Playful, elegant, and not above the judicious use of the word “shit."

Smelling of puppy breath

Last night it was my turn to take over the night shift with Coco, which means I had to sleep in the spare bedroom next to her crate and be available to take her outside when she needed to go to the bathroom. We know she is capable of going several hours without needing to go out, she did it the first night she was with us, slept nine straight hours and woke up refreshed and chipper and so incomprehensibly sweet that I gained five pounds just by looking at her face. But that was just a trick. A lie! An EVIL UNTRUTH. Because the second night she was here she woke up every single hour and cried until we took her out. And I had a hard time not calling her names and making crass jokes about her mother behind her back.

She’s down to two times a night now, and we’re trying to break her of one of those times, but she’s not having it, and last night I only got two hours and 24 minutes of sleep. But that’s okay because tonight it’s Jon’s turn with Miniature Satan, and I get to sleep in our king-sized bed alone after a brief affair with a large dose of Nyquil. I plan to kiss it with tongue.

Remarkably, I’m not feeling panicked about living with a puppy like I did when Chuck was this age, and that’s due to a number of reasons. One, we’re not living in an apartment where every thirty minutes I have to run down a long hall, down one flight of stairs, across 20 yards of concrete to the one patch of grass on the block. Here she has a huge yard to roam, and all I do is open the back door and point outside. Chuck reluctantly accompanies her and, following his lead, they both begin sniffing and circling the yard going, no, not there, not there either, maybe here? No, not here, wait, not yet, I think I’m getting closer, here? YES. HERE. THIS IS THE SPOT I WAS LOOKING FOR. Because that spot of yard is so very different from the THOUSANDS OF OTHER SPOTS IN THE YARD. DOGS ARE SO WEIRD.

It’s also quite nice to have an extra set of hands around, and knowing that Jon can take over watching her when I’m needed elsewhere has made it so that I’m not at all anxious even though I haven’t slept more than a total of 10 hours in the last week. And maybe it’s because Chuck was such a frat boy when he was a puppy and Coco is more of a scientist, but it’s just so much easier this time because her level of shitness is so much more manageable than his level of shitness. She doesn’t bite us or hide under the bed where we cannot reach her, she doesn’t steal toilet paper off the roll and leave it in saliva-soaked piles along a path from the bathroom to a mound of poop in the middle of the kitchen. Chuck was such a turd, and I remember one of those long nights that I stayed up with Leta when she was just a few months old thinking, yeah, this is hard, but at least she’s not chewing on my underwear.

Also, she’s just so adorable that having her around makes me feel like my veins have been injected with glitter. It’s impossible to focus on the sleepless nights when you walk from one room to another and she’s so excited to see you that her tiny docked tail starts wagging so hard that it makes her whole body tip over, like HI! IT’S YOU AGAIN! I HAVEN’T SEEN YOU IN AT LEAST TEN SECONDS!

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  • Jen

    Oh my! Those Coco pictures…My heart just burst open with a glittery explosion! if she truly becomes too much to bear, ship her to me in Florida. I’ll pay shipping cost!

  • Sorry to poop on anyone’s parade, but “Glitter in my veins” already has 4,000 hits on google.

    The pictures are breathtaking!

  • Wendy

    Eat Coco with a spoon? Lick her scrumptious little face? So hard to choose…

  • She is the cutest frickin’ thing in the world. I seriously am so in love with her. The puppy stage is thankfully short lived. I still love how my dogs at 8 years old get so excited to see me, after I come in from getting the paper–as if I had just returned from a long trek around the world. Dogs…they are just awesome. Except if you are Leta. She would hate my dogs…they stare at me all the time until they get what they want.

    I am so glad she has brought udder giddiness to you life. We all need that time to time.

  • Jenn

    That Coco, she knows how to bring the cute!

  • Could. Not. Be. Cuter.

  • it makes me crazy – especially when it’s raining – when I let my dog out and he spends forever walking around sniffing shit and I’m like, “Dude, if you had to go you’d’ve gone by now. Get in here.”

  • it’s all about gettin’ in the mood.

  • JennyE

    She is totally killing me with the eyebrowlashes.

  • Lori

    She so sweet. We’re raising a puppy right now too. He’s 4 months and all legs and he thinks I’m just about the greatest person on the planet. Dogs are good at making you feel special.

    I opened up the comments ready to see people lashing into you for having her tail docked. Glad they didn’t.

  • That last picture makes me want to kiss her nose until it falls right off. ADORABLE.

  • It’s like the paint by numbers people got her absolutely perfect with her coloring and markings.

  • Anonymous

    Heather,
    She is a.dor.a.ble!
    -Now here is where I have to be a big meanie…watch her with strings…they can get swallowed and things are not good then. At all 🙁
    Thanks for the pictures…too cute.

  • danni

    Have you thought about building a puppy stand? Very similar to a lemonade stand but instead people pay to play, hug and love on your Coco. Millionaries in no time. Good luck and can’t wait to see you both on the cover of Fortune 500 Companies because you sell puppy crack.

  • I had to laugh- your comment about a baby being easier than a puppy (no chewing), is the exact argument I have been using to keep the fiance’ from bringing a hellhound into our midst. He always asks why I would want I baby if I don’t want to even do the work of having a puppy. I explained to him that I LIKE babies. Not so much with the ankle biting four-legged friends I’m afraid. But yours is adorable.

  • Are those two, tiny freckles on the end of her nose? The cuteness!! It hurts!! It hurts!!

  • Kriss

    I just want to give the side of her lip a little nibble.

  • Lisa

    What better evidence of goodness and loveness than Baby Coco? Happiness is a warm puppy, indeed!

  • Shannon

    “Veins have been injected with glitter” is exactly how I feel whenever I look at my two young dogs (an Aussie-mix and a Cocker-Beagle-mix); that turn of phrase will also be stolen by ME with ruthless abandon. They say after you become a mother, you wear your heart on the OUTSIDE of your body for the rest of your life. For me, it’s true of all the days after you bring your puppy home. I love Chuck and Coco. You couldn’t ever post too many pictures and stories about them for me!

  • bluestar

    Man is she CUTE. I have a dog named Coco as well. He’s nuts, so we call him Coco Nut. Your posts and Jon’s about Coco are making me crave another dog but I doubt I’ll convince my husband that it’s a good idea in our tiny apartment. Oh well, a girl can dream!

  • coco looks adorable and delicious and I am speaking from a staunch history of not-eating dogs.

  • Anonymous

    That. Dog. Is. Made. Of. 100. Percent. Cute. Extract. But from one Aussie mama to another, be really careful with her and dominance issues – make sure she knows that Leta is boss because she’s human (and that ankle nipping is prohibited). And consistency is king with training these little beasts – they need rules rules rules or else they get all screwy in the head.

  • Rachel

    Oh, give her time. 🙂 Our Aussie shepherd wasn’t a shit to begin with either, but at 4 months old, she’s come into her own, in that respect.

  • yvette

    what’s the deal with crating? don’t you feel mean? seems so unnecessary.

  • Poppy

    I only just realised how small that ball of cute is when i saw her next to Chuck…takes me back to when my boy was a wee puppy. Thanks for sharing her with us 🙂

  • Jana

    She is just precious…I hope the docking of her tail, however, was not done by you (it’s so unnecessary for any breed) Sorry, I can’t help myself…FT dog rescue person.

  • We just got a puppy. He’s of the mutt variety, half chihuahua, half boston terrier. I tell people we got a Bostihuahua and they nod knowingly, like that breed actually exists. Yeppers. I did the same thing with him at night I did with my children. I ignored him. He got the hint. Now he shuts the hell up at night while I’m sleeping.

  • Poppy

    Oh, and in response to #74, crate training was hugely necessary for our springer spaniel pup. it’s not mean at all, and now we’ve got a young dog who knows when we put him down for the night, it’s sleep time. in fact, a lot of the time he takes himself off to bed when he’s ready to go. it’s like teaching a kid to sleep through the night.

  • Cristina

    Cute!! Is there a reason why you picked a girl dog this time? Is she spayed yet?

  • Yeah, the puppy is adorable.

    Thanks for naming your hippopotamus after me.

    Like it’s not bad enough going through life with a name like ‘Peggy.’ (It’s SOOO 50s.)

    And I don’t even like raisins. (OK, maybe I do, but ONLY in certain desserts.)

  • jen

    My dog came to me as a fairly well trained 2 year old and my son wants a puppy next time. I’m realising that they’re a lot of hard work – a bit like children really – so will have to be prepared for it. Hopefully I’ve got a few years before that happens though. Coco is gorgeous, of course, but is she eating her mat?

  • I’ve been thinking about getting a second cat, or even — yikes — a puppy (that last picture is giving me a major case of puppy want), but I don’t know how my seven-year-old cat would react.

  • Julia

    She’s adorable.
    By the way, we have the same dog bed for Bruno. God, I love Costco. I’m such an acolyte.

  • This so reminds me of when our dog was a puppy, it is tough when they are little, but really fun and they outgrow the puppy stage so fast, I miss it.

  • dooce

    no, we had nothing to do with the docking of her tail. that happened before we adopted her without us even knowing about it. also, crate training is not mean, we did it with Chuck and he survived somehow.

  • Heeee! Oh, puppies.

  • geminijen

    I love the herding breeds! I have 2 Australian cattle dogs, and they are the most wonderful creatures on earth (and just slightly less crazy than the aussie shepards, IMHO).

    Coco is darling! I’d warn you about all the craziness and smarter-than-you shit she will pull, but you have tons of readers already doing that both publicly and privately, I’m sure! Good luck and have fun!

  • oh, and this has nothing to do with anything but I like your little spam filter thing more than other websites. For some reason I can actually handle typing ‘future Hemisphere’ whereas if I had to type ‘asfDLDS JGEIZse25’ I would have just been really angry and probably wouldn’t have even bothered commenting.

    so. good work.

  • oh. so. cute.

    and i love the glitter line, too!

  • What a doll! Our pup used to latch on to her older sibling’s neck too, then take a ride across the lawn as the elder tried to shake her off. As a result, the older sister spend a good six months with hundreds of scabs on her neck from those miniature needle teeth.

  • and just one more thing? I like that I HAVE to preview my comment before I can submit it. it helps with the spelling errors (there are a lot) and missing words (there are an effing buttload).

    and that is all. I am done kissing your ass for today.

  • Wiggles

    We have a Mini-Aussie too! Most amazing and smartest dog I’ve ever owned! Be ready for lots of excercise though – I tell everyone that my dog is the best personal trainer anyone could have! Don’t get discouraged, our sleepless nights only lasted 2-3 weeks before he was pretty well trained. We also found that he cried at night because he couldn’t see us (Aussies are like velcro with their owners)- we ended up getting an all wire crate (as opposed to the plastic ones) so that he could see us during the night. Worked like a charm!

  • jen

    Oh dear. I was doing really well resisting the puppy urge. Until this post. My husband better watch out, because he is about to face an onslaught of We Need A Puppy propaganda.

  • OMG! How cute is that?! I and so getting a hippo just so I have something cuter than you!

  • Jennifer

    Oh. My. Gawd. I think I just seriously overdosed on cuteness from those pictures. And can I say that the sentence “she’s just so adorable that having her around makes me feel like my veins have been injected with glitter” is probably the best thing ever written?

  • Anonymous

    Some Aussies have a naturally bobbed tail at birth. When they don’t, most breeders in the U.S. opt to dock the tails shortly after birth to follow the “breed standard.”

  • Liz

    Wow — she’s already learning how to pay her rent, too! I can’t believe she sits still for the camera so well. Very cool.

  • When my dog was really young, he got terribly sick and I spent many sleepless nights awake listening him struggle to breathe and shoving medicine down his throat. He was a perfect puppy otherwise – I swear he was housebroken in about 48 hours. But I definitely understand the sleepless nights.

  • TL

    Aussie’s are absolutely one of the best breeds out there. I have a full size 3 yr old red-tri & he is the sweetest most loveable dog ever. Aussies are incredibly smart – before you know it Coco will be doing your taxes and contributing to the blog 🙂
    I think one of the cutest things about Aussie’s are their paws – they are always warm & smell like fritos! Congrats on your new addition!!

  • There is nothing more to say except:

    I want I want I want I want I want I want I want!!!