but not least, the reason for this whole party…our old boy, Hunter. The puppies had no fear of our larger dog, but did show a lot of respect for him. What the vet said was true, they pretty much played with each other, and only went to him for direction and rules, i.e. followed him outside for house training, house boundaries, etc. It took a while, and true bonding didn’t start to take effect until just recently; but they are buds for life now! Hunter is awake a lot of the day now just watching over “his babies”. He is the best babysitter ever, eating regularly again, and actually plays with them when his old bones can take it. He doesn’t much like it when they pounce on his face, but he loves a good ear licking every now and then. We know that his years with us are limited, but are certain that they will be happy and fulfilling years with his new extended family! These paps not only provided Hunter with new canine friends, but helped an entire family heal from a very painful loss. Thank you Swan Creek for breeding these wonderful little fur-balls!
**Note - Michelle has been sending me the most wonderful pics and notes as the puppies are growing. The pups were born 5/12/14. I asked her if I could publish what she had been sending me through texts on my phone. She was so gracious to take the time to write of her experiences to share with any that would be interested in what its like to get two. Thank you so much Michelle! Sorry this program wouldn't let me put the pics where you had them, but I tried to label them in your order and with your words. I am eternally grateful! Robin