and the downfall of puppy brain

If you follow me on social media, or y’know know me IRL, then you already know that at the end of March my girlfriend and I got a puppy. A little silver dapple smooth-haired miniature dachshund, who at the moment is heavy on the miniature but growing every day. At eight weeks old he is a tiny bundle of energy, razor teeth, and needy cuddles.

When he came home we decided to keep a list of his daily activities, I’m not sure why, partly as something to do, partly as a way to figure out his routine and decode some of the mysteries of suddenly having a tiny creature with important needs that we are soley responsible for.

The list begins as one would expect: 6am outside for a wee, 6.15am play, 6.45am nap and so on and so on into the long nights of him awake and the cold small hours of the morning. Up and down the stairs in our flat to the garden and in and out of his crate. Because I am working from home and then have the day off I do two nights in a row of puppy sleep-sitting where Dave, despite waking up every hour or so and needing to be taken out for a wee, still gets more sleep than me. It’s then that our neat list-making goes awry.

Perhaps it is the combination of late-stage pandemic brain and puppy brain or the fact that I’m a writer but so I can’t even keep the list on track without adding my own thoughts. And so goes:

12am went for a wee, back to crate - whine, slept on me, then move to crate with him until settled & sleepy

1.10am: whine - outside no wee, settle back in crate, getting sleepy, little cuddle w/me

1.14am back to sleep. (me, awake & hungry) wondering what he is thinking & also if I should buy night vision goggles & if my grumbly stomach with wake him up

1.29am had some oatcakes. so dry

2am whine, hand in back to sleep (2 mins)

On it goes, detailing how I’m feeling, what I’m thinking about, what I think the dog is thinking about. A narrative about the nighttime whirling away in by brain that I scribble in the half-dark between 2 and 3am, fueled only by anxiety and sleep deprevation. It feels like maybe we’re merging into one being reduced to our basic needs: hungry and tired, fidgeting in our beds, him in his crate, me on the sofa. to try and sleep. I’m not sure who is copying who here. Eventually, we doze off and another day begins. And another, and another until we have had him a whole week.

I wrote that back in March when we first brought Dave home and because having a puppy is all-consuming I never finished this newsletter. Dave is 12 weeks old now, almost ready to go for his first walk and sleeping nearly all the way through the night aside from some early 5am starts. He knows how to sit and offer up his paw for treats. He does not know that eating cat poo and hyacinths is bad for him. He knows that he can go to sleep in his big boy bed even though he would prefer one of our laps. He knows not to get our attention with his tiny shark teeth even though he still tries. He’s yet to find his bark and I’d like to keep it that way.

There’s been little time for writing or reading these past two months but as the world opens up again I’m excited to show little Dave around and maybe, just maybe, get some sort of order back into our lives.

I don’t have the brainpower to say anything more profound at the end of this so here are some more pictures of Davey-boy.

p.s. If you made it this far and *really* need more pictures of Dave, he of course has an instagram.

You can listen to an audio version (with Dave in the background) of this newsletter below.

Audio Version

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If you have a tiny narrative to share please get in touch at thetinynarrative@gmail.com